With the holiday season here, I’m most of the way through packaging up gifts for my loved ones. At this time of year (and let’s be honest, starting at Halloween) beautiful holiday wrapping paper is on sale everywhere you turn. It’s tempting to buy a few rolls every year. However, by noon on Christmas Day the living room floor looks like a disaster area with discarded wrapper paper piles stacked high. Stanford University estimates that “If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet. If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.” I’ve seen lots of eco-friendly alternatives to traditional wrapping paper like wrapping gifts in newspaper comics or brown butcher paper. But ultimately that paper will still end up in the recycling bin (or worse, in the trash) after the gifts are torn open. So personally, I’m drawn to gift boxes and bags. They come in every size anyone could possibly need and in festive colors and designs, just like gift wrap.
The best places I’ve found in the DC area for stocking up on gift bags are Homegoods and World Market. Both usually have a great selection and bargain prices. After all the presents are opened, you can round up the gift bags, ribbons, and bows and store them away for next year. 364 days after being tucked away in a box in the back of a closet, and I promise they will seem new and exciting again. This year, I added handmade personal gift tags to each bag that I’d made from scrapbook paper. You’ll be doing something nice for your loved one and for the planet.
Whatever kind of gift wrap you use, I wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday!