Saturday, December 10, 2011
According to Gift Bags Gone Green every year Americans alone spend more than $5 billion dollars on gift wrap, bags, and tissue paper- and the majority of that ends up in landfills.
Get Creative and Go DIY with Your Green Wrappings
One way to wrap presents greenly is to do reuse what you already have.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of green wrapping you can make use of unique items you have around your home that can be transformed into fun holiday wrapping paper, such as the comic section of newspapers, colorful and unique pages from magazines, old maps or paper you make yourself.
Brown or white package paper can be completely transformed with stamps, paint, markers, stickers or anything else you may have laying around the house. Have the kids use finger paint and stamp their little handprints on the paper. Grandparents are sure to love such heartfelt wrappings.
Plain cardboard boxes and paper bags can also easily be transformed into fun gift bags and boxes with markers, paint, crayons or whatever art supplies you have.
Another great way to integrate green into your gift wrap is to make the present part of the package by wrapping one gift with another gift. Are you giving a blanket as a gift? Put another present inside the blanket, and use the blanket as the wrapping. Tie it with a ribbon, and you are all set. Roll up sweaters, and stick items like socks and underwear inside. Tie gifts up with curtain tiebacks, shoelaces or hair ribbons. That way everything is part of the gift, gets used, and does not get thrown away.
If you are handy with a needle and thread you could make your own reusable cloth gift bags to wrap up your green gifts with any fabric you have on hand, even old t-shirts and blue jeans would make fabulous fabric gift bags.
Reusable Fabric Gift Bags
If you don’t have time to sew your own bags or maybe you just don’t sew consider gift bags and wraps made from fabric.
Fabric gift bags are stylish, beautiful, washable and reusable. There are bags in all sizes, shapes and colors that can be reused over and over again every year.
Gift Bags Gone Green has created fun and funky fabric gift bags that are washable and reusable. They have some very cute holiday prints available.
Small bags start at just $5.99 and extra large bags are $13.49. A whole set of bags that includes one of each size is $45.99. Remember these bags can be used over and over again every year.
Lucky Crow also has some wonderful, reusable cloth gift bag collections including some made from organic cotton. They offer prints and solid colors with plenty suitable for holiday giving.
Extra small bags are $4.49; extra large bags are $13.49.
Ecorations sell beautiful fabric gift bags, pouches, sacks, and fabric wraps that can be reused year after year. They even offer the giant, 100% organic cotton Santa sack which can hold quite a few gifts.
Pricing starts at just $5.99 and goes up from there.
Wrap it Green
Tied fabric, creative gift boxes, and reusable gift bags are all wonderful eco-ways to save trees and have a fun, green Christmas, but they may lack a little of that old fashioned holiday magic the kids really look forward to.
Nothing says Christmas morning like the sound of wrapping paper being torn from gifts. If you have children you can’t really give up wrapping paper but you can still be green while wrapping gifts in paper. You just have to choose the most eco-friendly wrap possible by choosing companies that make gift wrap from recycled paper with eco-conscious inks.
Fish Lips Paper Designs is an eco-friendly wrapping paper company based in Florida. All of their gift wraps are designed, printed and packaged right here in the USA on 100% DE-INKED recycled paper (with a minimum of 50% PCW) using non-toxic soy inks.
Fish Lips wrapping papers are available for resale in individual sheets (22″ x 33.75″) or “rolls” of 2 sheets.
Retail prices are $4 for a gift wrap sheet and $8 per two sheet roll.
Earth Presents produces 100% recycled and recyclable gift wrap products. Their wrapping paper and gift tags are made out of 100% post-consumer recycled paper that is processed chlorine free. Vegetable-based inks are used so that the paper is eco friendly and fully recyclable. Matching ribbons and bows are made from recycled plastic bottles!
Gift wrap is $6.00 for two 24" x 36" sheets.
Earth Love’n Paper Products sell gift wrap and gift tags/cards that are printed on 100% post-consumer waste and processed chlorine free and printed with vegetable based ink. They sell several lovely winter holiday designs including some for Hanukkah.
Two 24x36 inch pieces of paper sell $4.75 for flat sheets, $5.35 for a roll.
Paper Source has a beautiful line of recycled gift wrap. The PS Green Choices line has a cute selection of holiday patterns printed on Eco-White, 100% recycled paper made with a minimum of 30% post-consumer waste.
They also scrap book paper sized sheets and lovely Christmas greeting cards as part of their PS Green Choices line. Wrapping paper sizes and prices are $2.25 for a flat sheet -size - 19 1/2" x 27"and $7.95 for a roll. A roll contains 2 sheets - 26 1/2" x 39"
There are many ways to wrap in eco-style and the most important thing is that you put an eco-conscious effort into making the holidays greener this year.
Friday, December 9, 2011
It happens, we all end up receiving a few less than desirable gifts throughout our lives. Maybe it’s that third crock-pot you received as a wedding gift or the fourth toaster for your house warming or maybe it’s the ten millionth holiday coffee mug that found its way to your stocking but most of us all have a few things tucked away in cupboards or closets that we have never used.
With the economy in such a slump and eco-thoughts fully conscious in your mind it is time to rethink the regift.
The key to regifting is to do it with style and class.
First of all don’t regift to the person who originally gave you the gift or at a social function where that original gift giver may be. If the gift is something unique also don’t regift to someone who is in contact with the original gift giver (you wouldn’t want the gifter to see the gift at the new giftee’s home unless you plan on offering full disclosure).
Second, make sure the gift was never used and that it is still in pristine, brand new condition (exceptions are allowed for books, CDs and DVDs that you know someone would really love but they still have to be in good shape). For any appliances or items with multiple parts make sure that all the pieces are there and that the item is still in working condition. You don’t want to give a gift that’s all banged up and missing pieces after being shoved around in your closet, tossed around in the garage or moved from place to place. If it needs batteries put a brand new set in with the gift.
Third, rewrap the gift. Do not ever leave the gift in the same torn wrapping paper that you re-taped or in the same (now) rumpled gift bag it came in . And make sure you put a new tag on it addressing it specifically to the person the gift is for. This cleans it up and makes you put a little thought into it. A gift should always have a bit of a personal touch to it.
Fourth and most importantly, don’t regift just to get rid of something taking up space in your home or so can have a gift to give someone without spending any money. Give the gift to someone who will actually use and/or enjoy the gift. If you know someone needs a toaster or coffee pot then by all means give them the extra appliance that you have in your closet but don’t just give it to someone to get rid of it.
There’s a way to really regift with class- personalize the gift. Make the receiver feel special by letting them know the gift is just for them, that you really thought about it. This could be done by adding little custom things. If it’s a scarf or linens add a bit of custom monogramming. Is it a book? Add a special note in the book for the person who is receiving it. Find some way to add a special touch to the gift so the receiver will feel special.
If you really want to unload some of those unused gifts taking up space, participate in a regifting party, also known as a white elephant exchange. You could even hold it on National Regifting Day which is December 15, 2011 this year. Always a week before Christmas.
There are many ways to have a regifting party. One is to have everyone bring one or two unwrapped gifts and place them on a table. Everyone takes a number and the first number called gets to pick the first gift and it goes on from there until everyone gets a chance to choose a gift
Here are two other ways to have a Regifting Party :
Leftover gifts and anything that’s really unwanted by anyone at the party can always be donated to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or a local shelter. Someone could love it.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
This weekend I am sitting down to address my Christmas cards and get them ready to be mailed out.
This year I’m not sending out a whole lot of cards; these days I send a lot of electronic greetings to those who I have email addresses for. However for family and people whose emails I don’t have I still send old fashioned greetings along with photos of the kids.
I do try to opt for the more eco-friendly greeting cards by choosing those made from recycled paper or even tree free paper.
Wondering where you can snag some eco-greetings? Check out these Earth-friendly finds.
1. My Good Greetings
My Good Greetings offers beautifully designed custom photo cards,invitations and stationary printed on 100% recycled, carbon neutral paper which is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified. They use 100% digital short-run presses which significantly reduce paperwaste and emit 90% less Volatile Organic Compounds.
This is the first company that I know of that offered eco-friendly photo greeting cards. You can upload your own photos and create beautiful photo greeting cards on eco-friendly paper.
2. Doodle Greetings
All Doodle Greetings cards are made of 100% post-consumer recycled paper, are chlorine-free, and are made with renewable energy.
Doodle Greetings has a wide variety of fun greeting cards for any occasion including the winter holidays. Make sure to check them out if you want holiday greeting cards that are really earth friendly and “green”.
3. Tiny Prints
Tiny Prints has gone green. They recently announced that 100% of their products and packaging now feature eco-friendly recycled paper. From beautiful stationery to the eco-friendly, green invitations -all of Tiny Prints cards and invitations feature luxurious recycled paper.
4. Paper Source
Paper Source has a line of products that are PS Green Choices, all of these products contain at least 30% post consumer recycled paper. They sell green choices decorative and scrap book papers as well as wrapping paper in addition to their holiday greeting cards.
5. Night Owl Papergoods
I am a sucker for the “modern yet folksy” style of Night Owl Paper Goods. Plus I love the owls. They have some very awesome designs and greeting cards including cards that are printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper. They also have cards printed on eco-harvested wood. Very adorable and unique.
Printables are awesome because you get gorgeous designs that you can print right from home and you can choose what kind of paper to print on. Go eco and print on paper and card stock made from post consumer recycled paper content, or even use the blank side of scrap paper and junk mail to print gift tags and crafty projects on.
Here is a roundup of some of the best holiday printables on the web.
Family Fun has a huge selection of kid friendly printables that include everything from ornaments and tree toppers to cards and gift tags.
Melissa Esplin has loads of crafty ideas and tutorials including her annual Christmas candy box template. She provides tutorials and free downloads. I like the 2007 design best.
If you love owls My Owl Barn is a blog to follow. They have links to the best owl stuff, along with owl crafts and free printables. For the holidays they have a couple of different styles of free owl gift tags , owl gift wrap and anowl calendar for 2011 that you can save and print for free.