Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Green Holiday

Did you know that a lot of wrapping paper is not recyclable? I read here that on average, over 8000 tons of wrapping paper and almost two billion cards are thrown out throughout the season- which adds up to 300,000 tons of holiday garbage each year. There are a lot of great ideas on how to reuse wrapping paper and cards, but I thought I'd take some preemptive approaches as well.
At Clementine, Lisa, the very creative and talented director, was making flowers by cutting magazines into strips, punching holes in each side, and then putting a pipe cleaner through the holes. I don't know if eggnog has gone to my head, but I just saw gift bows. So I made one. Then another. And now I've decided to make enough for each gift I'm giving. It is great in a few ways- first of all, I'm reusing the magazines (which I get free at the library!), second of all, it's recyclable, and third, if whoever receives it is not able to recycle (ahem, I'm talking to you, K!), it'll break down in the landfills waaaaay faster than the store bought bows. And it looks cool! (*If you would like a more detailed how-to, please leave a comment and I will post one if I get enough requests!*)

I also bought recycled brown craft paper for all of my wrapping paper. It's recycled to begin with, and it's recyclable, and I just like it. I bought a HUGE roll at a paper supply store for about $30. I'm sure there are better deals out there, but I personally hate shopping around. If I get bored of this plain paper I can stamp it up or paint it, or whatever other ideas come to me over the next few years as I whittle down my supply! If someday I'm totally over the craft paper, I can make envelopes for my cards.

Here is my last little bit of inspiration: I collect paint sample cards and had some lying around (it's a compulsion. Whenever I go to the hardware store I'm inexplicably drawn to the paint section where I find myself picking up colors of interest. When I cleaned my studio I found probably 25 of these samples!). I got the idea to use my samples as a colorful way to add tags. I punched a rectangular shape at each end, cut a magazine page into a tiny strip, and used it as a ribbon to lace the tag onto the present. It could be taped on, or you could punch a hole at the top and tie it on as well.

Not only are these ideas more eco-friendly, but it's also economy-friendly too. The only thing I spent money on was the craft paper, and I know that if I bought that amount in wrapping paper I'd have to take out a loan!

Please feel free to use these ideas! And let me know if you have some other eco-wrapping ideas you would like to pass on.

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