The Benefits of Green Gifting

Have you heard of green gifting? If you’re crafty and budget conscious, chances are you have been green gifting without the intention of doing so! Green gifting is the practice of using recycled or reused goods to wrap gifts. Gift wrap, and accessories added to your packages, are typically thrown out once the gift is opened, putting a tremendous amount of material into landfills. In fact, around the holidays, gift wraps and baubles account for an almost 25 percent rise in trash volume.

Here are some fabulous ways to green up your gift packages any time of year:

Potato Sacks: remember those burlap bags we used to use for sack races when we were kids? They make great wraps for large gifts. Sweaters, blankets and even quilts can be folded nicely and tucked into a vintage potato sack. Tie with a bit of raffia or twine and you’ve got a wonderfully unique package.

Reusable bags: canvas shopping totes are perfect for holding gifts and can be useful as well! Leave them plain or decorate them with fabric paint, patches or other embellishments to give them a personal touch.

Containers: if the gift you’re giving lends itself to a certain theme, consider a container rather than gift wrap. For instance, if you are giving gardening supplies to your favorite aunt, bundle them into a watering can. Attending a baby shower? Wrap your gifts in a baby blanket! Making the “wrap” a part of the gift is one of the easiest ways to go green.

Recycled paper: if you can’t break away from the traditional look of a beautifully wrapped package, use recycled paper. And don’t forget the tape! Petroleum based tape can’t be recycled so fore go it in lieu of twine or yarn; either can be reused by your recipient.

Reuse paper you have: if you look around the house, chances are you have a ton of papers you can use in place of gift wrap. Old maps, comics, newspaper, brown bags or even brown mailing paper; these all work very well! Dress up your package with twigs, berries, shells or beautiful leaves found in your backyard or on a neighborhood walk.

Tree-less paper: there are several options in tree-less papers available at your local big box store. Look for papers made with banana fiber or recycled papers printed with soy inks.

Green gifting is simply better for the environment. The trend also lends itself to great creativity on your part! Whether you choose to make your wrap a part of the gift or use papers that can be recycled rather than thrown away, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint one gift at a time.

Being Creative with Ribbons

Gift giving is a pleasurable experience for everyone. There are few greater delights than watching a beloved friend or family member open a package that has been picked out for them with care. On birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions, the gifts are almost always the main event, but the packaging for the gift can also take center stage with the right amount of creativity – and perfecting the art of using ribbons in your gift wrapping is great way to show off your creative flair.

Ribbons are inexpensive yet charming and come in an almost overwhelming variety of colors and styles. Decorating packages with ribbons is only as limiting as your imagination allows. A traditional way to use ribbons with gift wrapping is to tie the packages neatly, then affix either a pre-made bow or a selection of curls. These are lovely choices, but there are many more unique options that can make your package stand out and can give the recipient the added gift of knowing that you took the time and effort to give them something extra special.

LaRibbons Solid Color Satin Ribbon Asst. #2-10 Colors 3/8″ X 5 Yard Each Total 50 Yds Per Package

Making your own gift bows with ribbon is easy and allows you to use any color or pattern of ribbon that you can find. There are any number of tutorials available online for different types of bows you can make, or you can purchase a bow making device. These can be found at craft stores and are fairly inexpensive, yet very useful. Bows can be as large or small as you like and can be made with one type of ribbon or several. Bows can serve another purpose as well; with only the addition of hot glue and a hair clip, the package decoration can double as a gift unto itself.

Personalizing ribbon is easier than most people think. With just an inkjet printer, some transfer sheets, and a hot iron, any grosgrain ribbon can turn into a mini-photo album. First choose the ribbon. Solid color ribbon that is at least 1.5 inches wide works best. Select a number of images and, with a photo editing software program, size them so that they will fit on the ribbon of your choice. Follow the instructions on your transfer paper and before you know it, you can have a package decoration to rival any filmstrip. This works for well for any occasion, but can be particularly meaningful with going away gifts or, using ultrasound images, for new babies. If images are not available or don’t match the theme, words, names, or meaningful quotations can also be transferred onto the ribbon.

Joiedomi 18Pcs Christmas Ribbons

Tucking special items within the ribbon on packaging is another way to decorate giftwrap. A floral spray is lovely for an anniversary gift, while a selection of kitchen utensils may be perfect for housewarming. The options for decorating with ribbon are endless.