Weddings mean lots of gifts, both to and from the happy couple. Wrapping paper is something we take for granted when presenting a gift, but did you know that wrapping paper and shopping bags alone account for about 4 million tons of trash a year in the U.S.? That’s a little less beautiful and festive when you look at it that way. But there are more sustainable ways to present your presents.
Ribbon. I love just using beautiful ribbons to decorate my gifts. A beautiful ribbon around a plain box is very dramtic and environmentally friendly There’s not always a reason to completely obscure your gift from the recipient — sometimes just a bow around the actual gift itself is enough. Or you can weave together several ribbons to create more of a covering.
Fabric. Furoshiki is the Japanese art of wrapping gifts in cloth. Not only is this beautiful, but the cloth can be reused, either to wrap another gift or it can be an additional gift of its own — consider wrapping a cookbook or cooking utensils in a tea towel or using a beautiful scarf to wrap a present.
Paper Grocery Bags. No matter how good we try to be about bringing our re-useable bags to the grocery store, we all have a few paper shopping bags lingering around. Cut these up to make your own wrapping paper. Use gel pens or stamps to create patterns on the plain brown wrapper.
Newspapers and Magazines. Publications that you’ve already read can be cut up and used to make striking wrapping paper. Be sure to scour the pages that you are using for any inappropriate headlines or photos though!