Waste-Free Gift Giving: 7 Ways to Think Outside the Gift-Wrapped Box. ~ Zoe Rei

Via Zeo Reion Dec 11, 2013

heifer international gifts goat

Make haste, Spend money on gifts not waste.

Walk the earth gently,Try these ideas, they have easy assembly.

Let your children know, You’re cutting the plastic pollution flow.

And here you go:

1. Use alternative wrapping options.

Save money by not buying new wrapping paper and gift bags. Gifts can be wrapped in newspaper or newsprint. If you have children, have them decorate the newsprint with colored pencils or crayons. Also, gifts can be wrapped in reusable fabric. The Japanese already have a tradition of using a wrapping cloth; it’s called Furoshiki and can be seen below.

Photo: Wiki Commons

Attach a note to the gift explaining why it is wrapped in fabric and encourage the recipient to reuse it. Similarly, give a gift within a gift. Use canvas bags, reusable produce or sandwich bags, glass jars, bowls, plates, baskets, pillow cases; there are so many containers to use.

2. Skip plastic tape.

If you require tape, use paper tape or wrap using string. If you want to add something snazzy to the packaging, fold the paper multiple times so it looks pleated. Bows can be made out of string, yarn or paper.

3. Buy new to you electronics.

No need to allow electronics to go to waste, be clever and buy them gently used. This will save money and reduce plastic pollution.

4. Give the gift of an experience.

This is what I’m asking for this Christmas: I want to make a unique memory with my family. It will last longer than stuff and enrich our relationships. Here are some ideas to consider: plays, musicals, dance performances, concerts, camping, rock climbing, snowboarding or skiing or volunteer to clean a beach or at a shelter. It can be anything; quality time with loved ones is what matters.

5. Ask companies to mail items without plastic.

The internet can make shopping easier. Let those you order from know you’re trying to live as plastic- and waste-free as possible; ask them to mail without plastic.

(Check out Pulp Works: this eco-conscious company has created a plastic-free alternative to blister packs. Besides cutting waste, I’m sure this is a key to making the holidays less frustrating and more peaceful.)

6. Use plastic-free containers for food gifts.

Food is one of the best gifts. Instead of using saran wrap and a throwaway plate or plastic Tupperware, send goodies over on a reusable plate and aluminum foil or in reusable glass containers. If the food isn’t too sticky, paper could be used instead of foil as a cover or made into a cute pocket. If there are a lot of people on your list, invite them to dinner and gift them all at once.

7. Make holiday hellos eco-savvy style.

The zero waste route is to email letters or call people up and have a holiday conversation. However, if you’re really eager to send handwritten love, reuse old cards. Take off unused covers and turn them into holiday postcards.

Let us know in comments which creative ways you’re reducing gift-giving waste this holiday season!

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Assistant Editor: Christina Lorenzo / Editor: Cat Beekmans

Photo: elephant journal archives

About Zeo Rei

Zoe Rei loves dancing and her favorite mode of transportation is skipping. She spends much of her time thinking about plastic free living, fair trade and food. Connect with her on Twitter.

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2 Responses to “Waste-Free Gift Giving: 7 Ways to Think Outside the Gift-Wrapped Box. ~ Zoe Rei”

  1. Sara says:

    This is a wonderful article – love the idea of wrapping gifts in fabric.

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