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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Its a Wrap!

Here are couple of facts I found to be interesting and a little bit shocking!

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As much fun as wrapping paper can be, it is also a wasteful part of gift-giving. As much as half of the 85 million tons of paper products Americans consume every year goes toward packaging, wrapping and decorating goods. Also, wrapping paper and shopping bags alone account for about 4 million tons of trash annually in the U.S.

The history of wrapping paper may surprise you.

Hallmark is credited with founding the gift wrap industry when, during the Christmas season in 1917, stores ran out of the red, green, white and holly tissue sheets that people used to wrap gifts.

The next year, the sheets were offered three for 25 cents, and they again sold out. Soon gift wrap became the first product Hallmark made that was a departure from greeting cards. From these small beginnings in Kansas City, the gift wrap industry now accounts for $2.6 billion annually in retail sales.

For the last several years, I have vowed to use less paper and use alternatives to store bought wrapping paper and bags.

First, I have been using up all of the wrap from years past...you know, all those 1/2 rolls stacked in the back of your hall closet! You may be surprised at how much you have once you pull it all out and start unrolling. Now, this obviously does not make for the picture perfect look under the tree...imagine a little bit of Santa print, red and green stripes, and some snow men on sleds.

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This year I am happy to say it is all GONE! I actually went to wrap some gifts the other night and was pleasantly surprised when I realized there wasn't any left.

Now, I am on the hunt for cute and clever alternatives to the standard holiday wrapping rolls.
Here are some great options...

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Plain brown wrap. This can be found in rolls at drug stores and office supply stores. I have even used brown paper grocery bags. Just add a festive red ribbon or a red doily and some kite string. I especially like the tree cutout...no need for a ribbon or bow means less waste too!

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Newsprint. No need to look too far for supplies...it gets delivered to your front porch every morning! Add some string, a homemade name tag, and even a sprig of greenery. You can even combine the above options and create beautiful unique gifts almost too pretty to tear open...

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Once you get started thinking about alternatives, the possibilities are everywhere...

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Sheet music. Look for Christmas carol music to add to the festive mood.

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You can find old maps and even an old atlas at your local thrift stores. Make it more meaningful by finding the recipients home city and center it on the top of the package. Its those extra touches that mean the most.

During this season of red and green, think extra GREEN. Find an alternative to the millions of tons of paper sent to landfills. The options are fun, festive, and recyclable too!

images via Pinterest

1 comment:

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