All wrapped up

November 13, 2009


box_reindeer box_christmastrees

Last year as gift giving approached I tried in vain to find wrapping paper made from recycled paper.  My friend Guinnah took her wrapping a greener step last year by wrapping in repurposed fabrics – napkins, pillowcases, even a dress from a thrift store.  Maybe I’ll do that next year (or maybe not), but this year, it looks like I have committed to wrapping in paper.

Last May, when I went to the Chicago Green Festival I met Julie who’s company, EarthPresents, makes and sells recycled paper gift wrap.  I told her I would blog about her paper – – and now, 6 months later, I’m finally making good on the promise.  Her gift wrap designs are inspired by the artwork of students with special needs and 5% of gross sales goes to WVSA, School for Arts in Learning.  I chose two designs, the reindeer and the trees with snow (pictured above).  I also ordered ribbon, but alas and alack, the ribbon is backordered, so Julie refunded me my ribbon money and put in two cards of bows for free.  They are made from recycled plastic bottles (they feel and look like satin).  I’ll have to make sure they go to someone who will reuse them.

Two 12 square foot sheets of wrapping paper aren’t going to meet my wrapping needs I’m afraid [CORRECTION – 2 sheets per package – so 4 sheets.]  Besides presents for my 2 children and husband there are 4 parents, 12 nieces and nephews, 3 sisters and brothers-in-law, a couple of adults on my husband’s side, assorted friends, and and me, don’t forget presents for me to wrap. To that end, when wandering through the town-wide garage sale this summer I picked up about 4 rolls of Christmas paper.  I think I paid about 50 cents.  But that’s not all!  I donate to a number of organizations that then spend some of that donation money on “gifts” to entice me to give more.  If I didn’t support their causes so much I’d balk more at the “gifts”.  But at this time of year I will admit to appreciating the gift of gift wrap.  This was a bonanza year for gift wrap too – – I believe that thus far I’ve been gifted with 17 sheets of wrapping paper.  Some of which is actually printed in soy ink on recycled paper. 

So, the good news is I will not be buying any new non-recycled wrapping paper this season.  That is not perfect of course… and what exactly would be perfect wrapping?  Wrapping in something totally reusable and useful I suppose – such as organic cotton, unbleached, naturally dyed pillow cases.  I’ll aim for that one next year.



  1. A friend of mine made fabric gift bags – much like pillowcases, but in Christmas fabric – back when her kids were very little. Here’s a pic from her blog: http://houseofhodgepodge.blogspot.com/search?q=christmas+bags

    She’s reused them for about a decade by now, I think.

    Cindy F.

    • I’m so slow – – but I finally checked out those bags – they are great!!! maybe next year I’ll do that after all!

  2. Some great suggestions- I’ll have to look for some of that recycled paper. I’ve been trying to replace paper gift bags with the reusable kind of shopping bags – when I see the decorative ones on sale for 99 cents I always try to pick up a few. Sometimes people look confused when I give them, but I always make a point of saying “you can re-use the bag!”

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