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Wrapping Paper Don’ts… December 12, 2008

Filed under: Environmental Wellness,Physical Wellness — aprasek @ 6:58 pm


1. Don’t burn it.

That toasty holiday fire doesn’t need a dose of toxic fumes. Wrapping paper can be full of chemical dyes, foils and other materials that can create harmful fumes when burned (like dioxin). Just put the used wrapping paper in the recycling  or use it again on another gift (FYI, you can easily recycle if it is an all-paper wrap, if it has foil in it then you might have to take it to a special recycling center). Better yet, see suggestion #2…   


2. Don’t use it.

The EPA reported that wrapping paper is a main culprit for the 25% increase in curbside trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That’s 5 million extra tons of garbage in the U.S. alone.

But, who doesn’t love the experience of tearing into a wrapped gift and finding some kind of treasure inside? Not to worry, there are ways to experience the tearing open of a gift while still being conscious of the earth.


Check out these ideas from Gaiam.


The main idea is to be creative and bring a personal touch to the wrapping of the gift. If the person is a self-described comedian, wrap their gift in the comics section and use your old Whoopie cushion as a bow. If your friend is an animal or nature lover, use the pictures from an old calendar to wrap with. Or, take that old pre-algebra textbook you’ve been hanging onto “just in case”, tear the pages out and wrap with that (and challenge the gift recipient to finish the equations). Whatever you use, be sure to encourage the person to reuse the wrap or recycle it after they’ve torn it open.

If you have some other fun wrapping ideas please share them here 🙂


5 Responses to “Wrapping Paper Don’ts…”

  1. kate Says:

    Great ideas! I always “wrap” my gifts in fair-trade baskets from Ten Thousand Villages (http://www.tenthousandvillages.com) which end up being part of the gift.

  2. Aimee Says:

    Kate, what a fabulous idea! Gotta love Ten Thousand Villages, they have the best jewelry, baskets, etc. They also have some beautiful scarves that could be used to “wrap” 🙂

  3. Jane Says:

    Love the basket idea and the old math book idea! I’m gonna tear up my pre-calc book from back in the day and wrap all my stocking stuffers in that! Thanks for bringing this issue up and posting about it.

  4. Melissa Says:

    Save the bags…I can’t remember the last time I had to buy a gift bag for anyone. I save all of the nice ones I receive and re-use them. I’ll have to check out ten thousand villages though – sounds cool.

  5. Aimee Says:

    Great idea Melissa! I also just saw the most wonderful little basket made of cloves and cinnamon sticks at Whole Foods. It would make a great gift holder and then could be used in a bedroom/bathroom for scent and to hold items.

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