Green Wrapping Solutions

Thursday December 17, 2015

Sustainable wrappingfb

This time of year is when we celebrate love and joy with family and friends, but many people forget about the most impactful family member – Mother Earth!  From wrapping paper and packaging to decorations, the holiday season is one of the largest contributors to the landfills.  We’ve put together some ideas on what you put under your tree (real or fake – it’s always a debate) and how to make all your gifts look beautiful and help reduce waste at the same time!

1. Be a kid again
Remember when you were younger and made stamps out of old potatoes?  Put that talent to good use and make holiday stamps!  Use the brown paper bag you received at CNF when you forgot your reusable bag (we’ve all done it at least once) and cut it to lay flat.  Then carve your potato stamp and stamp away!  Easy holiday symbol ideas include stars, snowflakes, trees, candy cane, gingerbread person.

2. Make a fashionable statement
How many times have you ruined a shirt because your turmeric powder spilt all over it? Reuse your old clothes by cutting them and make them into gift bags!  Use ribbon or yarn to tie the bag shut – either sew it right into the bag or overtop of the fabric.

Want to get even more creative, all while being sustainable?  Make a beet dye and tie dye the bags!  Both make exception dyes for food and for clothes.  Boil and simmer chopped beets in one pot, and your fabric in another pot (you want your pot to also include 1/4 vinegar and 3/4 water) for approximately one hour.  Drain the water mixture from the cloth, and remove (and eat) the boiled beets.  Let both components cool, and tie your fabric as you would with regular tie dye techniques!  Natural dyes can also be created with powders like beet or turmeric powders – just mix the powder with water and follow the same steps for prepping the fabric!

3. Keep up with current events
Save your newspapers to make them into gift wrapping – it’s easy, and low cost (or free if you grab a Metro)!

 4. Memories from 2015
Calendars have tons of personalities to them, and whether your monthly pages have sloths or office jokes on them, they make for a unique way to open gifts.  Thin pages can be used to wrap a small gift whereas the more sturdy pages can be used to make an envelope for paper gifts like gift certificates or tickets.

5. Glam it up!
Just because it’s sustainable, doesn’t mean it has to look dull.  Here are some ideas to decorate your gifts all while keeping them eco-friendly:
- Dress up your gifts by making bows out scrap paper, cloth, or twine. 
- Cut toilet paper rolls into 5 circles and press ends together to make an oval pedal, then glue ends together to make a recycled poinsettia! 
- Take a stroll in the park and collect fallen pinecones and twigs, but do not take them off the trees directly

6. Two in one
Use a scarf, newly purchased or a hand-me-down, and wrap your second gift in it!  Not only does this save paper and tape, but it also looks beautiful and cozy under the tree!

7. Stick to this
As difficult as it might sound, try to opt out of tape to secure your wrapping in place. Do this by making tight creases to your papers and secure with twine, ribbon or old cloth cut into strips.

8. Reduce and Reuse
Our CNF reusable bags are popular year round, so why not put your gift in a bag that they can reuse over and over! The CNF reusable cotton bags are $1.29 each or thermal reusable bags are $3.99 each.

9. Everyone loves a good mason jar
You can never have enough mason jars, but if you have one too many lying around then use them as gift containers! Cram clothing or small gifts in the jars and tie a bow around the lid and presto you’ve got yourself a reusable wrapping solution!

10. Buy recycled and local
If you just don’t have time to make your own wrapping or cards, fear not – CNF has that covered! For the holiday season, we are carrying Halfpenny Paper Shop wrapping paper that made up of 30% post consumer waste and handmade in Calgary using sustainable energy.  We also have a great selection of gift cards from local designers, Rabett.

11. No wrapping required
Of course the best gift of all is a quality time spent with loved ones – no wrapping necessary!