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TIPS & ADVICE

Wrap Presents with Recycled Paper

Cut down on waste, and save money.

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fish lips paper designs recycled holiday wrapping paper
Photo: Fish Lips Paper Designs

By Brian Clark Howard

This holiday season, cut down on waste and save resources by choosing recycled and alternative fiber paper for your gift-wrapping needs.

During the holidays, Americans will send nearly 2 billion cards and use more than 38,000 miles of ribbon. Then there's gift wrap. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's, the average American household increases its trash output by 25%, resulting in 5 million extra tons of garbage. According to the Carnegie Mellon Green Practices initiative, "If every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields."

So what to do? Instead of buying any old wrapping paper, pick up some made from recycled paper or alternative, tree-free fibers like hemp. You'll be surprised how beautiful new designs are. Options include offerings from Smith & Hawken, Paporganics, Of The Earth and Fish Lips Paper Designs.

Or, get a little crafty and repurpose what you have around the house. Wrap presents in old posters, magazine and newspaper pages or paper bags. Decorate those with your own colors and designs for a fun, personal touch. You can also use reusable cloth gift bags, now sold by companies such as Lucky Crow.

Also see 100+ green gift ideas and more green wrapping tips.

Related: 11 Ways to Save Trees ... Without Planting One


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