Green Your Gift Wrap
Nix the trees. Consider easing out of the gift wrap habit by switching to paper and fabrics made of recycled or rapidly renewable plant fibers. Go to nearseanaturals.com for ribbons made of discarded scraps of silk, cotton, and rayon at women's cooperatives.
Make it useful. Flower pots, jewelry boxes, and other containers can serve as both gift and packaging. Be sure to choose something your recipients will use: Giving up wrapping paper loses its virtue if you saddle friends with tacky baskets certain to hit the trash once you leave.
Go natural. When decorating gifts, think about skipping the Mylar and satin bows and head straight for the outdoors. Twigs, berries, and pine cones gathered in your yard or park can add local, biodegradable festivity to most wrap jobs.
Scavenge. Remember those wallpaper samples you brought home last summer? Or the end of a roll of contact paper you stashed away? Decorating scraps beg for reincarnation as hip gift wrap. If material was too loud or small for its intended application, it may be just right for one of this year’s gifts.
Fill ‘er up. Wrapping something fragile? Rather than wasting layer upon layer of tissue paper, nest breakable items in natural cushions like fir and pine branches, shredded paper from your home office or work, or in softer gifts (a scarf or mittens, for example).