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Green Tip Tuesday – Shop Local and Wrap Green for the Holidays!

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving!  It’s the holiday that’s become almost as famous for deal-scoring shopping as it is for turkey, so I’ll bet many of you have already gotten a jump on your Christmas gift shopping.  Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there’s been a recent push for Small Business Saturday, which is a great trend!  If you go one step further and look for local small businesses to buy your holiday gifts from, you are also supporting your local economy.  Every dollar you spend with a small, locally-owned and operated company, averages more than $0.80 that remains in circulation withing your community, versus less than $0.10 when you shop the big box stores.  Depend on getting great customer service from small businesses also, because every single sale makes a difference to them!

Once you have all the boxes and bags hidden away, it’s time to start thinking about wrapping!  Personally, I’m one of those people who likes to give gifts that are at least as stunning unopened as they are opened, but yards and yards of single use wrapping paper and plastic-y ribbon makes for one very full post-holiday trash can that gets carted to the dump and buried.  There is nothing festive or pretty about that!  

So what are the alternatives?  Reusable holiday gift bags are just about the easiest sewing project you can do, for anyone who has access to a sewing machine, and you can make them in all sizes.  For non-sewers, look here.  Making gift bags out of newspaper is another quick project that is sure to impress.  Even gift tags can be reusable!

Want to present something a little more special, where there is actual unwrapping instead of just untying a ribbon?  The Japanese have elevated gift wrapping to an art, called Furoshiki, which uses large squares of fabric, printed or plain, no sewing required.  For smaller items, I simply wrap them up in tissue paper and tie with a pretty ribbon–this works especially well with soft (clothing) items, or unusually shaped gifts.  The key is to use as many reusable gift wrapping items as possible, even those that are marketed as “disposable” can generally be reused several times before needing to be disposed of.  Then when you pack up all of your holiday decor, ornaments and stockings, add your reusable holiday gift wrapping to the bins to store until next year.  Sometimes it’s easy being green!

About the author:  Laura currently works as a domestic goddess, raising one son, a handful of chickens, an ever expanding garden, and selling handmade crafts and beauty items, locally and online. She is passionate about real food, food rights, composting, non-toxic living, and learning lost arts, such as baking, soapmaking, and spinning.  She likes to spend her free time crocheting, reading, or entertaining friends–with food 🙂  She is prone to obsessing over new interests, and is appreciative of her understanding (and handy!) husband.

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