The gift wrap waste reduction project of 2009

Though I love and appreciate all that goes into making a gift look beautiful, as the years go by my desire to spend the time wrapping and the ability to turn the other cheek on the huge amount of waste generated from gift wrapping has decreased sharply.

Two years ago I suggested to my mom that making reusable fabric gift bags for my son’s montessori schools annual holiday craft and bake sale would be a good idea. It was a good idea and many people(including me) purchased reusable gift bags. Again this year she made bags for the sale. I am happy to say that over half of our presents were in reusable gift bags this year. The gifts wrapped so quickly it hardly seemed fair that my gifts were wrapped. Thanks mom!

Sorry for the iphone pics. I didn’t feel like going upstairs at the time I was wrapping and I wanted to snap a few before I forgot and

The rest of our gifts were wrapped in Nora’s artwork. The easel in our dining room had been seeing quite a workout in the months leading up to the holidays and though Nora produced many paintings that we saved as examples of her work, the volume was simply too much to file away for posterity. One evening I picked up a pile of paintings headed for the trash and wished there was something more I could do with them…and it hit me – wrapping paper. Sure it would still end up in the garbage, but it was already on its way and it could have one more life before its trip to the landfill. My husband pointed out that we’d need the 2 year olds buy in, but I let her help wrap the first present and she was hooked and proud of her contribution. We also cut gift tags out of the stack of watercolor paintings laying around in the dining room.