zero-ish waste holidays 2016- gift wrapping

Merry Christmas! I didn’t want to post anything with spoilers ahead of time, but still wanted to share some of my ZW Christmas gift wrapping. There just aren’t a lot of posts out there about this and I wanted to add to the conversation in case it’s helpful to someone later.

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I’ve always loved and admired beautifully wrapped gifts, but had never bothered to master the skill. This year, however, my gifts are wrapped up in such unique ways. Some of my wrapping this year includes: a roll of brown kraft paper I already had, tea towels a hand-dyed, a secondhand scarf (and one from my closet I’ll take back), advertisements from our local alternative press publication, Hannah’s doodles saved throughout the year, the cloth bags from a pair of curtain panels I’d purchased early in the year, a piece of tissue paper and a bow from gifts I’d received from friends earlier in the season, yarn as string, and upcycled cardboard gift tags. Several gifts remain unwrapped entirely because they are beautiful without wrapping.

My little Christmas elf was happy to paint some gift tags for me. I used a couple Christmas cookie cutters to trace onto an upcycled cardboard shipping box, and cut them out. She painted her little heart out, and once they dried I punched a hole and used some yarn to tie them to our gifts. They turned out so beautiful! Hannah also strung beads for bracelets for all her girl cousins and aunts, over the course of the last month or so. It’s a great activity to keep her busy at the kitchen counter while I work on dinner, and the results are so beautiful! I tied them to some of the gifts as well. I LOVE them.

I’ve NEVER had this much fun wrapping gifts (or shopping for them, really). Removing most of that over-consumption guilt was such a freeing experience. I didn’t step foot in a mall. That was like a Christmas gift for myself. To be honest, despite buying fewer gifts, our budget didn’t change much from last year, because we bought things of higher quality and not made in sweatshops. Those items will (and should) cost more. Besides buying less, we offset it with not buying wrapping papers, bows, tags, etc, or buying/sending Christmas cards this year (another carbon-footprint motivated decision).

Next year I hope to hit 100% with a sustainable Christmas, which means better planning for my husband (I did okish, but he’s quite difficult to buy for so I compromised my goals here a bit) and my mother-in-law and father-in-law (my husband took care of their gifts this year and they weren’t ZW). It will also mean no online shopping unless I know for certain their packing materials are plastic-free (I was disappointed with a couple of items that should have been otherwise ZW). I only bought a handful of things online though, so I could have easily avoided this. Next year I will!

I hope everyone has a lovely holiday!

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