Reflecting on the holidays that have just past I found myself feeling guilty for throwing away so many boxes, tissue and wrapping paper. Of course, I keep all the ribbons and bows and re-use them but let's face it, wrapping paper never really gets a second chance. If I think about the amount of waste that I have created then I can conclude that not everyone but the majority of those who partake in gift giving for the holidays are creating equal or more waste. That's a lot of paper, boxes, ribbon and bows that end up collecting in the trash. Of course some can be recycled but surprisingly, at least in Los Angeles, not everyone has recycling options where they live so they may not be able to get it in the blue bins and even those who do have recycling are not always commited to using it.
So, it was my beautiful friend's birthday the other day and I went to a local native crystal shop for her gift. I ended up finding this stunning handmade crystal quarts suncatcher with turquoise beads. It was put in a re-usable box and then in a paper bag, which I didn't want but was on crutches at the time and had no way to carry it otherwise. That got me thinking about just using the paper bag to wrap the box in and making a positive out of the negative of needing to take a bag that I didn't want. I simply just cut the sides open and used it like wrapping paper. If you have Trader Joe, Whole Foods or Sprouts paper bags you can use these to wrap larger gifts.
To add to it I used wool for the "bow" and created a pom pom.
And voilà, easy, unique and sustainable gift wrapping!