Editor's Note: The following was submitted by Arc's Value Village.
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%.
Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons – it all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. (EPA and Use Less Stuff). In the U.S., annual trash from gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons. (Use Less Stuff). Half of the paper America consumes is used to wrap and decorate consumer products. (The Recycler’s Handbook).
With just a little effort, we could decrease what ends up in the landfill significantly, save the energy and natural resources that was taken to produce it all AND save money at the same time.
Here’s an illustration of how a little effort can make a major impact: if every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet!
When selecting a container, there are many waste-free or low-waste options. Some you may already have at home. A good selection at inexpensive products can be found at the Arc’s Value Village Thrift Store in Richfield on 66th and Penn. In fact, all of the Merry Thriftmas items will be reduced 50% from December 15-22.
Here are many ideas, some with photo illustrations:
Textiles: Christmas stockings, graphic t-shirts, Sweaters (Photo 1), pieces of fabric, scarves (Photo 2), cloth ribbon, tablecloths, towels, or handkerchiefs, fabric bags (Photo 3)
Hard sided containers: popcorn or cookie tins (Photo 4), hat boxes (Photo 5), jars of any size lined with a piece of paper to conceal the contents, jewelry boxes, colanders, stock pots, laundry hampers, baskets, crates, small pieces of furniture or luggage, plastic storage bins, cake pans, pails, tackle boxes or fancy gift boxes.
Papers: Hollywood boxes (Photo 6 – Often used on TV or in the movies – the top and bottom of the box are wrapped individually so you can reuse it many times), album sleeves (Photo 7), previously used wrapping paper, old maps, the comic section of the newspaper, a cool paper bag (love the bags from Paper Source), holiday shopping totes, sheet music (Photo 8) or kids art pieced together.
Gift Tags and Embellishments: old holiday greeting cards (cut the cover off the card and use the back for your greeting), ornaments, photos or Christmas bulbs (Photo 9), and brooches are all great ways to add a gift tag or embellishment to your gift.
No container at all: hide all the unwrapped presents and then give clues to their discovery.
Please visit the Arc’s Value Village Pinterest site for additional ideas and photos http://pinterest.com/arcvaluevillage/gift-wrap-repurpose-reuse/