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Wrap It Up Green!

Happy holidays, gum chews! As you know, there are many great things about the season of giving– especially the gifts. But there are some not-so-great things, too– like, what happens to all that discarded wrapping paper? Our pals at Celebrate Green have a swell solution to that problem. In this guest post, they highlight an elegant, eco-friendly alternative. Follow their tips, and your gifts will be sittin’ pretty in no time!

bobo Did you know that if every American wrapped just three gifts in something other than virgin paper, we would save 47,000 football fields of paper every year? Unbelievable, but true.

So how to wrap pretty packages without paper? Switch to fabric.

Whatever look you prefer can be created with fabric– from super sophisticated to down-home cozy. And there are other bonuses from using this material instead of paper:

  • Depending on what you use (a silk scarf, for instance), when you wrap with fabric, you’re giving a gift within a gift.
  • Fabric-wrapped packages don’t require tape or scissors. For that matter, they don’t need ribbon either.
  • Your recipient can keep the fabric to use (in the case of a scarf or handkerchief, for example), or pass it on.
  • Fabric wraps have a very long life.

And one more thing: wrapping with fabric is fun! It’s easy to learn the many techniques for wrapping anything, from a piece of jewelry to a bottle of wine or even a basketball! Celebrate Green’s instruction page illustrates more than a dozen wrapping techniques.

The least expensive way to go is to use what you already have, either as is (in the case of a silk scarf), or by cutting up sheets (decorate them if you like), remnants, or even a piece of clothing into a square of the appropriate size for the gift.

You can cut squares with pinking shears; sew two pieces of cloth wrong sides together, then turn right side out and iron flat; or fold over edges and sew by hand or machine.

Or, if you’re not the DIY type, you can puchase beautiful pre-made wrapping cloths or fabric bags. Here are two wrapping cloths that are pretty and easy to work with:


In addition to wraps, you’ll find lots of choices in fabric bags. While you’ll miss out on the fun of perfecting your wrapping techniques, these bags make quick work of getting those gifts good-to-go.

Just a few examples:


Using fabric instead of paper to is easy, affordable and Earth-friendly. Time to get wrappin’!

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and co-authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Familyavailable at

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