Q - Can you put gift wrap paper and ribbons in your recycle bin?

A – Wrapping paper that has non-paper additives such as foiled or glitter accents, gloss or metallic coatings or has remnants of tape cannot be recycled in conventional recycling programs. You would need to check with your local recycling coordinator to see if they have any gift wrap collection programs during the holidays. If not reusing is always the best solution.

Q - I heard that if I buy treeless wrapping paper that is made from grass or banana leaves for example is better for our environment?

A – Treeless paper is still using new resources which do not reduce waste. Paper containing recycled content means that the materials have already been grown and processed which reduces waste and is better for our environment.

Q - Can wrapping paper be burned in a fireplace?

A – Not a good idea. Since wrapping paper burns very quickly it reaches a higher burning temperature than a log or a branch which could result in a chimney fire. Also the dyes and coatings on wrapping paper release toxic chemicals into the air when they are burned.

In the past, it was considered in bad taste to reuse gift wrapping but now that our environmental awareness has changed, reusing gift-wrap and other recycled materials for wrapping gifts has become the stylish thing to do.

With every gift you give or receive, give a gift to our planet by reducing waste and reusing gift wrapping materials. When shopping for gift-wrap, always look for paper containing recycled content. Save all wrapping paper, tissue, ribbons, gift bags and boxes. Not only will you save money, but you will also be contributing to save our planet Earth.

Here are some of my ideas and projects that can be created by reusing gift wrapping supplies and reducing the amount of new gift wrap materials used during the holidays. I will be continuing to update these projects so check back often.

Refresh crumpled gift wrap or ribbon

  • Wrapping paper can be lightly ironed on the lowest setting on wrong side of the paper to eliminate wrinkles. Do not iron over tape or paper that has glitter or plastic embellishments.

  • Curling ribbon can be re-curled using the edge of scissors to remove creases or kinks caused by being tied or crushed.

  • Smooth out wrapping paper and ribbon and wind the pieces around a leftover wrapping paper or paper towel tubes for easy storage and to keep it from creasing.

Create unique and beautiful gift wrap and boxes
  • Wrap a gift in double layered tissue paper that has been crumpled into a ball and smoothed out so it has a uniform wrinkled look. Use small pieces of reused or leftover paper and ribbon to create ornament shapes to embellish the top of the gift. Click the picture for instructions on how to create this design.

  • Use brown paper shopping bags accented with recycled paper raffia and natural elements such as pinecones, cinnamon sticks and evergreen stems to create a beautiful and economical gift wrap design. Click the picture for instructions on how to create this design.

  • Use multiple colors of leftover ribbon to create a colorful display. Click the picture for instructions on how to create this design.

  • Layer different colors of reused wrapping paper or tissue to create dimension.

Reuse for a variety of household uses

  • Small pieces, torn paper and shopping bags can be shredded and used instead of peanuts as for packing boxes or as a decorative filler for the inside of gifts or gift bags.

  • Reuse tissue or wrapping paper to wrap fragile items such as ornaments or crystal.

  • Cut wrapping paper into notepad sized pieces and use the back for scratch paper and grocery lists.

  • Crumple the paper and use the back to eliminate streaks and smudges on windows and mirrors.

Make creative art supplies for your kids

  • Cut wrapping paper and pictures from cards into fun shapes for kid’s art projects and collages.

  • Use the back of wrapping paper as drawing paper for kids and fold the ends in on all side to create a decorative border.

Create distinctive scrapbooks and cards
  • Reusing wrapping paper as the decorative background for scrapbooks.

  • Small pieces of wrapping paper and ribbon can be used embellish the front of a plain card for a personalized touch.

Create decorative keepsake and storage boxes
  • Sturdy boxes can be covered with reused gift wrap and ribbon to create decorative keepsake and storage boxes.

  • Be kind to our planet and reduce waste by reusing gift wrapping supplies. Support reusing gift wrap materials by including a Green Gift Receipt with every gift you give.

Holiday recycling Links



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