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Wrapping paper.

It is pretty, costs several dollars a roll, and is ripped to pieces  as soon as the gift recipient gets their hands on the gift.

However, the way we present a gift or an item for sale gives extra value to that item. Which is a key factor in creating a bond between person and their ‘stuff’ that lasts longer than the consumption of the average fast food hamburger. So moving toward a sustainable future in our current economy, creative eco friendly packaging and marketing is vitally important in giving consumers a ‘feel good’ moment with their product that creates a lasting bond without the need to move to a less eco or ethical item to get their ‘special packaging’ fix.

For those of you who aren’t quite sure what I am talking about think back to the last expensive item you purchased.

How did it come wrapped?

Was it packaged in a beautiful box with lots of instructions as to why it was so important?

Hopefully it was.

I have had some bad experiences working in the jewellery industry with (rightfully) disgruntled customers who have purchased when packaging supplies have been low and ended up with a rather lack lustre gift box for their ten thousand dollar diamond ring purchase. When we buy something of quality we cherish it more if it was presented to us in a unique, special and/or careful way. Imagine how you would feel about your four hundred dollar electricity bill if it came in a beautiful box lined with tissue paper. It would suddenly feel more ‘exclusive’ or worth the expense (never mind the fact you use it every day to read, cook, clean, blog and exist). Packaging is part and parcel (pun intended) of the buying experience.

It is also part of the Christmas gift giving experience.

Wrapping presents need not be a wasteful or costly operation.

Gift wrapping is conducted primarily for three reasons; so gifts become part of the Christmas decor of the home, to hide to contents of the parcel until Christmas day, and/or to add to the excitement and mystery of the gift giving process. You can see from this list there is no mention of ‘adding to landfill’, and that’s because gift wrapping doesn’t need to be wasteful. The presents wrapped in the photos above were done so using recycled and up cycled materials, and by using twine, ribbon, or in my case bits of rope from a kayak, you don’t even need sticky tape to keep the gifts inside secret. Meaning that the fabric and paper can be used again by the gift recipient.

The calico wrapped gift uses one sheet of calico, a fabric tie that came on a birthday gift from my sister, and an old fast food cup and toilet paper core to make a gift tag. ‘Lovely lady legs’ yellow gift was wrapped using a poster from Frankie magazine (with no sticky-tape so it can be used again by the recipient) bit of trimmed off cable from the Christmas Kayaks we purchased, some strings from the Vege Threads basics I bought in the last couple of months, and a bauble tag made from an old fast food soft drink cup. Finally, the gift that was already under my tree is wrapped in tissue paper used to wrap sneakers in a shoe box, and the old Kikki K Christmas shopping bag I made into tree decorations last year.

By wrapping your gifts in thoughtful upcycled or recycled items you can start a conversation with the gift recipient about way you have avoided sending these items to landfill and/or creating more waste with your gift wrap. These opportunities are a great way to ‘talk eco’ with loved ones and friends without sounding like the nagging environmentalist (check out yesterdays post for details).

Starting the eco gifting conversation can inspire others to rethink their gift wrapping choices in the future and by doing so we can create a better world one little step at a time.

Share your favourite gift wrapping techniques with us below.

We love it.

Ps. Posts will be running over the next few days but I will be away camping *squee*. Please don’t be offended if you don’t get a reply, I’m not being purposely rude I promise. 🙂