Make gift-wrapping green

Now that you’ve finished your holiday shopping, it’s time to wrap everything. But before you start cutting and taping, think about all of the waste your gifts will generate. You know, that huge pile of wadded up paper you stuff into the garbage can every year?

Hey, you’re not alone. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates Americans increase their garbage output by 25 percent on average between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Gift wrap certainly contributes to the strains on our landfills. Worse yet, it’s typically made from virgin materials.

Consider some of the ways to cut down:

• Avoid purchasing shiny or sparkly paper. It probably contains foil and can’t be recycled.

• Scrap traditional paper wrap altogether by using cloth, dated maps and posters, or pages of the funnies. Leftover wallpaper and old pillow cases work well, too.

• Skip the Scotch tape and try Sellotape, a product made from biodegradable plant cellulose.

• Look for sustainable gift wrap, greeting cards and tissue made of hemp, flax or cotton fiber.

• Try placing a gift within a gift, such as cookies in a tin. Giving kitchen supplies? Try wrapping them with cloth napkins or dishcloths.

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