Optimal gift wrapping comes from renewable sources and does not contain toxic substances. Virgin forest fiber, bleach and heavy-metal inks need not be a part of gift giving. What are some of the better choices? One of the more optimal ways to wrap gifts is Furoshiki, a traditional Japanese technique of wrapping gifts using cloth. The appeal of this form of wrapping is that the cloth is reused for other purposes, see our previous post for more information on this optimal technique.
Another optimal way to wrap gift is by using tree-free or recycled paper. One company, Paporganics, makes a range of Hemp Wrap designs, which are printed with vegetable-based inks on sheets of hemp blend paper. The long fibers of hemp and flax add strength to the shorter recycled fibers. They even sell natural wrapping ribbon which is constructed with a water-based adhesive and colored with soy-based ink. The gift wrap is priced at $4.99 for 2 sheets per package (24″ x 36″).
Another type of optimal green wrapping paper is biodegradable Seed Gift Wrap. These handmade paper rolls are embedded with annual and perennial wildflower seeds. So you can plant the wrapping paper when you are done with it. Seeds include catchfly, english snapdragon, cornpoppy, black eyed susan. It’s made in Colorado. The price is $20 for 3 sheets (24″ L x 40″ W).
Another company that makes recycled gift wrap is Fish Lip Paper Designs. Their holiday gift wrap papers are designed and printed in the USA on 100% post-consumer recycled paper with soy-based inks. The price is $4 for individual 22″ x 33.75″ sheets (with a minimum order of $20). Also available from Green Field Paper (no minimum purchase).
What about gift bags? World of Good carries handmade gift bags that are constructed by family-trained artisans in Sanganer, Rajasthan, these gift bags are made of wood-free paper and recycled cotton waste. The only non-optimal aspect of these bags is fact that they are imported from India (the energy involved in transportation). They cost about $5 each.
What about the tape you use to stick you optimal gift wrap together? One optimal alternative is to use cellulose tape, which is a transparent adhesive tape that happens to be biodegradable too. It is difficult to find, especially in the US. Almost all transparent tape sold here is made of acetate. One store, Green Earth Office does offer it. Brands such as Sellotape are available in the UK. Sellotape is made from wood pulp that comes from suppliers with extensive reforestation programs.
We hope this survey will help make your gift wrapping more optimal. Happy holidays.