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eco-friendly and green gift wrapping


According to the Clean Air Council, disposable wrapping paper and gift bags create nearly 4 million additional tons of garbage in the U.S. during the holiday season alone. Makes me feel dirty just thinking about it. So, how do we wrap responsibly?

The best way to keep things green and simple also happens to be thrifty: simply DIY … work with materials you already have around the house. I’m not kidding – I’ve been doing this for years, and I sometimes pull things from the recycle bin in order to re-use it as wrap.

  • Glass jars. Jewelry boxes. Tins.
  • Newspaper, magazines, comics, outdated road or subway maps, children’s artwork, brown paper bags, spare wall-paper, and pretty/ heavy stock store-provided shopping bags all can be reused, cut-up and transformed into great gift wrap.
  • Extra large items can be wrapped in household linens: tablecloths, sheets, tea towels, bath towels, curtains, scarves and shawls, or extra fabric from your last sewing project.
  • Reusable cloth bags. Just tie the handles together with some found ribbon or yarn.
  • For the finishing touch on packages – forget the bows. Think outside the box and step outside your home: pretty pine cones in the yard, small branches with sweet colored berries, acorns and touches of greenery.
  • A mini-ornament, spare buttons or lonely single earring can adorn a package and add a little sparkle.



For pretty and reusable fabric wrap – step away from the tape and scissors – instead, try:

  • BOBO Wrap (photo at top of post; made in the USA; inspired by the ancient Korean tradition of wrapping with fabric, Bojagi)
  • holiday prints fabric gift wraps (photo: fabric with white ribbon, just above)
  • felt envelopes for cds, books, dvds & photo frames (photo above: felt envelopes with hearts)


For whatever reason, if you’re compelled to opt for shiny new wrapping paper make sure it’s made from recycled material … we like:, where everything is 50% off right now, (photo just above).


above (via Martha If you need to give packages a little extra cushioning – forgo the extra tissue and Styrofoam – use natural materials like real peanuts, popcorn and evergreen.

Now that the gifts have been gathered, be sure to relax a little. Put on some tunes, have a sip of wine … start wrapping presents in novel, pretty, eco-conscious ways. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes in the gift-unwrapping experience. Imagine looking around the room once all the gifts have been opened and suddenly realizing how clean it is. No waste and discarded material headed for the landfills. It reminds me of how good it feels to shop with reusable bags at the grocery store … no crappy plastic bags to contend with after unpacking groceries. cheers!

Related: gift wrap the eco way – Furoshiki

Alternative Consumer featured in USA Today Guide to Green Living

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Monday, December 19, 2011

bike drink holder – nifty accessory


Great little stocking stuffer … Now I know what to get my biking, boarding, kayaking, camping loving niece … the Joe-2-Go by Origin8 … attaches via screw to the handlebars and you’re good to pedal, sip and go. No more messy spills. Bronze colored aluminum. Comes in 2 sizes – see below; $13 @

Standard size fits most standards cups – inside diameter tapers from 78mm to 75mm.
XL size fits larger cups – inside diameter tapers from 83mm to 78mm.
Made of durable 6061-T aluminum alloy, with a 25.4mm (1-inch) clamp to fit most common handlebars.

suggestion: measure your reusable drink cup before purchasing.

Related: more outdoor gear on The Alternative Consumer.

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FREE Vickerey $50 gift card + more great deals


Santa’s on his way and he’ll be on time if you hook-up now at fine etailer, Vickerey:

  • Enter our Giveaway for your chance to win a FREE $50 Vickerey Gift Card, (enter by 11:59p Wednesday, Dec 21)
  • Shop for him, her or your home with their Gift Guides … (ladies, you’ll love their organic cotton & Lycra Leda pants)
  • If you buy any Prana item and your total purchase is at least $100, you’ll receive a free Beanie (retail value, $26) when you enter code FREEHAT at checkout
  • Order by 2p Tuesday, Dec 20 and for a flat rate of $9.95 delivery by Christmas is guaranteed.

Related: more green gift ideas from The Alternative Consumer.

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monday’s mixed bag of green news


Related: more green news on The Alternative Consumer.

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grove bamboo ipad, iphone and macbook cases made in the USA


For the apple of your eye … iPad, iPhone and Macbook cases, skins and covers made of easily renewable, 100% Moso bamboo. Beautifully handcrafted and finished in Portland, Oregon. Order a custom design … details and purchase @


Related: more green gadgets on The Alternative Consumer.

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