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Originally published December 6, 2010 at 7:37 PM | Page modified December 7, 2010 at 12:09 PM

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Wrap gifts with the planet in mind

Reuse whenever possible.

It may be tempting to buy rolls of cheap, shiny paper to wrap your gifts, but this easy option won't reflect the care you've put into choosing the gifts themselves — and it doesn't benefit the planet.

Reuse Paper and Cardboard

Gifts wrapped in reused paper can look stylish if you wrap them with care. Collect brown paper, out-of-date maps and atlases, old wall charts, calendars and unused rolls of wallpaper to build up a collection of instant Christmas wrapping. Pages from newspapers or magazines also make attractively wrapped gifts — use the sports section of a newspaper to wrap a gift for a sports fan, for example, or colorful comics to wrap gifts for children and teenagers. If your gift is an unusual shape, put it in a decorated or covered shoe box or shirt box, or use recycled paper sandwich bags decorated with dried leaves, pressed homegrown flowers or feathers.

Paper-Free Wrapping

A fun, quirky way to wrap a few of your favorite bulbs for an aspiring gardener is to place them inside one terra-cotta pot, place an identical upturned pot on top of it and decorate the joined rims with a length of trailing ivy. It's the ultimate in eco-friendly wrapping, as the bulbs can be planted in the pots, and then the pots recycled indefinitely. You could also use vintage fabric or old, unwanted garments to wrap gifts: a length of velvet, an old scarf, cloth napkin, handkerchief or dishtowel can all be transformed into stylish gift-wrap.

Waste-Paper Facts

If every American family wrapped just three presents in reused or repurposed materials, it has been estimated that enough paper would be saved to cover 45,000 football fields.

CourtesyDorlingKindersleyonhgtv.com

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