Well, it’s this time of year again, where we waste an EXTREME amount of paper wrappings, packaging and cards!
To be honest I’m not that keen on sending Xmas cards – I think it’s a terrible waste of paper, especially giving them to people I see frequently anyway… but since people tend to get snarky if you don’t send them, I’ve decided that to help reduce paper waste and do one of 2 things….
Recycled paper/reusable cards
Collect some used white paper through the year (school notices, advertising letters etc.) and make some recycled paper from it (you can use newspaper, but it will be more grey) and make those into cards… Sew some scrap Xmas print fabric onto the front (try to use cotton thread if you can) to make it Xmassy….. Being no glue, and only fabric, thread and paper, the card would be compostable. You can make reusable cards, by cutting a piece of paper for the inside (where you write stuff) – you could cut a section off an already used piece of paper! – punch holes in the card (maybe reinforce them with an eyelet if you plan to reuse the cards) and the piece of paper in the same spot and attach that to the card with ribbon. You could make an even more reusable version by using plastic or one of those pieces of laminated card, so it can be written on with permanent texta/whiteboard marker, then rubbed off (metho) and can be reused again the following year!
I might even have a go at making a few fabric cards with the same sort of idea as above… so the card itself is fabric…. even more reusable (although it’s then not reusing something like recycled paper would)..
But I suppose reusable cards are only useful for people you’ll see again after Xmas (so you can get the cards back to reuse), or ones who would use it again… or else they would be binned….
Another plan is to keep the Xmas cards received, then next Xmas, cut the front off (which normally has no writing on the back), and use it like a post card to give again. If you cut the card up as you’re sending them, you can avoid sending the same card back to the person who sent it to you 😉
Reusable gift tags
You probably give gifts to the same people each year (or mostly to them), so rather than having a new tag or sticker each year, you could make reusable ones to go with some reusable wrap. Just ask for the tags back to use again. There are heaps of ways you could make these (google for inspiration)… some people make them from felt with glitter pen or embroidered names…. you could use the type of cloth people make chalkboards out of and write it on with chalk. If you’re a scrapbooking fan you can use that sort of idea to make gorgeous tags!
While I’d love to make cute embroidered ones, or artsy scrapbooking type ones I can’t be bothered, so I made some in a word processor, cut them out and laminated them (since I have a laminator). Simple, but do the trick. I’ve uploaded the template so you’re welcome to take them and use them too if you like.
I used a free clipart santa (I can’t remember where I got it from, because I only planned to make these for myself) … you could replace the image to have different ones. There are 2 versions – blank ones (you could write with whiteboard marker on laminated tags) and one with names. For the named ones, you just change the “name” with the actual name…I used the Calamity Jane NF font, which you’ll need to install if you don’t have that font yourself (or just change the font to something you do have).
Reusable Gift Wrap
The biggest waste is wrapping paper. While it can at least be recycled, it’s still incredibly wasteful…. but seeing packaged of lovely colourfully wrapped presents is important too… so, use reusable wrap!
I blogged about this last year, with a tutorial on how to make your own…