Some cities and organizations recycle wrapping paper or hold large collections each year. Check with your local recycler to see what’s accepted in your program.

Holiday Prep: Recycled Wrapping Paper


Ever feel like you spend just as much on wrapping paper as you do on the gifts? Ditch the wasteful paper that just gets balled up and tossed in the trash and make your own from items around the house. Try one of these eco-friendly alternatives to traditional, non-recyclable wrapping paper:

  • Newspaper - It’s super easy to find, cheap, and large, and you can make wrapping unique by using colorful comics or photos.
  • Magazines – Dazzle your gifts with these glossy magazine pages. Tape pages together to create sheets for larger presents.
  • Sheet music – Sheet music adds a whimsical facet to your gifts.
  • Calendars – Since you’re going to toss your old calendar anyways, why not use it to personalize a gift?
  • Maps – Customize your gift with your favorite countries.
  • Brown paper shopping bags and butcher paper – Not only is it recyclable, but this type of paper also lends itself to a fun craft for your kids. Use stamps with non-toxic ink or paint, or let the kids decorate with whatever their little green heart desires.
  • Tissue paper – Save tissue from other purchases, such as clothing, to wrap your gifts. You can even play on the sheer nature of tissue by wrapping your present in a dark color or pattern, then covering it with a lighter solid for an artistic, layered look.
  • Fabric - Fabric pieces or scraps can be used to make bows or ribbons to decorate your gift.

Written by Greenista Girl Brianne

Photos by Real Simple

If every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields!
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8 Responses to “Holiday Prep: Recycled Wrapping Paper”

  1. Dale Dillon Lips says:

    I love all of these ideas! You can really be creative and give the trees a second purpose!! I recycle all of my business papers by cutting in half and stapling to form booklets of scratch paper. That way both sides of the paper are used.

  2. Tweets that mention Greenista - green, trendy, and eco-conscious tidbits | Greenista -- says:

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Plan a candle making holiday party with the gals. Everyone can leave with their own personal party favors!

Thanksgiving Prep Week: DIY Soy Candles


Feeling crafty? Whip up these soy candles and drape your house in your favorite fall scents. Soy candles make great alternatives to traditional petroleum-based candles and they are super easy to make. Plus, they make totally chic gifts, too. Check out these simple DIY instructions for eco-friendly soy candles.

DIY Soy Candles

  • Soy wax, either blocks or flakes
  • Pyrex measuring cup - preferably 2 cup capacity
  • Cotton wick, readily available, use size suited to container
  • 1 ounce of fragrance oil, your choice
  • Wax dye to color candle, optional
  • Glass container – try a reusable jar like jelly or Mason jars.
  • Tape
  • Super glue

Melt 2 cups of soy flakes in a heavy-duty plastic bag placed in boiling water.  If using the microwave, watch the soy wax closely and stir it often as it begins to melt.

When the wax has melted, pour in the fragrance. Add 1 ounce of fragrance to 15 ounces of wax. Be sure that the fragrance is compatible with soy wax. Next add the dye of your choice.

Using super glue, stick the wick to the bottom of the glass container. Make sure the wick is long enough to drape over the side of the container. Tape the wick in place so it doesn’t fall into the hot wax.

Slowly pour in the melted wax into the jar. Pour in the wax slowly.  Fill the container to the desired level.

Trim the wick to 5 mm length above the top of the wax, and voila!

Written by Greenista Girl Brianne

Photos by KarenCheng

Soy candles last 50% longer than beeswax or paraffin and they give off a stronger scent, too.
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4 Responses to “Thanksgiving Prep Week: DIY Soy Candles”

  1. Tweets that mention Greenista - green, trendy, and eco-conscious tidbits | Greenista -- says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sardinella Sardine, Neha G. Neha G said: Feeling crafty? Try making these #DIY Soy Candles! [...]

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Next time you give an eco-friendly gift, share with your friend where you bought it, you just might get em’ to the greener side.

Confessions of an (Eco) Shopaholic: Bambeco


Imagine a place where you can shop for anything your little green heart desires … all under one (virtual) roof! Bambeco has just about everything you need to fulfill your duty to the environment and your inner shopaholic. Bambeco has it all from organic dog treats to bamboo napkin rings, as well as gifts for the kitchen, bed and bath, accessories and the list goes on. Need to find an eco-friendly birthday gift for dad, they’ve got that too. From a birthday to a wedding present, you can find just what you’re looking for without compromising the environment or your style. We love the Cameo Wine Carrier ($38) for those fall dinner parties. Ultra chic, it’s made from merino felt from natural wool with vegetable tanned leather details. If you’re having trouble narrowing a gift down for your pal, order a gift card and let them choose.

Written by Greenista Girl Brianne

Photos by Bambeco

Organic cotton and polyester are hypoallergenic, meaning they don't harbor the particles in the air that can make it hard to breathe. So grab a set of organic cotton tablecloths, we know just where you can find them … wink, wink.
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19 Responses to “Confessions of an (Eco) Shopaholic: Bambeco”

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  4. Tweets that mention Confessions of an (Eco) Shopaholic: Bambeco | Greenista -- says:

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Fashion Illustrations from Etsy

Neha Shivani

Buying locally is always better for the planet. You’ll cut back on shipping packaging and CO2 emission while supporting your local small biz. Hooray for you! Check out these awesome fashion illos we found on Etsy — one of our favorite sites. They are all under $30 and make great gifts. To find awesome drawings from local artists in your area go to Etsy, click Shop Locally, and search. Voila! You’ll have a very unique piece of art in no time.

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