A Holiday Reminder About “All That Glitters”

Over the holidays this year, whether it’s Hanukah, Kwanza, New Year’s, or Christmas, I want you to think about something. You know that phrase “all that glitters is not gold”?

  Most people chalk it up to mean that something can be fake or an imitation of real treasure. Like all phrases, it can be taken different ways, however. One interpretation could be that the best idea isn’t always the flashiest, for instance.

 Every holiday season you go to the store and buy the perfect presents for everyone on your wish list (hopefully environmentally friendly ones, hint hint). When you hit the gift wrapping section, you usually buy brand new paper goods to wrap all of your gifts in. Only the most stylish and glitziest choices will do. But what I’m about to tell you will give you an edge on the other gift-givers out there. Yes it is the thought that counts, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. What I’m trying to tell you is that this year, it’s the craft that counts.

This December, while you’re in search of the latest wrapping trends, try to keep the environment in mind. Nothing’s wrong with green! For example, some recycled newspaper as wrapping, with some brightly-colored ribbon is the latest gift-wrapping trend. Some more ideas: how about using a shoebox instead of going out and buying a brand new box? Also, a little reusable tulle goes a long way in place of tissue paper. I actually prefer opening presents decked with tulle. Or maybe you have some really nice yarn and fabric lying around? Even using an old (but clean) handkerchief or scarf is an idea worth considering, and who wouldn’t want to get a cool new scarf along with their present?

Don’t be afraid to try your hand at decoration and get crafty! Not only will these ideas save you money, they’ll also prevent trees from being cut down and fossil fuels from being used during production, shipping and handling. You’re being fashionable and environmentally friendly. Which is the bonus? You decide.

Design-wise the result is charming, not to mention thought-provoking. In that stack of gifts yours will stand out as the most thoughtfully wrapped, leaving the other guests to wonder why they didn’t think of that. Creatively wrapping your gifts also gets you thinking, and gives you a chance to get your creative juices flowing! If you’re not feeling too creative, go ahead and hit pinterest.com and look for some environmentally friendly gift wrapping ideas. Not everyone is blessed with abundant opportunity to use that right side of the brain (why not let that be your excuse?).

Finally, I offer this  last truth about gift wrapping. After the gift is opened, the wrapping is usually -gasp- thrown in the trash. This should offer enough incentive to use the most environmentally friendly option possible, or to endeavor to eliminate trash altogether! If you need another hint, they probably won’t even remember the way the gift was wrapped when they use your gift in the future. This is not to say that the wrapping shouldn’t look nice; after all, presentation is important.

So while you’re wandering the aisles of your favorite stores this holiday season, remember the saying: “all that glitters is not gold”. A gift wrapped with brand new glossy red paper is nice, but you can also make your wrapping paper stand out by going “green” this year instead.