Holiday gift giving is big business in the U.S. and requires tons of paper gift wrap annually. According to earth911.com, nearly 50 percent of the country's total paper consumption per year is wrapping paper. That amounts to approximately 42 million tons of waste paper trashed annually. And the number is growing! Not only is gift wrap typically a one use commodity, it is often non-recyclable due to dyes, lamination and metallic or plastic additives. This adds up to rampant consumption of trees as well as considerable greenhouse gas emissions from the paper-making process. In terms of personal consumption, disposable gift wrapping and gift bags are expensive. If all Americans adopted reusable gift wrap for just a few of the gifts they give each year, this would translate into a significant savings in cost with a minimum of effort. (For ideas on what to fill your reusable gift wrap with, be sure to visit our eco-gift center!) The Anti-Waste Wrap Revolution Fortunately for U.S. forests and budget-conscious consumers, enterprising environmentalists offer fabulous reusable options in gift bags that preserve the mystery of gift giving while saving on paper usage. Here are 5 reasons why reusable gift wrap or multi-use gift bags are the way to go:

  1.  Easy to use–just bag the gift and go! No need to track down the scissors or tape, because the bag is a self-contained  package.
  2.  Durable fabric resists tearing and clean up easily
  3.  Organically grown fabrics available
  4.  Huge variety of sizes and colors
  5.  Easy to store when not in use

 

With all of the designer options currently available in fabric gift sacks, spending a bit more for multiple usage wrap makes good sense. In fact, giving a gift in a designer fabric bag is like giving two gifts in one, because the recipient will save the wrap and play it forward! Types of Reusable Gift Bags Our favorite is the Plantables Blooming Gift Wrap. This plantable holiday wrapping paper is embedded with 2,600 non-GMO flower seeds. After use, just place in the ground or large container and water. How neat is that? Each set includes one sheet that measures 20 inches wide by 8 feet long (enough to wrap three shirt boxes!) and three gift tags with planting instructions.

 

Plantable Wrapping Paper | Reusable Gift Wrap

 

 Blooming Plantable Gift Wrap Reusable gift wrap doesn't have to unattractive. Put presents in stylish Lilywrap, fabric gift bags that "flex to fit" or fun and funky reusable bags, like these from Blue Q. Reusable gift bags come in designs ranging from solid colors to prints and work well in all sorts of gift-giving situations, not just Christmas!

 

Lilywrap Stretchy Reusable Gift Wrap | Reusable Gift Wrap

 

Lilywrap Stretchy Reusable Gift Wrap

 

Lilywrap Stretchy Reusable Gift Wrap | Reusable Gift Wrap

 

Lilywrap Stretchy Reusable Gift Wrap

 

Blue Q Reusable Shopping Bags | Reusable Gift Wrap

 

Blue Q Reusable Bags Reusable gift bags are often made from natural cotton fabric that is sewn into a pouch shape with a drawstring closure.  For example Bag-all cotton reusable gift bags or Chewing the Cud organic cotton gift wrap. Those that have gusseted bottoms—enlarged with seaming that forms a squared-off shape—are designed to hold heavier or bulky objects. Some reusable fabric gift sacks are made from recycled fibers and some incorporate fibers grown without chemicals for enhanced environmental sustainability.

 

Bag-all Reusable Gift Bags | Reusable Gift Wrap

 

Bag-all Reusable Gift Bags

 

Chewing the Cud Organic Cotton Gift Wrap | Reusable Gift Wrap

Chewing the Cud Organic Cotton Gift Wrap              

 

No matter the gift, making use of reusable gift bags makes good sense in terms of budget and responsible consumerism. Pretty fabric bags last through several gift exchanges looking fresh and enticing while saving paper and reducing waste. Having a supply of reusable bags on hand in a variety of sizes and styles makes gift giving easier and more fun than ever before.