Alternative offered to excess holiday paper use

SOLANA BEACH — You have your holiday gift list. You’ve checked it twice. You found the bargains as the shopping season begins. But how will you wrap all those presents with environmentally friendly options to paper gift-wrap? Some gift-givers are covering presents using the comics section of the newspaper, canvas tote bags, old T-shirts, colorful magazine pages, fun fabrics, Japanese Furoshiki wrapping cloths, fanciful pillowcases, and even recycled paper gift wrap from holidays past. The rapidly growing trend, however, is switching from one-use paper gift-wrap to reusable fabric gift bags.
A new and easy way for consumers to transition away from antiquated single-use paper wrap to green alternatives is with reusable fabric gift bags from emerging companies such as Gratitude Gift Bags.
“This new trend in cloth wrapping is the ultimate gift: to the Earth,” said Solana Beach resident and Gratitude Gift Bags owner, Barbara Nelson.
GratitudeGiftBags.com, an online business based in Solana Beach, offers consumers a bright and easy alternative. This company sells fabric bags made in the United States, in a multitude of stylish patterns and sizes. The fabric gift bags are quicker to use than paper, saving time and eliminating the need for scissors, tape, tissue and ribbon.
Gratitude Gift Bags was conceived in part as a tribute to the ideals of Marilyn, the late sister-in-law of the company’s owner. For more than 20 years, Marilyn created her own unique fabric bags and gave them as presents to her friends and family. Founded in 2009, Nelson wanted to build on her sister-in-law’s legacy. For more information, visit www.gratitudegiftbags.com.
As consumers make their annual gift-wrap purchases, Nelson suggests they consider the environmental impact of paper wrapping. Most paper gift-wrap ends up in landfills. Studies show that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s output of trash increases by a 25 percent. Each year an extra 4 million tons of trash goes into the landfill from paper gift-wrap.
“If every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields,” according to a Carnegie Mellon Green Practices Initiative report.
Most gift-givers don’t think about the numerous square miles of trees eliminated; the massive use of water and chemicals during the processing of the pulp; the energy wasting heating, drying, flattening process; followed by even more chemicals applied to dye, flock, or print patterns onto the fragile paper.
After the unnecessary deforestation, wasted energy and processing in toxic chemicals, what our communities end up with each holiday season is billions of pounds of one use gift wrap that will be ripped off in a holiday morning frenzy, thrown in the trash, and headed for the landfills. Emerging innovative companies such as GratitudeGiftBags.com provide compelling new options.

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