I try to lead a mindful and sustainable life as much as possible.
I love to participate in holiday festivities as long as I can feel good about not adding to mindless consumerism (re: black friday and the tradition of buying cheaply made things that will soon be tossed out or otherwise not used) and other 'wasteful' traditions. I enjoy Christmas trees and other lovely plant related holiday decor, but this year (being the first Christmas in our new apartment) we have decided to forgo getting a cut tree in order to not contribute to the not-so-sustainable Christmas tree industry as Elizabeth from The Note Passer has written more about here.
When it comes to cookies - I have a serious sweet tooth and am the first to admit I am more than willing to indulge, but would prefer to bake with whole food ingredients and leave out the processed stuff. This year I've adapted my grandmother's famous thumbprint cookie recipe to use more whole food ingredients (well, as much as you can with cookies) - replacing shortening with organic butter and granulated sugar with biodynamic cane sugar, and using a locally made jam for the filling. They turned out super tasty!!
When gift giving occasions come around, I like to give loved ones handmade items, used books, consumables, and items purchased from local artists. I've been lucky enough to meet lots of talented makers this season at various holiday markets and picked up some of their work as gifts for friends and family.
In the past I've used recycled kraft paper and upcycled newspaper tied with yarn for gifting - this is really fun and another sustainable option for gift wrapping. This year I thought I'd try something new. I've acquired MANY reusable bags over the years - realistically more than I'll ever need. I thought it would be fun to wrap holiday gifts in reusable bags in the spirit of minimizing what I don't need and creating a zero waste gift wrap!
Here is how you can create your own reusable tote gift wrap -
Step One - Choose a tote bag and your gift. This is easier when both items are rectangular, so if you have other shaped gifts/bags you'll have to adapt the steps a bit to make it work.
Step Two - Place the item flat in the bottom of the bag, perpendicular to the side seams.
Step Three - Fold one side of the bag over the item and tuck in the pointed bottom corners.
Step Four - Tuck in all the sides to make sure the bag is lying flat. This takes a little bit of finagling to get it looking *pretty*
Step Five - Loosely knot the straps together and smooth the bag so everything remains lying as flat as possible.
Step Six - Pull the straps around to the front on each side and knot them together neatly.
Step Seven - Knot the straps together once more so you have a double knot in front of the package. Do any adjusting of the bag to make sure everything is tucked in and smoothed out.
And you're done! Enjoy your zero waste gift wrap :)