Every time I’m at a birthday party I can’t help but notice the mounds of discarded wrapping paper littering the ground after the presents have been opened. It takes me a while to wrap a present as I’m not very good at it, but I’m always amazed at how quickly that paper is ripped off and tossed to the side. What a waste.
The problem with wrapping paper
“Wrapping paper and shopping bags alone account for about 4 million tons of trash annually in the U.S,” according to Earth911.com. Seeing it as a simple way to make a big impact, I’ve recently started to move away from traditional wrapping paper and now focus on using eco-friendly wrapping paper alternatives.
When I was contacted by VZWraps, the makers of fabric gift bags, to review some of their reusable gift bags I was very excited. They generously sent me a pack of 4 gift bags (pictured above).
VZWraps fabric gift bags are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional wrapping paper, paper that often can’t be recycled because it is dyed or laminated, contains non-paper additives, or is too thin to have good-quality fibers. According to the Clean Air Council, an additional 5 million tons of waste is generated in the U.S. during the Christmas holiday season.
VZWraps was founded by Isabelle Vesey, a stay-at-home-mom from Haverford, PA. Isabelle always enjoyed wrapping presents, using beautiful papers and embellishments. However, as her environmental awareness grew, she made some changes, switching to recycled paper and reducing her use of plastic bows. But a big change happened a few Christmases ago, when she went into her basement to gather her wrapping supplies, and just couldn’t do it. She just could not bring herself to wrap her family’s presents in paper that was just going to get thrown away, even if it was made from recycled materials. So after a trip to the fabric store, she got out the sewing machine, and stitched up some gift bags. Not only did they look great under the tree, there was no bag full of trash after all the presents were opened.
VZWraps has not only created a product that’s eco-friendly, all of their business practices are accomplished with the environment in mind. The bag sizes are based on no-waste cutting, so that all the fabric is used leaving no scraps behind. The bags are made from 100% cotton with some GOTS-certified organic cotton bags available. Most of the ribbons are made in the USA, primarily from recycled materials. The eco-grosgrain ribbon is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, and the eco-satin is made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester. The tissue paper the bags are wrapped in before shipping is made from recycled paper, and the envelope that my bags arrived in is compostable and made in the USA. They even use paper-clips to secure the ribbons on the smaller bags in hopes that they’ll be reused and not discarded.
The gift bags are great for any and all presents, but I’m having a difficult time parting with them. I think I need to change my perspective and view giving a gift wrapped in a VZWrap bag as paying it forward. I’m just not sure I can say goodbye to my gorgeous bags and I know I can’t ask for them back!
VZWraps has graciously offered to giveaway a $30 VZWraps gift certificate plus free shipping to one lucky Groovy Green Livin reader. By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to our Official Rules.
In addition to offering a $30 gift certificate for the giveaway, VZWraps has generously offered to give Groovy Green Livin readers 10% off their order by using DISCOUNT CODE: GROOVY10 through August 31, 2012.
Disclosure: Thank you to VZWraps for a complimentary set of 4 reusable gift bags. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.