upcycled gift containers

holiday masterpiece

This holiday season, I am making an effort to produce the least amount of waste possible, in particular with gift bags, gift boxes, wrapping paper, etc. During the crazy-busy holiday season, being kind to the environment often falls down low on our radar. I mean, it is so easy to pop into the store and buy a brand new gift bag and reams of tissue paper. I cringe to think of the trash bags filled with crumpled up wrapping paper I’ve thrown away in the past. It seems so unnecessarily wasteful!

Then I started thinking about the concept of upcycling {which is defined on Wikipedia as “the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.”} It is even better than recycling because it is giving old products or materials new life! This seems like the perfect way to approach gift-wrapping this holiday season.

When I finished the last of my oatmeal a few mornings ago, I knew just what I wanted to do with the empty container:

oatmeal container

Upcycle it!

I wiped out the inside, wrapped it in some pretty paper, added a shiny red bow, and hooray — a lovely homemade gift container!

wrapped container

I filled it with a batch of homemade chocolate-covered popcorn and it made the perfect gift for a coworker of mine who has been especially helpful to me this semester.

I also have plans in the works to re-use metal tea canisters when making homemade chai tea latte mix for some of my friends. {Look for the recipe in an upcoming post!}

What are some of your favorite upcycling and environmentally friendly gift-wrapping ideas?

Hope your week is going great!
-Dallas

my love for tea

I am a major tea addict.

Major.

See what I mean? I must have twenty boxes of tea cluttering up an entire shelf in my kitchen cupboard. Black tea, green tea, herbal tea. Half-empty boxes, plastic bags, canisters. I’d practically start an avalanche of boxes anytime I opened my cupboard to brew myself a cup. Tea is something that makes me feel happy and centered, but it was beginning to be stressful — the opposite of what I want!

So, today I went to Target and bought two small stackable containers with snap-on lids. They were less than $3 each. I am using one for black tea, and the other for green & herbal tea. I emptied out my various half-empty boxes and placed the individual tea bags into two neat rows in each container.

Now not only do I have a LOT more room in my cupboard, I also have a better idea of what kind of teas I have! Never again will I reach into a box for my favorite ginger green tea and find nothing but emptiness! YAY!

In fact, think I’m going to curl up with a cup of tea and a good book right now. Organization task of the day: complete!

Until next time,
Dallas ❤

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Cost: $6.00

Time: 20 minutes