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!

goals for the week of 11/25

Here’s how I did on my goals last week:

  • get up to 200 pages written of my thesis
  • start reading The Happiness Project for PBF Book Club {it wasn’t available at my library yet, but I did read 110 pages of This is Not Your City by Caitlin Horrocks, which is my book club pick for the month on here}
  • write Thanksgiving cards for loved ones
  • clean bathroom & vacuum
  • finish grading student work
  • post announcement for winter writing camp {www.writeonbooks.org}

And here are my goals for this upcoming week:

  • get up to page 210 of my thesis
  • submit online applications
  • finish reading The Happiness Project for PBF Book Club
  • wrap & mail Christmas presents
  • order Christmas cards
  • send Mike’s mom flowers as a thank-you for hosting us over Thanksgiving
  • use Groupons for Nature’s Pharm & Re-Usables
  • return items to Target
  • take donation box to Goodwill
  • get new windshield wipers installed on car
  • wash kitchen & bathroom floors
  • bake blueberry-oatmeal muffins

What are your goals for the week? Feel free to share in the comments below!