The Gifts Guaranteed to Keep on Giving

According to environmental reports, Americans spend over $2.7 billion a year on gift wrap, most of which ends up in landfills or gets trucked to a recycling station. By using reusable gift bags each year, however, and sharing them with family and friends, we can be a part of the solution.

Published December 6, 2011 5:34 PM
4 min read

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bags-thumbAccording to environmental reports, Americans spend over $2.7 billion a year on gift wrap, most of which ends up in landfills or gets trucked to a recycling station. By using reusable gift bags each year, however, and sharing them with family and friends, we can be a part of the solution.

 

By Bill Lawyer

According to environmental reports, Americans spend over $2.7 billion a year on gift wrap, most of which ends up in landfills or gets trucked to a recycling station. By using reusable gift bags each year, however, and sharing them with family and friends, we can be a part of the solution.

 

For a quick course on Reusable Bags 101, visit some of the many websites that offer bags and wraps that enhance the value of any gift for any occasion. Many sites are offering seasonal “free shipping specials,” so be on the lookout for bargains.  

 

ReUsit.com

 

bags-crowThis site features the Lucky Crow gift bags, made of “high quality fabric” that allows them to be “re-gifted, reused, and recycled for many years to come”. All sewing is done in the USA, and they come in small (9 inches x 8 inches), medium (13.5 x 10.5), and large (18 x 16) for prices ranging from $5.45 to $11.45.  Each bag has a cotton ribbon sewn into the side seam. All you have to do is slide the gift into the pouch and tie a bow. The Lucky Crow people note that “they can also be used for lunch bags … and they’re convenient for travelers taking gifts through airport security over holidays!”  Who knew?

 

OneStepAhead.com

 

For re-usable gift bags with handles, OneStepAhead.com offers products made of sturdy polyester felt, with carry handles and a hook and loop fastener. As an added bonus, you can have these bags personalized, with a person’s name and choice of graphics.  

 

These also come in small (11.5 x 11.5 – $2.95), medium (18 x 24 – $4.95) and large (24 x 36 – $5.95).  Personalized embroidery is $5 extra.  Ironically, the site notes that “Gift Wrap Is Not Available for this Item”.

 

EllaWrap (Part of the Eco Wrap.Com Family)

 

EllaWrap offers the most comprehensive variety, as well as the most artistically designed products. Additionally, they provide an extensive environmental rationale for using re-usable bags, with tidbits like this: “Each year 38,000 miles of ribbon alone are thrown out in the U.S., which is enough to tie a bow around the Earth!”

 

As an added bonus, each EllaWrap product comes with a gift journal to record the special memories from each gift-giving occasion.    
EllaWrap has a wide inventory of products, ranging from envelopes for giving gift certificates, to a variety of standard gift bag sizes, as well as custom sizes, for such items as wine or liquor bottles. A burlap envelope goes for $19.99, while a tall bow bag for wine bottles (3 x 3 base x 12 inches tall) goes for $12.99.
 
Bagging It In Rye

bags-pawsWhile Internet sites can provide great products and good ideas, for many shoppers there’s no substitute for going to a local store and getting a hands-on encounter with potential purchases. And, fortunately, Rye has several stores offering excellent products.  

 

Claudia Baker at All Paws provides paying customers free reusable plastic gift bags with a paw print design. For $2 to $3 you can buy re-usable gift bags for cats and a larger version with pictures of various dog breeds.    

 

Parkers carries two sizes of Shannon Martin brand bags – one designed for wine bottles ($4), and a smaller one for jewelry or other items ($3). They feature cute expressions and artwork.  

 

bags-papOther Rye locations to consider are CVS and the Rye Post Office, which offers a medium size bag with a decorative holiday balls pattern for $2.  

But if you’re serious about getting just the right reusable gift bag, then Papyrus is a must-stop.  They have over 50 patterns, coming in a variety of sizes and materials for every possible occasion.

 

In communication it may be true that “the medium is the message”, but when it comes to re-usable gift bags, the packaging is truly the gift.

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