Have you ever looked at the wreckage of paper, ribbons, and cardboard on Christmas morning and thought about landfills teeming with similar items and wondered if there must be a better way to gift wrap? We met with Zenaida Sengo, a horticulture author and stylist, who showed us how to use compostable items in our wrapping-- plants!
Using plants in gift wrapping is a great idea because the materials can be found around your yard or neighborhood, in your own home, and it's free! Cuts from shrubs, trees, and flowers can be used to make your gift look tailored to their recipient, while also doing a bit of mid-winter tidying up in the yard. Or, do you have a friend who always admires your succulent indoor plants? You can cut off a stem from your plant that can be used as an accent to your gift wrapping, and the succulent can be replanted in a pot of soil as an extra gift! Plants used in gift wrap can also be added to compost, to spare the trash can heaps of non-biodegradable materials.
Zenaida suggests beginning your gift wrapping with paper you already have in your house. Open up your printer tray, or disassemble a paper bag! Then, using a piece of ribbon or twine, she wraps the package several times to create a grid that she can secure her plant cuttings. She first uses sturdy conifers that aren't too colorful to create a base layer, and then adds other cuttings like seed pods, pinecones or dried berries to accent the other greenery. Using floral wire to secure bigger accents, like Tillandsias, she finishes each present in a meaningful way that is catered to it's recipient.
Gift wrapping with plants is a beautiful, thoughtful and sustainable way to bring more cheer and joy to a special occasion. Happy Holidays!