Eco-friendly Alternatives to Gift Paper

There are so many eco-friendly alternatives to gift paper!

If you’re anything like me, there’s a piece of you that hates to see all the gift paper in crushed up piles at the end of the Holidays. Sure, it has festive patterns and designs but at a high cost. Around Dalby Farm, we aren’t into wasting resources. As such, we have explored some of the many different eco-friendly alternatives to gift paper below.

Baskets or Re-usable Pine Crates

Around our farm we have all kinds of woven baskets hanging around (literally!)- including some we wouldn’t mind parting with. There are many ways to dress up a basket or crate – such as recycled fill and decorative ribbons. Don’t want to give away a basket? Save this option for someone you feel comfortable saying “Basket not included!” to as you hand them their prize. Alternatively, check out dollar stores and thrift shops for super cheap buying options.
There’s a reason why we offer gift crates- because we hope you will re-use the durable pine crate. They make for great storage or, as you’ll see, a great vessel for a thoughtful gift!

eco-friendly alternatives to gift paper

Newspapers, Calendars, Maps

Personally I believe that presents wrapped in newspaper are the coolest. Talk about flair! While it may not be “festive” or feature as many options in design- consider the option of using marker to decorate it yourself! It will add a unique and personal touch to it in ways traditional gift wrap never would!
Perhaps there is a certain time of year or month of value to the recipient- why not pull an old calendar apart and use the relevant months. Again, another opportunity to add personal flair.
Same concept with maps. No matter which of these you were to choose- you’re bound to hear an “oooh!” for the originality and environmentally friendly approach to gift giving.


Re-Usable Gift Bags

This isn’t my favorite option but that’s probably because I’m bitter toward the stack of gift bags in my closet that I keep for precisely this reason. Who throws out a gift bag? They’re usually so gorgeous and keeping every size proves to be worthwhile eventually. So the disclaimer is: Sorry, you will run out of space for these “obnoxious” bags someday, but maybe that’s your cue to give more presents. Anyway, in my opinion re-useable bags are the gifts that keep on giving to both the recipient and more importantly- our environment.


I thought the idea of wrapping gifts in Fabric was brilliant. I haven’t tried it myself, so I do have a few questions. Do you tie a knot? Do you enclose the item with pins? I suppose it is all circumstantial.  One thing is for certain- you wouldn’t be using paper! The beauty of using fabric is that you have way more options as far as color, pattern and texture than any traditional paper- or most of these suggestions- would offer. If you happen to be giving a scarf as part of the present, consider wrapping the other items with it? Clean tablecloths, sheets, pillowcases, even socks could all come into play with this eco-friendly gift wrapping strategy.

And hey, if you really can’t stand the thought of being without your beautiful santa and snowman designs- perhaps you will consider purchasing recycled gift paper. Spread the word about the eco-friendly alternatives to gift paper this Holiday season to help raise awareness. Every little bit will help.


Intro: Meet Tara, Your Homegrown Friend!!

Living Green with Your Homegrown Friend, Tara

Hi! I’m the friend you haven’t yet met. I’m super excited about having the opportunity to share with you some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up around town and some lifehacks I’ve discovered on my own.

I bet you want to know a bit about me and why I think I have the skills to pull this one off. Welp- I’m a homegrown farmer’s daughter. I’ve probably eaten more duck poop than most of you have ever stepped on. My childhood was spent in my dad’s back pocket, doing what he was doing and learning the knack of ingenuity. I can fix just about anything with duct tape- and I say ‘just about anything’ because I know for a fact I can’t fix heels with duct tape.

I’m mom of two boys who live with Autism. I choose to say they live with Autism because they learned accommodations and tricks to be high functioning. This has been a rewarding gift in my life to be their mom. I’m told I’m too happy about dealing with Autism on a daily basis. I have good reason. Three days prior to Christmas in 1994, I told my family what my Dr told me. I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. My sweet lil egg baskets were holding 15 maturing egg cells in each ovary, each cycle. I know!! Could you imagine?? I wouldn’t have but since I saw it happening for two months straight, it happened. What if I had gotten preggo? How many?? So the team of consulting Drs said I wouldn’t have children. Guess what?? Valentine’s was a special night. And now I have two children…..wait, let me rephrase that, I have raised two growing men and often say I am raising the hubby too. 😉 sshh. My gifts are 17 and 20 now. Let’s not try to do the math. I’ll leave out the mystery, I’m 43. Raising these two has given me the chance to see the world and society in another way, an innocent and unadulterated view free from racism, bigotry, hatred, and greed that’s in our face, around most corners these days. This is a gift.

I often say the thoughts that run through my head are spinning the wheels of a squirrel cage…..I have Tourette’s Syndrome and this means I’m extremely creative – and yes, my vocabulary can get quite creative too…life is full of popsicles and pop dots… When the wheel gets to spinning, ideas are flying and thank goodness to social media, I get to share my ideas. I’m lucky enough to have the ability to re-create things I’ve seen. Just don’t expect to see anything done on a sewing machine by me. Not going to happen anytime soon. I’d rather wear clothes made of tied reeds than learn to use a sewing machine. That is my biggest failure. But that’s okay….I have other skills to use in place of a clanking machine. Oh! Don’t have a convo with the hubby….he’ll tell you I think I can do anything to include growing my own cotton to weave my own cloth. And I’m going to. Just to prove to myself I can do it. Who doesn’t have the desire to learn what has been replaced by machines? Remind me to tell you the story of the dehydrator.

I’m an avid gardener and self- taught for the most part. If it died, I learned a lesson. I can’t wait to share the funniest lifehack I tried this summer with you. It was inspired from one of my hoarding addictions. But you’ll have to wait for it – I gotta get through this introduction first. Squirrel!

Anyways, my garden is my sanctuary. The hubby put some fluffy chairs under our Sequoia Pine in our garden. (I’ll say ‘our’ since this year was a big success from some elbow grease from the hubby.) I got tired of extricating weeds from the paths and decided on stepping stones and mulch. That was a win win! My glutes and booty got a great lift from all of the squatting, and the soil is doing much better with the added protection and shade.

If you can’t tell by now, I’m the girl who doesn’t have a problem getting dirty. I’m a naturalist. I have a genuine interest for plants and weeds. Why are they here? What is the purpose? I’m working on my Biology Degree and will be beginning a Field Work program for an Environmental Biology Certificate. It’s taken me this long to realize I should do what I love. The hubby and I take the kidlets on hikes and last minute trips frequently. I’ve caught Salmon with my bare hands, I’m a gold digger, I’ve delivered a calf, goats, lambs, and a foal, helped hatch quail and other specialty birds, and fostered a baby Mockingbird. You can see videos of Baby Bird and I on my Instagram account. That was an awesome experience. And I still hear him every few days. I was just in my greenhouse and I heard a bird singing his heart out and it kept on and on which drove me to look at the bird and it was Sparkle, the baby mockingbird.

I look forward to chatting more with you and I have a lot of tips and tricks to share with you. I’m a recycling warden in my home and I have many ideas for recycling, and upcycling, and I’m a lifehacking master….( I’ll let you in on a secret, I recently watched Hillbilly blood and was strangely comforted. LOL!)

Tara, your homegrown friend