I was gifted something a couple of years ago that I loved because it, in turn, helped me give better.
It has all to do with zero waste and upcycling. My friend and fellow observer of the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) made and gave me reusable fabric gift bags that she makes from upcycled fabric (thegiftingbag on Instagram).
Now I never have to purchase non-recyclable gift wrap or gift bags ever again! Most of the gifts I give are to my immediate family so I just ask for the bag back after they have opened it. They understand and it all works out.
I have spoken to other families and heard that they are even more hardcore than I am. They use any type of paper bag to conceal their gifts. It is, of course, what is inside that counts and not how it comes to you. Although wrapping objects is what transforms them into something extraordinary and makes it a gift. It is a millennia-old tradition that spans cultures. But this started back when reusing was required, not merely suggested. Paper was so special (you had to cut down a TREE to make it) you used it again and again, for many different purposes.
Nowadays, it is made, used, and is instantly garbage. And I do not understand why! I used to love gift wrap. I would spend quite a bit of time picking out just the right one for a special friend's wedding gift or the perfect girly pink paper for my little niece’s birthday present. I spent way more time picking it out than the person who got it spent admiring it. Maybe that is why I fell out of love with it.
Either way, I now love giving gifts and not producing even more garbage. I love making just one little step that helps out the world we live in. That is all any of us can do. Make one step, but often and in different ways. One little step times a million can be immense.