Along with all the gifts given this holiday season comes a ton of wrapping paper.
According to the Clean Air Council, an extra four million tons of waste is generated every year in the U.S. during the holiday season just from wrapping paper and shopping bags alone!
To combat that problem, Patricia Lee is working to spread a tradition passed down in Korean families -- wrapping with scarves.
Lee, who has written a book called "The Wrapping Scarf Revolution," learned the practice, called Bojagi, from her grandmother and great-grandmother.
In Lee's native Korea, waste is considered bad luck and the art of Bojagi dates back to the 11th century as a way for women to make use of leftover fabric from making clothes. It was also traditionally used to wrap a gift from a groom's family to a bride's family.
Lee says Bojagi is about reducing waste while still celebrating beauty and fine things.
She suggests using any old scarf lying around your home, or pick them up for pennies at a thrift shop.
For small gifts:
Use a 20-22 inches square-size bandanna
For all-purpose wrapping:
Use a 27-30 inch scarf
CLICK HERE for more information from Lee's Web site, bobowrap.com.
Here are some other ways for you to cut back on the amount of gift wrap you use and make your holiday season more green.
You can wrap gifts with any large piece of paper you have on hand, including: comics from the newspaper, newspaper and magazine pages, brown paper bags, old maps, wallpaper scraps, your kids' artwork.
By wrapping just three gifts in recycled paper from around the house, our combined efforts would save enough paper to plaster 45,000 football fields.
This is an easy and creative way to give a present. You wrap the bottle in newspaper. Then, use the rest of the paper to make bows on top.
You also could use mint tins for gift cards. This is a really great way to save on those envelopes that come with gift cards. You can stick the card inside a mint tin. Works great and is really creative.
Finally, you could use fabric gift bags instead of paper gift bags. Try Lyziwraps, which are gift bags made out of fabric that can be reused. They are $6-$30, compared to $5-$10 for bags tossed away.