As if the pre-purchased packaging of our modern day commodities isn’t enough, during the holidays we somehow feel the need to add another layer to the excess. One more source of grossly consumptive paper waste—tape it on, rip it off, toss it out. I cringe to think of Dec. 26 and the procession of black plastic trash receptacles that will inevitably line the curb. Body bags stuffed to the gills with the remains of ravaged wrappings.
And to what end? I acknowledge the importance of secrecy when it comes to presents. Gift opening just wouldn’t be the same if all the shaking and guessing weren’t a necessary component. Wrapping paper is, after all, the only thing that lies between a recipient and knowledge of his or her gift. Its appeal, therefore, lies in its ability to deceive and be destroyed. Wrapping paper has no intrinsic value. Why is it, then, that we are willing to spend $4.99 a roll for this stuff?
The colorful Christmas covering may seem harmless, or even friendly, but do not be fooled by its festive façade. Its innocence is as feigned as its necessity. I certainly don’t intend to undermine the element of surprise, but there’s got to be a better, less wasteful way. For that, I propose the WEEKLY Wrap—a convenient wrapping alternative that can be made out of this very newspaper (after you’ve read it in its entirety, of course).
Armed with the power of a glue stick, you too can fight the forces of paper waste. Just follow the simple instructions below to turn your copy of the WEEKLY into a snazzy holiday gift bag:
1. Glue two sheets of newspaper together.
2. Cut a one-inch strip of paperboard and glue it along the entire top edge of the newspaper.
3. Fold the top edge of the newspaper down over the paperboard, and then fold it over again so that the paperboard is wrapped inside. Glue it down. This will form the reinforced top edge of the bag.
4. Choose a box that is of the size you would like your bag to be. Some particularly convenient box sizes include those of graham crackers, breakfast cereals and the like.
5. Align the top (reinforced) edge of the newspaper with the top edge of the box. The length of the paper should only extend a few inches beyond the length of the box, so you may need to cut a few inches off the bottom of the newspaper.
6. Wrap the newspaper around the box as you would a Christmas present, leaving the top end open. Seal it with glue.
7. Reinforce the seams with scotch tape as necessary.
8. Cut a piece of paperboard the same size as the base of the box. Glue it inside the bottom of the bag for structural support.
9. Cut two, ? inch strips of pa
perboard, and staple the ends to the bag to form handles.
10. Fill the bag with holiday joy, and bequeath it to a deserving recipient.
11. Wash the ink off your hands, and repeat.