Sunday, December 4, 2011

Un-learning Gift Wrap


Facts
According to Hallmark research, the gift wrap industry accounts for approximately $2.9 billion a year in retail sales. (Source: Hallmark Industry Estimates, 2009)
Gift bags were introduced in 1987 and, according to Hallmark research and sales history, they have been the number one way consumers choose to present gifts since 2002.
Hallmark is credited with founding the gift wrap industry in 1917.
I almost don't feel like I need to say anything after that. But you know me. I will.

We spend perfectly good money on something that is going to be torn up and thrown away. Sure, it's pretty for a few days. But what's the point? Pretty? Pretty is the point? Ugh.

I cannot and will not understand that line of thinking anymore. There are so many ways to present presents that do not involve buying a wasteful product that will only end up as garbage. Plastic covering it before you buy it... trees felled to make the inside tubes, and the paper itself, unfriendly ink and dying processes... there's so much wrong and unnecessary about wrapping paper, and really nothing redeeming. Oh, wait, it creates jobs. I forgot. So long as we create jobs, we can do anything. Damn the consequences to the future.

You can wrap things in material, bandannas, newspaper, brown paper that can be decorated... reusable shopping bags, t-shirts... SO many different things! It might be different if there was some irreplaceable need for wrapping paper, but there is not! It is NOT a necessity! It's one of the least necessary things I can think of! $2.9 billion??? SURELY that money is better spent in other areas. No? Just me?

Someone, please, explain this to me if you would. Because, for the life of me, I can't come up with a reason for wrapping paper except that Hallmark likes money. It doesn't matter if you find it at the 99 Cent Store; it's waste and it is not needed. The only way it is good is if you have kept and re-used it for years. There are a few people who manage that, but it's still going to be waste in someone's house somewhere, some time soon.

Don't get me started on all the plastic ribbons.