when I was a kid, we had a cat that loved to eat curling ribbon. he was just fascinated by the shine and color and he seemed to be able to smell it from another room, while napping (!). he would find it, knaw it right off the package it came on and soon, rather than a curly wrapped gift under the christmas tree there would be a saliva covered package adorned with little nubs of curling ribbon. so we stopped using it completely. since then my mom and I only use real ribbon on our gifts which has the bonus of being eco-friendly because every year, we can reuse the ribbon.
what's better than reusable ribbon? no ribbon and reusable "paper."
I just stumbled upon this furoshiki gift wrapping instructional video here. originally from the Japanese Ministry of the Environment here. this pairs my love of fabric and japanese things with my love of pretty, and eco-friendly wrapped gifts.
and then of course there is cheating:
I am a crazy freak about reusable bags. Sure I have my carbon footprint downfalls (which I won't be disclosing at this particular moment) but I would rather not buy everything I need (or want) if I don't have a bag to put it in - I hate taking paper or worse plastic. While I have a collection of envirosacs, I also love the patterns of these RuMe bags - both from Delight.com. Just wrap your present in this lovely little bag and the gift wrap is a present too. (I'm such a nerd.)