Earth smart ways to wrap and save.

Just in time for gift-giving season Kim Carlson, eco-expert and founder of EarthSmart Consumer Certified, is ushering in the holidays with the 12 ways of gifting.

Before disposing of commonly tossed items, stop and rethink it. Can it be made more attractive, repaired or crafted into something else? Give it a second-life.

Below are the 12 ways of gifting that are not only wallet-friendly, but eco-friendly too.
Extra or leftover fabric? Make cloth covered gift boxes or bags instead of wrapping paper. Cover gift boxes with leftover contact paper or wallpaper. Use saved bows from other gifts. It's okay to reuse these items as long as you're not giving it to the person who gave it to you. Last year's holiday cards make great gift tags. When cutting the card, use decorative scissors for extra flair. Take a walk with Mother Nature and collect pinecones. Pinecones with raffia (ribbon made from a plant) are great for adorning boxes. Old paint and coffee cans are great for shipping or using as a gift box in a fun creative way. Be sure to thoroughly clean items out and decorate the outside. It can even be a double gift where the person can use the paint can for storing or organizing items. Shipping? If you have leftover or don't mind popping extra dry popped popcorn for movie night, this is a great way to send a treat for the birds while protecting your package. Reusable items, such as hair bows, ornaments, shoe laces or toys can adorn packages and gift bags. Again, they can double as gifts as well. Stencils or pictures from holiday cards pasted onto a plain brown paper bag or box looks fab. Old neckties can make clever bows on any gift. The silkiness of the neckties glams up any old box without much effort. For those who have old faux flowers collecting dust, use them for gift wrapping and to dress up ordinary boxes. Just be sure to dust them off first. Remember -- get creative, these are only starter ideas. Feel free to try alternative gifting options that are green as well. After the holidays, use leftover gift wrap to line shelves or drawers. Or, cut it up for scrap paper or notes.

For more information, please visit www.earthsmartconsumer.com. Follow her on Twitter @KimEarthCarlson and become a facebook fan at EarthSmart Consumer Certified.