FACT: An extra 25 MILLION tons of garbage will be generated this holiday season. That’s a 25% increase over the course of a six-week period.

And shopping for paper, disposable gift bags can be expensive! Why not use reusable shopping bags in place of paper gift bags to wrap your gifts? This is certainly better than throwing away paper bags.

Once only available in basic black, reusable shopping bags now come in many bright cheerful colors and designs. Most stores sell them for as low as 50¢ to up to $3.00, or your local thrift store has good buys on them as well. It’s easy to add some holiday decorations to the outside to make it even more colorful. If the bag is too large, add layers of crumpled tissue paper to the bottom.

If your bag has long handles, tuck in the sides of the bag and tie the handles in a pretty bow. Add some natural decorations for even more pop!