I’ve been holding off writing a Christmas themed post, but now I think the time is well and truly upon us. This post is designed to give you some simple hints and tips to reduce your gift wrapping waste.
Christmas is a wonderful time to see friends and family, often involving an exchange of presents which often come with a whole assortment of gift wrap, tags and packaging. It’s estimated that over 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away each year in the UK alone and a staggering 1 billion Christmas cards are thrown away, the majority of which are not recycled.
I love seeing my family’s reactions when they open their presents, but we do create a lot of unnecessary waste. Below are 5 tips to reduce your gift wrapping waste. Don’t forget, these tips can be used for gifts all year round and not just for Christmas!
Collect wrapping throughout the year
I have a bag (reusable and recyclable) that I keep all year round to collect materials that I can use as gift wrapping substitutes to conventional paper. This includes tissue paper, ribbons, gift bags, brown paper and boxes. Often online deliveries contain a whole host of packaging materials that can be reused. I have even kept some lovely floral paper from some Soap Folk Soaps I bought earlier in the year which are very pretty and smell lovely.
Pick Eco friendly cards with seasonal rather that festive designs
I love to send traditional hand written cards. Its so much more personal than a text message or email. When picking your cards, why not go for a more seasonal design rather than a festive scene, this way they can be used all through the season. I have these great Nysno Design cards featured in my title image. They are printed on recycled pulp board using Eco- friendly water based vegetable inks. They even come in a cornstarch bio-degradable packet!
Reduce your plastic content
Lots of cards, wrapping and bags contain plastic or are coated in plastic that cannot be recycled. Glitter, wraps and stickers all contain plastic. If you are using shop bought paper, make sure you buy paper that is made from recycled paper. Traditional brown wrapping paper is both strong and Eco-friendly and holds folds well, meaning you can use less plastic sticky tape. If you open your presents carefully, you can keep it for next year too.
Buy presents with purpose and meaning
This may seem obvious, but when you are Christmas shopping it can be easy to get carried away and buy cheaper, low quality gifts that have no meaning or purpose. The set of Christmas marker pens or the bumper pack of mass produced plastic figures may fill a place in the4 stocking but will be quickly forgotten about and end up in landfill sooner rather than later. These gifts usually come in heaps of plastic packaging before you have even started with wrapping. As we all know plastic is not biodegradable so these unnecessary packets and wraps will end up polluting our oceans and land.
Buy Experience Gifts that require little or no wrapping at all!
Instead of hunting around for a physical gift to be opened, why not treat your friends or family with a wonderful gift experience that they can use to make memories and unforgettable stories. Whether it be a simple dinner date or adventure activity, the possibilities are endless and will give recipient something to look forward to in the future.
Make sure to check back next week, when I’ll be bringing you a list of my top 10 gifts for ethical and sustainable living.