Though the color green comes to mind when thinking of Christmas, ecologically speaking, the holiday could be greener.
Many things about Christmas are harmful to the environment - plane travel, plastic packaging, and food waste come to mind. If you’re like me and thinking about eco-friendly ways to celebrate- consider changing the way you wrap presents. Did you know that traditional wrapping paper is rarely recyclable? As pretty as glitter and shiny paper are, they can’t be recycled and that wrapping paper will end up in the landfill. Swapping out traditional wrapping paper for greener options will cut down on waste and cost! Here are a few ideas on how to create cute and eco-friendly packages this Christmas!
Brown paper packages tied up with string . . . 🎵🎵
We all know the line Julie Andrews sings in “My Favorite Things,” but did you know this look is easily achieved with a grocery store bag and some scissors? You can easily achieve this vintage aesthetic with things you already have in the house! We suggest turning the bags inside out if there’s a logo and skipping the tape (generally non recyclable). Tie them up with scraps of yarn, or sustainable hemp string.
Extra! Extra! Newspaper’s make great wrapping paper! 🗞️
I’ve been wrapping gifts in newspaper since I was a kid. I’d try to save the comic section (or as I got older the style or food sections) and wrap a gift so the best picture was positioned on the front of the package. It’s less common to get the paper these days, but if you still do this works great. I’ve also used pages from a magazine!
The ghost of Christmas gifts past! 🎁
I bet you’ve got someone in your life who gives gifts in decorative bags or boxes. My mom is notorious for using these gift bags and then rounding them up after we’ve exchanged presents to use again next year. I THINK THIS IS GREAT! Instead of one and done, the bags do their job year after year – talk about reuse!
Leave the cookies for Santa, keep the tin. 🍪🎅🏻
My mother-in-law sends us Christmas cookies every year. Consequently, I’ve ended up with a large collection of Christmas themed tins. At first, I didn’t know what to do with all of them, but then I realized that I could put gifts in them (talk about easy!)
Two gifts in One!
Wrap a gift in a reusable tote? Brilliant! This also enables your friends and family to be environmentally conscious shoppers. They can say, “No thank you, I brought my own,” when offered a plastic bag in the checkout line. Gifted kitchen towels are also good for wrapping. This one is sweet because most people could use another kitchen towel – especially with all the cooking going on at this time of year. There are a lot of ideas online as to how to fold and tie these. I’ve also seen beautiful examples where a flower is tucked into the knot. Time to get creative!
Do you sew? 🧵🪡
If you do, you've probably guessed our next suggestion. Every seamstress is bound to have piles of fabric scraps just hanging around- why not put them to use? You can even sew them into a pouch (or something nicer if you’ve got sewing skills). Fold and tie or use a bit of string – this one is like the tea towel – you’re only limited by your imagination!
Hope I’ve given you a new idea or two. Eco wrapping is great for any gift exchange- birthdays, anniversaries, you name it. Happy Holidays!