‘Tis the season! We love this time of year – giving special gifts to our loved ones – it just feels so great. This time of year, one of the things I’ve been thinking about is how to avoid unnecessary waste. I’m trying to buy meaningful and eco-friendly gifts, but I’m also thinking about how to wrap those parcels. Like most people I love having beautiful packages under the tree, but over the years I’ve changed the way I wrap gifts.
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 ends up in the landfill. I decided that my wrapping won’t be contributing to any landfill this season. Here are a few ideas on how to create eco-friendly and beautiful packages this Christmas!
Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String!
It looks so old fashioned and beautiful when you see a bunch of brown paper parcels under the tree. You can actually find brown paper made from recycled boxes – use this paper and you’re closing a recycling circle! Try to skip the tape when you wrap up the packages – generally speaking it isn’t recyclable. Use string to hold it together! Hemp string is nice, but scrap bits of yarn work too.
Newspaper Wrapping – the funnies are the best!
I’ve been wrapping gifts in newspaper since I was a kid. I’d try to save the comics section (or as I got older the style or food sections) and wrap a gift so that the best picture was positioned on the front of the package. It’s a lot less common to get the paper these days, but if you still do this works great. I’ve also used pages from a magazine or packing paper from online orders!
Reuse a Gift Bag from a Christmas Past.
I bet you’ve got someone in your life who gives you gifts in a fancy Christmas bag. My mom is notorious for using these gift bags and as we pull our presents out of the bags, she rounds up the bags and stores them away for another year. I THINK THIS IS GREAT! Instead of one and done, the bags do their job year after year – talk about reuse!
Save Pretty Tins and Boxes in the Attic and use them as a gift container.
My mother-in-law sends us Christmas cookies every year. I’ve ended up with a pile of Christmas themed tins. At first, I was getting annoyed, but then I realized that I could use them instead of wrapping paper (talk about easy!)
A cotton tote bag – two gifts in one!
Wrap a gift in a reusable tote? Brilliant! Encourage your friends and family to be environmentally conscious shoppers. Now you can say “no thanks, I brought my own” when you are at the check out counter. No plastic bags for you!
Use a tea towel – another two gifts in one idea!
This one is sweet because most people could use another kitchen towel – especially with all the cooking going on at this time of year. It can be simple or colorful – both are beautiful if you ask me. 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!
Got scraps of fabric on hand?
This one can work for you if you’ve done any sewing during the year. There are always left-over scraps. You can even sew them into a crude 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 we’ve given you a new idea or two! And remember, ECO wrapping is not just for Christmas! Happy Holidays!