Why Buying Wrapping Paper is a Bad Idea

I’ve already written a post with some sustainable gift ideas for the holiday season. But in addition to thinking about alternative, sustainable gifts, it is also important to think about how you wrap any physical presents.

When you really stop to think about it, the way we pack gifts for the holidays is a truly staggering waste. Why use all those materials and resources to carefully wrap and package a gift when it is usually only going to be ripped off and thrown away?

There are a huge range of beautiful wrapping papers out there. Unfortunately, many of them are not sustainable in any way. Papers often come from clear-felled forests and paper pulp mills that belch pollution into the sky. Many also have plastic coatings, and come at an even greater cost. Most commercially sold wrapping paper cannot be recycled. So it contributes to our planet’s massive waste problem when it is thrown away. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of more eco-friendly gift wrapping options to consider. For example:

  • Make your own recycled wrapping paper.
  • Make small gift boxes from cardboard boxes or even toilet roll tubes.
  • Wrap gifts with old fabric (or even wrap one gift inside another – a shawl or blanket made from a sustainable natural fabric, for example).
  • Make a basket from willow whips, twigs, bark or even old magazines or scrap paper to present your gift in.
  • Use old glass jars, bottles or vases as containers for gifts.
  • Present a gift in a charity shop/thrift store find, such as an old ceramic vase or planter.
  • Make a handcrafted wooden box to give a gift within a gift…
  • Use natural wool or twine rather than synthetic ribbon.
  • Add natural materials – evergreen leaves, pine cones, nuts and seeds etc… to add visual appeal.

These are just a few ways to create something beautiful that will really show your loved ones that you care.

If you would like more tips for sustainable, green living for the holiday season, please do get in touch.

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