Did you know the majority of wrapping paper cannot be recycled? Most of the wrapping paper sold in stores today contains non-paper additives including gold or silver coloring, glitter and plastics. Most wrapping paper ends up in landfills, contributing to the huge issue of waste across the nation. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the US produces 25 percent more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than during the rest of the year. To lessen the environmental impacts of our holiday celebrations, consider the following eco-friendly alternatives to traditional wrapping paper.
If you still get the newspaper, you likely have a stack of old issues you’ll probably never read again. Give new life to this paper by using it to wrap your gifts! While papers come in a set size, you can always enlarge it by attaching another sheet.
- Paper Bags
Similar to newspaper, if you have extra paper bags lying around your house, use them to give your gifts a rustic look. This kind of paper can even be put in your recycling bins after you’re finished! For extra holiday fun, you can decorate the bags before wrapping the gifts.
- Extra Fabric
Use fabric from old clothes, table cloths, curtains or towels to wrap your gifts. The Japanese have used furoshiki – wrapping cloths – for hundreds of years, and there are a number of tutorials that can teach you how to wrap your present nicely and securely. Check out our Instagram to see how we did it! The best part of using fabric is that the fabric can be used year after year. If your wrapping fabric starts to wear out, you can still use it as a cleaning cloth.
If you’d rather skip out on the wrapping, consider presenting your gift in a simple basket. Not only do they look beautiful, but they can also be used over and over for a number of things—making it another gift in itself! Once you are done using the basket, you can compost it if the materials are untreated natural materials.
- Tins and Jars
Create cute little gift bundles in repurposed tins and jars. You can even add your own flair by drawing or painting on them or writing a short note. This is a great way to personalize your gift while staying sustainable, especially because many glass jars and tins are reusable and recyclable!