Wrapping paper with a single use is extremely problematic for the environment. Because cheap wrapping paper contains fibres such as glitter and plastics, it’s difficult to recycle. In fact, 108 million roles of wrapping paper end up in landfills every year in the UK, which is a pretty sad statistic.
This article discusses eco-friendly alternatives to Christmas wrapping paper to reduce our environmental impact, which I’m sure a loved one will also very much appreciate.
Reuse Cardboard Boxes
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, you are likely to receive packages for Christmas presents you’ve ordered. Reusing the boxes instead of throwing them in the recycling makes a lot more sense. This is exactly what I did this year after ordering my dad’s wellies. I put them in a cardboard box since they were too big and awkward to wrap. Even though you’ll still be recycling it at the end of its life, you’ll still get another use out of it, which keeps costs down too.
If you are concerned about how things will look from an aesthetic perspective, you can always use some organic cotton string and even decorate the box with personalised art. Adding a personal touch to your gifts is a nice way to show thought, and people will appreciate it more than glitzy wrapping paper. Within the delivered packaging, you’ll often find brown paper or tissue paper that you can also reuse.
Brown gift wrapping paper makes a viable alternative to standard paper because it is still visually appealing and is often recyclable. Make sure you remove any sticky tape and don’t write on the paper. It’s also a good idea to wrap things up with paper tape rather than sellotape. You can get eco and paper tape that are 100% biodegradable. Any sellotape that is left on the wrapping paper can not be recycled since its made from polypropylene.
Reuse Gift Bags
When you receive a gift in a gift bag, it makes sense to keep it and reuse it. If you are not able to do this, make sure any gift bag you purchase is made from fabrics with a drawstring, such as a wine bag or tote. You can wrap gifts in a very unique and heartfelt way with textiles and fabrics if you like to get creative around the holidays.
Use Personal Items
You’ll often find items around the house that would make wonderful Christmas wrapping paper. All you need to do is have a look around. You can use old books, maps, wallpaper, jars, tissue paper, and tins to wrap gifts with a little thought and a little effort.
Again this one requires a little hunt around the house. You can easily upcycle shirts, skirts, or even old T-shirts into reusable Christmas ribbons or hankies and scarfs can provide perfect gift wrap. It’s an excellent way to reuse old clothes items you have in the back of your wardrobe gathering dust. If you’d like, cut or tie strips of any thickness around your boxes to add colour and that unique touch to your gifts.
I’d love to hear your favourite sustainable wrapping paper alternative, or if you have any other ideas to add.