There’s nothing quite like a beautifully wrapped present—especially around the holidays. However, before you head to the store for your gift-wrapping supplies, it’s important to consider the environmental impact.
It is estimated that Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the holiday season than any other time of the year. This adds up to 25 million tons of garbage or approximately 1 million extra tons per week. One of the major culprits of extra waste: wrapping paper.
5 Tips for Eco-friendly Gift Wrapping
Taking a more sustainable approach to your gift wrapping is a great way to make a difference. Here are a few ways your gift wrapping can be both sustainable and festive:
- Make the wrapping part of your gift. Using a scarf, t-shirt, tea towel, or another type of fabric is a way to avoid wrapping paper while making your gift extra special. Picking something that you know your recipient will love adds a personal and unique touch.
- Get creative with paper. While you want to avoid traditional wrapping paper, there are other options to choose from, such as newspaper, old maps, paper bags, and craft paper. Add a decorative flare with dried flowers, tree branches, cotton buds, small pinecones, cinnamon sticks, or other natural touches.
- Take advantage of what you already have. Instead of getting rid of shipping and gift boxes you receive, hang on to them for future use. The same goes for tissue paper and ribbon. You can also turn old clothes and other fabrics into ribbons and bows.
- Make use of those reusable bags. Whether it is a gift bag you were given for your last birthday or the pile of reusable tote bags sitting in your closet, both are excellent ways to avoid additional waste.
- Opt for eco-friendly alternatives. Can’t kick your wrapping paper habit? That’s okay. There are brands that offer beautiful, eco-friendly options. And don’t forget to swap out your tissue paper, tape, and ribbons as well. Try recycled tissue paper, biodegradable paper tape, and compostable twine.
But what if there is a stockpile of wrapping paper and supplies at home? Don’t be afraid to use what you already have; just forgo these items in the future and replace them with more sustainable options. Remember, even the smallest change can make a world of difference!