Eco-friendly gift wrapping this Christmas
It’s easy to get caught up in all of the fun of Christmas, and forget about the environment, but in the UK alone we throw away a massive 30% more rubbish over the festive period. Over just the Christmas week will have binned 227,000 miles of Christmas paper — enough to go round the planet about nine times!
While local councils give handy tips on recycling, you can reduce your waste in the first place with eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas and by using already recycled paper.
Reuse wrapping paper
Smooth out pieces that are free from writing and sellotape (or even quickly iron them under a cloth). It doesn’t need to be specifically Christmas themed paper; if you get a lovely gold one for a birthday it can be easily dressed up with festive tags.
Make your own gift bags or boxes
Making your own boxes can be a very handy solution for those small trinkets and gifts, or the awkwardly-shaped ones you have no idea how to wrap. Thanks to the internet you can easily find some very handy templates for gift boxes (external link).
Go eco with brown recycled paper
It’s available in bulk rolls 100% recycled, and looks pretty smart with Scandinavian-inspired woodland decorations. Here are a couple of snaps from my wrapping last year, where I went with biodegradable twine, cellulose ribbon and brown kraft paper tags too! With some water-based inks or paint you can also stamp some nice designs and customise your wrapping even more.
Wrap with fabric
Wrap small trinkets or boxes in pretty scarves, tea towels or fabric squares that can make an additional gift themselves!
Ribbons and bows
A good friend of mine (thanks Cathryn!) recommends saving up lovely ribbons from gifts you may have been given throughout the year, and even using those little ribbons from inside the shoulders of dresses and tops (you know the often annoying ones you end up cutting out!). Very handy tips indeed.
I have a little box where I save nice ribbons, tags or bits and bobs that will be nice to reuse for handmade cards, gift tags and wrapping.
Don’t forget the tape
One bugbear for me was the reams of plastic tape / sellotape we end up using even if we choose recycled paper. It makes no sense to send all this paper to the bin because it can’t be recycled with plastic on – so I sourced an eco-friendly paper tape instead, which matches the brown paper and my Scandinavian theme perfectly (along with being biodegradable – win!)
If you do need to buy something, finding yourself caught short halfway through wrapping a gift (it always happens!), choose paper with recycled content, or paper that is at least recyclable. Glossy holographic foiled wrap is not your friend here 🙁 I choose brown kraft paper because you can dress it up a thousand ways and make it look quite stylish.
Last year I wrote about ‘dreaming of an ethical Christmas‘ with tips about dressing the tree, buying gifts, food and more…
We’d love to hear your tips and tricks with eco-friendly wrapping, and see your designs!