Tis the season for wrapped gifts in bags, with bows, and boxes under a tree… but unfortunately, that pretty shiny, laminated gift wrap paper is, in fact, not recyclable. And to include it in the bin with other paper products can make an entire load unrecyclable. If wrapping paper is metallic, or glittery, or has a texture, it is not recyclable.
So how can you reduce waste created by gift giving this season and still have pretty gifts under the tree?
- Use recyclable wrap like brown paper sacks from the grocery store, or butcher paper, even newspaper is an option and recyclable. Opt out of unnecessary gift tags and just write on the wrap in marker who the gift is to and from! Bonus not using gift tags saves money and is one less thing to throw away!
- Reuse wrap/gift bags- this is my favorite. Over the last few years, I have collected a variety of gift bags that I use over and over again. If I need to put a new tag on it, I simply cut a sheet of paper, write on it and hole punch it, add some ribbon and voila! Plus, now I get to enjoy these expensive gift bags for years to come!
- Wrap in cloth or fabric! Tie with a ribbon for extra pizzazz and hold it all together with safety pins! I can’t be the only person with random amounts of unused cotton in my closet. Plus with a variety of prints and colors available you can use it to wrap gifts then if your receiver likes to craft they have fabric to sew or make something with! Or you can use it again and again.
- Another way to reduce waste is to buy less, probably the least popular of the options but hear me out. When you buy fewer gifts, logically you have less to wrap.
- Finally, just give your gift without wrap! Surprise them on Christmas morning with an unwrapped gift under the tree, perfect for larger items! Try adding a ribbon to finish it off and of course save that ribbon or bow for the next time you need to give!
You don’t have to forgo the pretty paper just at the holidays, make this a year-round effort! Buy gift bags on sale after the holidays to reuse and stock up on fabric when it goes on sale. Friends and family will appreciate less waste in the trash bin and your mindfulness to every detail, including the ribbon and recyclable name tags!
What is your favorite sustainable way to wrap gifts?