Greener gift wrap options

So you’ve found some local hand-made gifts to give to loved ones this Christmas, now to wrap them. As part of our series about greening Christmas, Tracy gives you a few hints and tips for greener wrapping!

Not all wrapping is created equal – especially not from a recycling perspective. Wrapping paper that has non-paper additives such as foiled or glitter accents and gloss or metallic coatings cannot be recycled in conventional recycling programs. Glossy polly-ribbon made from plastic is also difficult to recycle, and all this additional stuff usually ends up clogging our landfills after just one use.

We therefore need to give a little more thought to what we plan to wrap our carefully selected gifts with. Luckily there are lots of alternatives!

  1. Buy normal brown unglossy paper – also known as kraft paper – which can be recycled, and spruce it up with beautiful fabric ribbons and natural accents.
  2. Get the kids involved and have them draw designs or stamp patterns onto the paper beforehand. Even better, use your kids drawings as the actual wrapping paper
  3. Learn the Japanese art of “furoshiki”, and wrap your gifts in pieces of fabric. What’s great about this is that it can be reused over and over.
  4. If you don’t have pieces of fabric to hand, get or make some reusable fabric bags to pop your gifts into.
  5. Reuse old newspaper, maps, comics book pages or posters as wrapping paper.
  6. Make your own bows out of old magazines
  7. Recycle old clothing into unique wrapping – here an old sweater has been used. Sleeves make for a super easy bottle wrap too
  8. Look to nature – wrap large leaves around gifts and tie together with twine – the most natural wrap you could possibly find! And it can all be composted once the gift is opened!

For these, and even more great wrapping ideas, visit our Pinterest board: "A greener Christmas: wrapping". Happy wrapping!

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