KearnyHub.com says that Americans throw away 38,000 miles of ribbon, buy 2.65 billion holiday cards, and chop down 33 million christmas trees during the holidays each year.
Guess where all those cards, the ribbon, the wrapping paper, and trees end up after the New Year?
Yep, the dump. Merry Hanaquanzimas Planet Earth.
On top of that, you don’t even get a chance to be eco-friendly during the holidays since traditional wrapping paper isn’t recyclable.
So what CAN you do to help green that Christmas gift wrapping?
Here are some simple tips…
6 Environmentally-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas
- Use newspaper.
Newspaper makes wonderful wrapping paper. I wrap children’s gifts in the funnies to make them more festive. For adults I tie up the packages with cloth ribbon, or tape a pine cone to them, rather than using plastic ribbons.
- Use children’s artwork.
If you have children, give them paper that you’re planning on recycling and let them decorate the blank side with Christmas or holiday themed art. Then use that to wrap your gifts. Your kids will have fun, and your friends and family will love getting some artwork created by your children. If you’ve already purchased a roll of that paper that kids so love to draw on, you can also cut off large pieces for them to draw on and then use that to wrap gifts.
- Use reusable gift wrap.
Consider products like LyziWraps which are recyclable wrapping paper. Ok, they’re kind of more like a gift bag, but with some pretty cool twists that make them wrapping paper/gift bag hybrids. Let’s call them wrapping bags. You don’t use tape, or scissors, you simply put the gift in and tie the ribbon. The great thing about these wraps are that you can use them again and again. The only downside is the price, since they range anywhere from $8 to $30 depending on the size.
- Use gift bags.
Use holiday bags and tissue paper rather than commercial wrapping paper. The great thing about holiday bags and tissue paper is you can reuse them over and over for years to come. Simply tie a tag to the bags handle with the recipient’s name. You can even make your own holiday bags out of cloth and then use them year after year! But seriously, if you’re not gonna reuse the tissue paper, don’t even bother with it to begin with.
- Use gift wrap made from recycled paper.
UNICEF and others sell recycled wrapping paper. While it is a little more expensive, it’s well worth the expense since you know you’re doing something good for the environment.
- Use the old stuff first… it’s already paid for.
Don’t purchase new wrapping paper this year if you still have wrapping paper from the year before. The greenest option is to use up the old wrapping paper first and then use one of the green gift wrapping options in this list. Buying more commercial wrapping paper is not an option.
These are just a few of the great ideas out there for how you can elimate the waste that comes each year when thousands of people buy gift wrapping paper that will only be used once and end up in landfills.
Check out this pic of a dumpster pretty much entirely filled with boxes, wrapping paper, ribbons, and other Christmas rubbish:
The wonderful thing about coming up with ways to wrap holiday presents that don’t require commerical wrapping paper is it is such a great opportunity to be creative!
What are some ways you green your gift wrapping?
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