Why Use Eco Friendly Wrapping Paper?
Christmas is synonymous with decorations and presents but we know that with this comes waste. Boxing Day sees bin bags bursting with crumpled wrapping paper, which only 24 hours previous was neatly adorning gifts. This can be a disappointing sight as often it means another load going to the landfill, however there are alternatives.
There is now a wide range of eco-friendly wrapping papers available, from traditional to contemporary prints. Eco-friendly papers are usually those which are recycled or recyclable and often made without the petrochemicals involved in conventional paper making.
You can even go the whole eco-hog by opting for banana fibre or elephant dung paper or those printed with soy inks which are biodegradable meaning that at you can compost them.
For those who prefer the strength of foils you can now also buy recycled aluminium wrapping foil which can then be recycled again.
Reusable Paper, Bags and Boxes
To avoid the issue of disposal completely why not opt for gift bags, boxes or papers which can be reused. If sticky tape is avoided then many wrappings can be re-used many times over, start a tradition of sending a gift bag back and forth between your friends or passing them between family members to emulate the fondness felt towards old family decorations.
You may laugh at the stereotype of little old ladies peeling sticky tape off wrapping paper so they can reuse it but ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ has never been more relevant than right now and it doesn’t hurt to be a little mindful of what happens once the present has been opened. Use ribbon or decorative string to tie parcels so that the beautiful wrapping can be used again. Reusing packaging is good for the planet and your wallet!
Taking this idea to the next level is the Japanese art of Furoshiki, a traditional way of using decorative fabric squares to wrap items in various beautiful but functional ways. Using fabric is a great way of making the wrapping part of the gift, a scarf or shawl can work double duty to wrap other gifts.
Depending on what item you wish to wrap there are specific ways of folding and knotting the cloth to achieve a well presented gift, this avoids the age old problem of how to wrap an awkwardly shaped object as well as saving on sticky tape.
Homemade papers and boxes
Instead of purchasing wrapping materials you could make your own. The internet is loaded with inventive and interesting ideas for fashioning your own bows, printing your own paper and forming gift boxes from old card. It may take more time but a hand finished gift is all the more special and elevates that predictable box of chocolates to something too good to open and having a box custom made to fit an object rids you of mad hunt for the right size box.
You don’t even have to spend a fortune on supplies, your house probably already contains a wide range of suitable items- paper sandwich bags, ribbon, brown paper, newspaper, string, paper luggage tags, wool, felt, paint swatch cards and buttons are just a few of the everyday items that you can use.
Overall there are many ways to reduce the impact our gift giving has on the world and our wallets, so this year why not give them a try, you’ll never look back.