I don’t know about you all, but I find gift wrapping to be such a cathartic, heart-warming part of the holiday season. I always pop on a holiday movie (maybe Home Alone or The Santa Clause tonight) and just enjoy the slow process of parceling up little treasures for my family and friends.
In the past, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the affects of single-use wrapping. There would always be a tinge of guilt when I saw three or four heaping garbage bags at the door on Christmas Day, but I never thought much of it as a kid. Even as an adult, most of us didn’t start thinking about the mass negative affects of holiday waste until the past few years. Did you know that in Canada we create 545,000 tonnes of waste each year just from gift wrapping alone? YIKES! We can’t undo our glittery, plastic coated wrapping of the past, BUT we can start to make some small changes that will have a positive effect long-term. Whether it’s influencing a friend to use an alternative gift wrap, or just using up what you already have at home and starting fresh, everything makes a difference.
Please remember this is a JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE! I have so many old plastic gift bags still waiting to be used and there’s nothing wrong with that! This is a sustainability journey, it’s about being aware of the changes that need to be made and working to do a little bit every day to keep our planet healthy.
Here are a few ideas (I’m sure you’ve seen many on Instagram already hah!) for sustainable gift wrapping:
- Kraft Paper. This is what I’m using this year! I have a huge roll left that needs using up, plus its 100% recyclable. You can add some lovely outdoor greenery and twine to spruce it up a bit.
- Furoshiki. A beautiful Japanese-style cloth wrapping that is taking the internet by storm this year! Not only does it make your gifts look stunning, it can be reused for years to come. 100% biodegradable as well!
- Newspaper. Maybe once frowned upon as the lazy man’s wrapping, now it’s cool and a great way to put it to another use.
- Last Year’s Single-Use Paper/Gift Bags. Like I said, this is a journey! It’s better to give those plastic bags and wrapping a second (or third or fourth or fifth) life than to throw them away.
- Reusable Bags. Maybe not the grocery store ones (not so cute or festive), but there are so many awesome totes out there, especially from local shops.
- T-shirt. Are you giving that special someone a cool tee? Well great, you can wrap the rest of their gift in it! Done.
- Boxes. This one is kind of obvious, any old cardboard box will do.
- Glass Jars. This works great for jewellery or any smaller items, plus now the gift recipient has a lovely jar for low waste storage!
These are just a few ideas, but really you can get creative and use literally anything around the house! Have fun with it and don’t feel bad about using less sustainable materials, it’s about doing your best!
Follow me @sustainablesydb on Instagram. Happy Wrapping!