It’s that time of the year again, when we get to spend a little extra time with our loved ones, eat delicious food, exchange gifts, and enjoy the holiday spirit together. This is what makes Christmas so special. However, some of these loved traditions are also what makes Christmas one of the most wasteful times of the year. We chatted with our founder Jodi who shared some of her favourite sustainable gift-wrapping ideas. Keep reading to find out how you can make some conscious choices for the environment these holidays.
“I haven’t bought wrapping paper in around 15 years, and mum never bought wrapping paper when we were growing up. Here are some of my own personal sustainable wrapping practices that I’ve been doing for years.”
1. Turn your children’s paintings into artsy wrapping paper!
Do you also have a whole bunch of your children’s old paintings and drawings that you can’t bring yourself to throw away? Good news! Their colourful paintings make for beautiful wrapping paper! As your children bring home new paintings and drawings, re-purpose the old ones by using them as paper for Christmas gifts. It is not only great for the environment, but also super appreciated among friends and family!
2. Use recycled wrapping paper
Jodi suggests using recycled butcher’s paper or recycled brown paper to wrap your presents with. Brown paper wrapping is so beautiful on its own with simple ribbon or twine, but you can also have a lot of fun decorating the paper.“I draw little stars or Christmas trees onto the paper before wrapping, or red candy cane stripes which look great and are easy to draw!”. If you have kids it’s a great activity to do together and they can have a lot of fun using finger paint to decorate the paper.
3. Avoid the plastic ribbons
We all know plastic is… well, not so fantastic. Consider replacing your regular plastic ribbons with a more sustainable option. Jodi recommends using paper, raffia twine, cotton string or cotton ribbon to tie around your gifts. It’s definitely a more sustainable option, and(if you ask us) even more beautiful!
Newspapers make such beautiful wrapping paper, and it is a great sustainable option to the wrapping paper you buy in store. Although most people have switched from printed newspapers to digital news, millions of newspapers are printed daily. You might also have a few old newspapers laying around the house. We recommend going through a couple of your old newspapers and look for meaningful articles or words that will complement your gift. Or maybe find an unsolved crossword puzzle for your family and friends to complete!
5. Save the ribbons and wrapping paper from gifts you receive
And of course, make sure you recycle ribbons and paper from unwrapped presents. When you receive gifts from your friends and family, keep the ribbon so you can re-use it in the future. You can also save the wrapping paper if it’s in good condition!
If you often order things online, you probably also receive a lot of paper, tissue paper, ribbons, boxes and twines that you can use as gorgeous wrapping materials! Remember this next time before you throw it away.
6. Pay a visit to the Op-Shop!
You can also go to the Op-Shop and find some really interesting fabrics. Choose an assortment of printed fabrics you like and use them to wrap your presents in. They look great tied together with twine or string! And while you’re there - look for ornaments, decorative brooches, old maps, tote bags, jars and other creative wrapping accessories to make your presents extra special.
7. Make your own cards
In Australia alone, millions of Christmas cards are sold every year. What many people don’t realise is that wrapping paper or cards with glitter, foil and other micro plastics cannot be recycled and end up in landfill.
Making your own cards is super easy and such a fun activity for the whole family! Simply fold a thick piece of paper in half and let your creativity flow. You can paint or draw, decorate with dried flowers or fruits, old buttons, string, or make your own potato stamps to create different shapes such as stars and trees. We promise, your friends and family will love receiving hand made cards - it’s like a little gift on its own!
Not only are these sustainable gift-wrapping ideas great for the environment, they are also really affordable! And apart from this, it makes the person receiving the gift feel special as you have gone through the effort and personalised the gift just for them, so it serves more than one purpose!
Let us know if you have any sustainable gift-wrapping ideas of your own, and if you’ve tried any of the ones above!
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