"Australians will use more than 150,000kms of wrapping paper this Christmas - enough to wrap around the Earth's equator almost 4 times."
New research from CARE Australia has highlighted just how much waste we create during the festive season. I must admit I was pretty shocked when I read that statistic - and that's only within Australia! Even though there are more sustainable (and cheaper) options, we continue to throw away our money on wrapping paper - for every birthday, every engagement, every wedding, every Christmas and every event in-between...
The thing about wrapping paper is that most of it is lined with plastic to give it that glossy feel and look. This means that wrapping paper can never be recycled or properly broken down. Now think about all the glitter, all the sticky tape, all the cellophane and all the shiny bows and ribbons you use on top of the paper itself!
This festive season, it's time to ditch the wrapping paper once and for all - I've listed 7 of my favourite ways to deliver beautiful gifts this Christmas without a single inch of wrapping paper or sticky tape in sight!
1. Recycle Old Newspapers
You can wrap gifts in newspaper instead of wrapping paper. It’s a great way to reuse newspaper and it will make your gift unique. You could also try using old books, sheet music, magazines, or a drawing you made that you wouldn’t mind using as gift wrap.
2. Re-Use Boxes and Gift Bags
I know that my Mum has a stash of gift bags ready to go every time a birthday or event comes up! She keeps every single one she receives, stacks them neatly in her wardrobe (along with boxes and paper gift wrap) ready to re-use at a moment's notice. It saves money, it saves the environment and saves you time. We use our empty Bambu boxes for bigger gifts!
3. Furoshiki - Japanese Fabric Wrapping
Cloth wrapping has been used for over 1200 years in Japan and is one of the most gorgeous ways to present a gift! You can use old scrap material, a vintage scarf or even a tea towel (which can be a part of your present) to wrap your gift. Find out how to perfect the art of Furoshiki here.
4. Reusable Tote Bag
Isn't it awesome when the wrapping can be part of the gift?! Find a good tote to pack all your goodies into and place it under the Christmas tree. You could use a simple cotton tote or a larger carry bag like this one from The Friday People!
5. Skip the Tape
Skip the tape altogether - when wrapping your presents with brown paper or newspaper, you don’t need to use tape. The great thing about brown paper and newspaper is that it folds easily, compared to regular wrapping paper. Securing the gift with a bit of twine or a piece of cloth ribbon looks so much more beautiful, too!
6. Use Old Jars
You can store certain gifts in old jars like mason jars, glass jars and baby food jars. Small jars can be used for jewellery, whereas bigger jars can hold consumable gifts. This is a perfect zero-waste gift wrap because there’s nothing to throw away!
7. Reusable Gift Bags
Reusable gift bags are a great zero-waste gift wrapping method. The person receiving the gift can reuse the bag for more gifts. They are usually made with fabric, making them machine-washable and therefore can be used for many gifts. You can use an old t-shirt or cardigan to create a gorgeous reusable pouch!
By choosing to be more earth-friendly regarding gift wrap, you’re helping prevent pollution and truly making a difference for the planet.
Encourage your friends and family to try these sustainable gift wrapping ideas this Christmas or for future birthdays.
It’ll be a fun challenge for anyone who has never tried these kinds of gift-wrapping methods and there will be less waste to pick up and throw away after everyone opens their gifts.