Green Christmas: eco-friendly gift wrapping guide
Little feels better than hearing the sound of wrapping paper tearing on Christmas day, the joy, the anticipation (and occasional disappointment) of finding out what lies beneath.
However, wrapping paper and our use of it at Christmas significantly impacts the environment. In total, the UK creates up to 30% more waste during the festive period. A big part of this is wrapping paper, we throw away an astounding 227,000 miles of it each year. Wrapping paper can be recycled, if it’s not shiny metallic or glittery, but if you are unsure whether your paper is recyclable just scrunch it up – if it stays in a ball you can pop it in recycling.
We’ve put together some eco friendly tips if you are looking to cut down on your environmental footprint this Christmas.
Many of us are guilty of hoarding newspapers, you leave one lying around and suddenly there’s a pile of them heaped up on a table. This year why not avoid the dash to the shops when running low on wrapping paper and finding yourself in a scrum for the last remaining rolls. The monochrome print creates a surprisingly fancy looking gift, combine this with a brightly coloured ribbon and something foraged from your garden to make your presents stand out.
Another great way to do away with traditional wrapping paper is to embrace the Japanese art of Furoshiki, a way to wrap anything into a gift using fabric. Furoshiki embodies the philosophy of eco-friendly living, each year the fabric can be reused by yourself, or the person who received the gift. It’s a simple, elegant method and is bound to have people asking questions about how you did it.
Brown paper is one of the most versatile forms of wrapping paper, plus it’s cheap. You just need to get creative with the final presentation to spice it up.
If you are feeling brave and are wrapped up head to toe, venture outside to find trimmings for your decorations. Holly leaves, winterberries or sprigs from pine and fir trees all work well when paired with stripped back wrapping paper.
Or if you are looking for inspiration closer to home, try the kitchen. Dried orange slices together with cinnamon sticks can really spruce up any brown paper bag, plus it smells just like Christmas.
Each year we inevitably get given at least one present in a gift bag. Gift bags usually look terrific, so instead of discarding it, stash it away with your decorations and it can be reused next year.
Small steps will go along way into helping you cut down on waste this Christmas.
Join in the Green Christmas conversation by using #uncommongreenchristmas on socials.