Christmas….. What a joyful time of year. Unfortunately its also reported to be the most wasteful time of year. Here’s some evidence for you.
The wildlife and Countryside Link tell us that;
- Around 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be thrown away and not recycled in the UK this Christmas – which is more than the weight of 3.3million Emperor penguins.
- Around 88 square km of wrapping paper are likely to be used in the UK this year – that’s enough to cover either Brighton and Hove, Coventry, Newport, Preston, Reading, Sunderland or Swansea.
- The UK uses a staggering 300,000 tonnes of card packaging at Christmas –the equivalent weight of 2 million Reindeer.
- Apparently over 21 million people receive at least one unwanted gift each Christmas, and even worse than this is that a small percentage of these will just get thrown away -not regifted, not sold or given to charity.
How depressing is that?!
And what about Food?!
Well over four million Christmas dinners are thrown away every year – that’s equivalent to 263,000 turkeys, 7.5 million mince pies, 740,000 portions of Christmas pudding and 11.3 million roast potatoes.There are many ways to reduce your food waste, tips on this to follow another time.
There are many way in which to reduce waste at Christmas and of course in daily life. But for now lets look at some pretty awesome waste free gift wrapping ideas.
Cause despite how lovely it is to rip open your presents, its waste. A lot of waste which is only used for such a short period of time before the woman of the house scoops it all up in a black plastic bag. The fact that most wrapping paper is laminated, got glitter on it or foil based means that mostly it can’t be recycled.
In 2013 the amount of wrapping paper brought in the UK was reported to be long enough to stretch to the moon.
Fabric – One of the most eco-friendly ways to wrap your presents this year is by doing so with a reusable piece of cloth or by placing it in a reusable gift bag!
This is a great way to upcycle your; Scarf, Old T-Shirt Or Jeans, Handkerchief, Napkin, Tablecloth Or even an old blanket
But if you don’t have anything at home you can buy some cool stuff . Etsy. – where I do most of my Christmas shopping, just cause it’s totally amazing. Has some cool stuff like the following:
and even this:
Have you heard of this before? Furoshiki is traditional Japanese cloth wrapping. Not only is it eco friendly, but it’s absolutely beautiful. It will certainly be a great way of wowing your family this Christmas! There are lots of tutorials online to show you how to wrap furoshiki. I’d say youtube it! I will be trying this ot for the first time this year. Its a great way to get creative, you just need any square bit of fabric.
Paper – This includes exciting options such as:
Kraft Paper – It’s fairly cheap (and sometimes even free, if it was used in your last online order) and looks great!
Newspaper – Find a section of the newspaper that looks the best and use it for wrapping!
Magazine Paper – This can also look pretty groovy, and if you have the patience – unlike me, you could make a collage!
Old Map – Look for a map at a thrift store or maybe an old textbook you don’t use anymore. I absolutly adore this idea, I love the look of old maps!
Drawing – Do you have a drawing you wouldn’t mind converting into gift wrapping? You could also get creative and draw something specifically for the purpose of using it as gift wrap
Wrapping Paper with a Twist – If you’d like to stick with a more traditional gift wrapping, then how about plantable seed paper? Its just like normal wrapping paper but you can plant it and leave it to sprout! how cool?!
This link here tell you how you can plant this cool stuff. https://plantableseedpaper.co.uk/how-to-plant-eco-friendly-seed-papers/
Of course to be truly waste free you need to be tapeless. And yes this is totally possible. Just get back on good ‘ol youtube and you will find some pretty awesome tutorials – that actually work! – I tried it, its just like origami.
The possibilities with zero waste gift wrapping are endless. Let your creativity run wild.
You can also use:
Mason Jars – If it’s a small enough gift, place it in a nice little jar, decorate it with some jute string and you’re set.
Tins – If you don’t have any, you can treat yourself to some cookies and then use the tin for the gift.
Stored away gift bags – My Mum has a collection of gift bags from gifts she’s received throughout the years.
There are so many easy ways to up your gift wrapping game. For me just a simply bit of string will do it. Here are a few options for adding the final touches to your gift:
- Hemp string
- Jute string
- Small fallen tree branches
- Pine Cones
- Herbs & Spices – Bay leaves, cinnamon sticks.
- Dried Fruit – Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, apples.
These zero waste wrapping techniques are really a great way of transforming your usual Santa paper into something beautiful, and better yet easily creatable for years to come.
Zero Gift Wrap, Zero Waste?
Of course zero gift wrap is also an option. This might not float everyone’s boat, but have you ever thought about not wrapping gifts at all? Just sharing gifts with family unwrapped? I’d say that’s as waste free as you can get when it comes to gift wrapping!
No need to be wasteful at all eh?! I will be employing some of these methods this year too when I actually get around to all of this Christmas present malarkey. Keep an eye out on my social media for some of these – Although this may only happen on Christmas eve!
Are you going to be trying some of these this Christmas? What’s your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!