3. Wrapping

Quick Facts:

🚫 Metallic, texture or glittery wrapping paper is NOT recyclable.

🚫 Ribbons and bows are NOT recyclable.

The most sustainable way of wrapping your gifts is by re-purposing existing materials. A colourful magazine, comic book, children’s drawings, old maps or newspapers are some of the options. This is ideal for wrapping the gifts of your children – fun and different; family members – they know you like things the eco way; and your eco-conscious friends who will appreciate and respect your thought. Once the unwrapping is done, everything can simply go in the recycle bag… or if they are still in good condition, consider keeping them for re-use.

If you are looking for a packaging for colleagues or peers, something that is neat and elegant, the best option is to go for plain brown paper. You can easily write on it, or you can create your own rubber-stamp for a personalised touch. Brown paper can go in the recycle bag.

Instead of ribbon, buy a roll of earth-colour twine or hemp string. Then use dried leaves, flowers, pine cones, berries or small pieces of twigs to place in the centre instead of a bow.

You can also combine cute craft ideas to turn your packaging into something original and exciting. Like a small garland made out of recycle paper of small pieces of cardboard cut out in cute shapes, stars, reindeers, snowman, santa hat. etc..

Another alternative to wrapping gifts is cloth – known as the Furoshiki method, it is a traditional Japanese art of wrapping, originally used to transport goods. Clearly the cloth should be re-purposed or used for another gift-wrapping.

Important Tips:

Avoid tape and glue. They make re-cycling impossible and the whole batch would end up in landfill. Re-purposing ribbons and other materials that you already have is also a good option.

For large gifts consider buying sturdy gift boxes. They can be re-used in many different ways for a number of years and they can be re-decorated, re-embellished and personalised.

Tissue paper is a great way to embellish the gift wrapping and it is 100% recyclable. It is the eco alternative to bubble wrap (although now there is a plastic-free version of bubble wrap too, but you won’t find it in your store just yet).

We are exactly 40 days away from Christmas. Have you started decorating yet? Have you sorted all your gifts and their wrapping? Yes? Good! Now its time to start thinking about the parties and the food! Check out next week for another insight on how to live an Eco Christmas!

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