Giving gifts is a big (the biggest) part of the holidays but what about the paper that the gifts come wrapped in? #10 on my list of #1000WaystoNourish is Don’t Throw Wrapping Paper.
Canadians generate 25% more garbage during the holiday season. That’s 540,000 tons of gift wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, foil, gift bags and greeting cards and more. While the regulations vary across cities and countries, waste experts agree that intense colours, shiny finishes, velvet textures, metallic elements, all that make gift wrapping paper attractive also render it un-recyclable. And don’t get me started on the plastic ribbons and bows.
What if we shifted our mindset on what is attractive?
What if we judged a book by its contents rather than the cover?
You see where I am going with this.
Here are earth-friendly alternatives to wrapping those pressies for your loved ones:
Reuse What You Have
- Don’t throw wrapping paper that can be reused. Reuse old newspapers, old wrapping paper and magazines.
- Glass jars and containers, bags and tins – there are tons of options out there that are more fun to open rather than ripping paper up in shreds.
Buy What You Don’t
- Gift bags that you can reuse again and again, season after season. I bought these at our local home store and they were affordable and will withstand the test of many more Christmases in the future.
- If you do need to buy wrapping paper, look out for plain colours that have the “can be recycled” logo on it. Dull colours, plain finish, no glitter, shiny elements etc. or it will end up in the landfill.
Then pretty it up with twine, string, pine cones, paper doilies, cedar, leaves etc. There are so many fun choices available to decorate gifts that are not ribbons and bows. Choices that are beautiful AND earth-friendly, and won’t add to the burden of trash that we face today. Let’s do our part to make this a GREEN holiday.
Don’t Make Trash A Holiday Tradition
Questions about the blue bin in Toronto? See the Waste Wizard on Toronto.ca.
Looking for ideas on making sustainable choices all year round? Everyday tips from the series #1000WaystoNourish here.