- Every year hundreds and hundreds of presents are given around the holidays.
- Christmas time has become a consumerist holiday, it’s all about the gifts.
- Billions of dollars are spent on Christmas.
Deck the Dumpsters with Tons of Waste
- With gifts being the focus of the holidays all of those presents need to be wrapped.
- Half of the paper America consumes is used to wrap and decorate products.
- Gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons annually in the US.
- 15 trees per ton of wrapping paper is used, that’s 60 million trees for our gifts!
- Average American uses 2 pounds of wrapping paper a year.
What to wrap gifts in
- If you want to use wrapping paper use recycled paper (30% recycled paper saves 7.2 trees).
- Reuse wrapping paper, bags, ribbons and bows, year after year.
- Wrap with fabric.
- Use newspapers or paper bags as gift wrap. (You can decorate paper bags with stamps, paint or stickers to make them more festive).
- Use reusable cloth bags. (There are a wide range of them you can find online if you search for reusable gift bags).
- You could make your own cloth bag by buying fabric. What is great about these is that they can be reused every year. If you want to be fancy you could make the bags reversible so that you had two patterns on one bag.
- Wrap your gift in a reusable shopping bag.
- Instead of using ribbon that has plastic in it use spare yarn, or fabric.
- Use a small little gift to decorate (a doll, a ornament)
- Include Towels in your gift and use them to wrap it.
- Use a scarf as a decoration on your gift.
- Instead of buying decorations use natural things such as plants or flowers.
How this benefits the Environment
Utilizing alternatives lessens the amount of waste being thrown out every year. Using cloth bags is the most environmental. These can be reused every year and washed if they get dirty. With these they are more affordable, you don’t have to buy new paper every year. They also make for easy wrapping, so will save you time!
Look for alternatives to wrapping paper and what to do with packaging that is used. For society to be able to change, every person has to start by changing what they are doing. If you use the above options you can save the environment and take one step towards a more sustainable Christmas. When giving gifts encourage those who are receiving them to continue the cycle.
Will you take the initiative to start using green ways of wrapping gifts? Do you think if you start it others will too? Do you have any other suggestions for a more environmental way of gift giving?
“Don’t follow trends – start trends.”