It was so exciting to see the beautifully wrapped boxes under the tree when I was a child! I couldn’t wait until Christmas morning when I would tear them open and toss the gift wrapping aside.
My family’s gift wrapping tradition started with a walk to our local shops. We would buy big colorful rolls of paper, bows, ribbons, and plenty of tape. Then Mom, my sister, and I would spend a good part of an afternoon wrapping. It was a nice tradition that I will always remember.
Nowadays, I try to avoid gift wrapping waste. Although you can recycle plain wrapping paper and cardboard boxes, many recycling programs do not accept tissue paper. And if your wrapping paper has glitter or plastic coating, it’s not recyclable. Nor can you recycle ribbons or bows.
We can avoid a lot of the waste that comes with wrapping presents; it’s not that hard to find better gift wrapping options. In recent years, I used colored paper gift bags that I decorated with cards or candy. Sometimes, I’ll give baskets filled with bags of candy, coffee, or nuts. The gift bags and baskets can be reused for gift-giving and the baskets can be useful around the house.
What other eco-friendly ways can we find to give our gifts? How about decorating those boxes that come from online shopping? If you don’t add glitter or glue, the whole box can be recycled after the holidays. And pretty fabric scraps could substitute as ribbons and bows.
A basket could hold spa items, a set of essential oils, or beeswax candles. A fruit bowl could hold an assortment of fine teas, homemade cookies, or chocolates. A new pot could hold gourmet pasta, an assortment of wooden spoons, or jars of home-canned tomato sauce.
This year, I think I’ll use reusable tote bags instead of gift wrapping. After the recipient “unwraps” their gift, they’ll have a handy, reusable bag to help them reduce waste!
Let’s give a gift to the Earth this year with responsible packaging and eliminate gift-wrapping waste. Happy holidays!
Feature image by monicore from Pixabay