The environmental effects of gift wrapping
Although wrapping a gift may seem perfectly harmless, it can end up costing the earth. A whopping 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is binned each year (with Christmas being a particularly wasteful period), which ends up slowly decomposing in landfills, releasing dangerous pollutants in the process. Research by Greenpeace revealed the scary reality; that 1kg of wrapping paper is responsible for emitting 3kg of CO2 into the atmosphere during production, which certainly isn’t contributing to a sustainable future. Not forgetting the countless gift bows, decorative glitter and reams of sticky tape that are particularly difficult to recycle.
However, there are small aspects of daily life that you can change, with making a conscious habit to discover new ways to do eco-friendly gift wrapping being one of them. It’s a brilliant opportunity to get your crafting hat on, whilst adding a touch of uniqueness to your presents.
Eco-friendly wrapping paper
Reach for gift wrapping materials that are recyclable and biodegradable, with brown paper being especially environmentally-friendly. You could even use bits and bots lying around the house, such as decorative fabrics for regiftable “wrapping”, or even a newspaper that’s collecting dust on the side. Once tied up with some natural rope, you’ll start to see that this greener method is a much more cost-effective and clutter reducing. Perfect for all of your gifting needs.
Reuse your wrapping
Although it seems like the natural thing to do, do NOT throw away any form of wrapping that remains intact. Many of your regular deliveries will be protected with bubble wrap, often coated in decorative tissue paper. When unwrapped carefully, you can then reuse these to gift your own presents, rather than purchasing new materials.
Reuse shipping boxes
The same applies to shipping boxes too, which work particularly well if you don’t want your gift to get bent in transit. Again, unwrap your own deliveries carefully, storing them in a designated ‘reusing’ cupboard, ready for your next gift wrapping extravaganza. Just the same as previous methods, you’ll be saving not just the environment, but your money too.
As mentioned in our wrapping ideas for Christmas blog post, it’s actually surprisingly easy to craft your own stamper. This DIY method will create the perfect finishing touch to your gift, and you can cut out your own stamping stencil into a variety of shapes. To remain as eco-friendly as possible, you could even make your own ink by using crushed berries for deep red tones.
Taping your gift
Unfortunately, sticky tape that isn’t made of paper can’t be recycled, so think consciously when wrapping your presents. You might want to consider compostable paper tape or washi tape instead, which are both biodegradable alternatives. Crafted from wood fibres, pulp and natural adhesives, these materials break down faster in comparison to regular packaging tapes, without polluting the atmosphere.
Tying up your gift
If you’ve already checked out our blog post on how to use ropes for crafting, you’ll know that there are many eco-friendly alternatives out there for adding the finishing touches to your gift wrapping. Natural ropes are the perfect green solution, such a twisted jute rope and hemp rope, being two brilliant, reusable examples. Alongside being biodegradable and recyclable fibres, they will give your gift wrapping a delightfully rustic feel too! What’s not to love?
If you’ve been inspired by these ideas on how to do eco-friendly gift wrapping, what are you waiting for? Have a chat with our team today to replenish your crafting cupboard.