Who doesn’t love a well-wrapped gift? Whether it be a wonderfully colourful bow, distinctively patterned paper or a traditional colour scheme, we all get a kick out of specially decorated gifts sitting under the tree come the 25th.
But, at Strive we’ve spent this year banging the drum for sustainable living, so naturally, we don’t feel great about the enormous amounts of waste generated at Christmastime – especially when it comes to wrapping paper.
Due to the materials used on your favourite wrapping paper, such as glitter, many wrapping materials can’t be recycled.
So, if, like us, you’re looking for some alternative wrapping ideas, we’ve put together a few ideas you might like to try this Christmas!
Round Up Old Gift Bags
You could do away with wrapping paper altogether and give out your gifts to your friends and family in an old gift bag. This means much less ripped paper, and you can still retain that surprise factor.
The best part about this method is that the bag is likely to remain intact as it’s opened, which means you or the person you’re giving the gift to, can use it over and over again.
Present decorations foraged from nature not only look gorgeous, but they’re super easy to source too! In fact, I’ve you’ve invested in a real Christmas tree, you could just clip a few sprigs from the back on your tree, without even leaving your living room. Spruce, pine and fir sprigs look fantastic paired with simple brown paper and rustic, natural twine.
Even if you don’t have a real tree, you have a whole bounty of natural decorations right outside your back door. Things like holly leaves, winterberries, evergreen shrubs and pinecones are ideal – they can also be used to make lovely centrepieces for the Christmas dinner table too!
Raid the Kitchen Cupboards
The likes of fresh herbs, dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks are perfect if you’re looking to create some fragrant Christmas gifts this season.
If you’re also looking to do away with gift tags, why not consider gingerbread or salt dough alternatives? Before baking, use a straw or small knife to make a hole within each tag to ensure you can thread string through them, and once they’ve cooled down, you can write on them in icing.
At Strive, we’re all about the zero-waste life! So, for example, if you’re left with a small patch of wrapping paper at the end of the roll, make good use of it. You could do this by layering the paper on top of another roll or create a complete half-and-half effect.
This also means you aren’t wasting wrapping paper – which can be incredibly annoying if you’ve splashed out on recyclable paper, or you’ve cut a piece that’s too small.
The Two R’: Reuse, Recycle
There’s certainly wrong with collecting old wrapping paper and reusing it later down the line – particularly if you’ve been given a thoughtfully wrapped gift with lovely ribbons and paper.
Look out for adornments in everyday life as well. For instance, hampers will often come with lovely pastel tissue paper and ribbons. Or, if you’re feeling particularly thrifty, you could use newspapers or plain brown paper bags in lieu of unrecyclable gift wrap.
Utilise Eco-Friendly Supplies
If you’re not keen on using any paper this festive season, why not consider fabric bags instead? If you’re a bit of a dab hand in the sewing department, drawstring pouches are really easy to make and are ideal for reuse by your friends and family.
Alternatively, if you’d like to try something a bit different, consider adopting the Japanese tradition of Furoshiki, the art of fabric wrapping. Or make use of an old bed sheet or linen cloth.
If you do opt for wrapping paper, select from recyclable options over anything else. Remember, paper with glitter, foil and paper with a plastic sheen isn’t recyclable.
Can you think of any other environmentally friendly gift wrapping ideas that you can share with us and our community?