Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Gift wrap is designed for single use, and millions of tonnes of wrapping paper are sent to landfill every year.  Cheaper wrapping papers aren’t strong enough to be recycled, and a lot of wrapping paper is laminated, dyed or includes non paper elements which also make it non-recyclable.  Add to this the fact that most wrapping paper gets sent to the bin with sticky tape or ribbon still attached and landfill is the only option! 

A few alarming facts:
-It is estimated that Brits will bin the equivalent of 108 million rolls of wrapping paper and 40 million rolls of sticky tape this Christmas.
-Americans spend more than 9 billion dollars a year on wrapping paper.
-Each year, a forest the size of Wales is required to provide all the paper used in Britain alone.
-If every American wrapped just 3 gifts in reusable wrapping it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
-Research shows that Australians will use more than 150,000km of wrapping paper this Christmas – enough to wrap around the equator almost 4 times.

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Luckily there are alternative solutions to wrapping paper (because isn't the wrapping half the fun?) 
Here are some of my favourites. 

Wrap in fabric

I fell in love with this method during the years I lived in South Korea.  It is a beautiful alternative to paper gift wrap.  The fabric can be used over and over again for wrapping, or you can use a handkerchief, tea towel, bandana, scarf or sarong which is a gift in itself!

Wrap in newspapers, magazines or pages of a catalogue

I started to use this method when I moved to Indonesia after being inspired by recycled gift bags in Bali where several stores use bags made from the pages of Newspapers and magazines.  When we moved to the island I was stuck for wrapping paper for a last minute gift and wrapped it in the page of a magazine.  It worked beautifully.

Make a reusable bag your gift bag

This is a great way to save on waste, and the wrapping becomes part of the gift.

Use a jar to hold your gift

Jars are a great alternative to wrapping paper because they can be reused and decorated beautifully.

No Wrapping at all

You can still put love into decorating a gift without wrapping it.  Experiment with jute string and natural elements for a festive touch without the waste.

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What are your favourite zero waste wrapping ideas?  Let us know (and give a shout out to your inspiration) in the comments below.

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