With Christmas just around the corner and many holiday functions to attend you’ve probably already spent a good chunk of your December budget on gifts. So why spend even more money on fancy gift wrapping which is only going to end up scattered across the floor? There aren’t any statistics on the exact amount of extra waste Canadians produce over the holidays but some sources suggest that wrapping paper is largely to blame for up to a 25% spike in household trash. Now that’s a lot of gift wrap garbage! What’s worse is that if you choose to throw wrapping paper into the fire you could be inhaling dangerous toxic chemicals.
Luckily, there are lots of eco-friendly and affordable ways to wrap your gifts! I recommend putting your presents into something reusable. For example, a basket, a reusable shopping bag, or a recycled burlap rice or coffee bean bag.
As for gift wrapping paper substitutes you can try using brown kraft paper. You can find it in paper bags or rolls of paper. This method is great because you can easily personalize the brown paper. Old maps from previous trips, discarded sheet music or leftover newspaper makes excellent gift wrap too. If you want something similar to typical wrapping paper, remember, there are plenty of recycled printed paper options with soy-based ink or even banana fiber gift paper.
Why not make your gift wrap another part of the gift? Try wrapping a scarf, towel or blanket around your present. Another innovative idea is to place your item into a bowl or some sort of container that is relevant to your gift. For example, a watering can or plant pot would be brilliant for a gardening related gift. This also gives the recipient a little hint of what could be waiting for them inside.
Some of the best decorations for your gifts can be found right outside your door. A sprig of berries, pinecones, rocks, and twigs can all look beautiful on top of a gift. Also, natural twine and wool yarn are great substitutes for ribbon and can easily be reused.