I know, I know. It’s hard to stop yourself. You’re out shopping and see an entire array of beautifully designed wrapping paper. For only a few bucks your holiday gifts could look more delightful than ever before. I for one am a sucker for a contemporary new take on tired old holiday iconography but I also know that most wrapping paper is not recyclable, especially the cheap stuff.
Wrapping paper may contain dyes, plastic glitter and laminates, and even gold or silver, which cannot be recycled. Most wrapping paper is also made from very short fibers, which are difficult to recycle.
Here’s an article from Apartment Therapy with good ideas on things you probably have around the house that you could use as alternatives. Newsprint, paper grocery bags or other natural-fiber paper are a great alternative, as are gift bags that can be used several times. Maybe you have some extra reusable shopping bags or totes around the place.
And don’t forget about the ribbon. I recently learned while tying ribbon on gingerbread men for my little hall project here at Eco-Products (don’t judge me), that Mary’s paper ribbon I borrowed is not only sustainable but much easier to tie using my stubby fat fingers. Why did I start with the plastic stuff? Old habits. Why not string or paper ribbon?
Our HR Manager Rachael Smith, recently had a few additional ideas in her employee newsletter to all of us. Use Ball jars, a Newell brand, as an attractive package for food items, and recycle last year’s holiday cards as this year’s gift tags.
Start some new traditions this holiday season by using sustainable and recycled material for your gift wrapping. All it takes is some thinking outside the box, or maybe ditch the box all together.