The amount of wrapping paper used and then discarded for gifts in the UK at Christmas is enough to wrap around the equator 9 times. That’s 9 times too many in my opinion. Let’s change that.
Here are my fave zero waste gift wrap options:
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- The ‘from behind the back reveal’! Oooooooh! It’s cute and completely waste free. Ta-dah!
- Reusable gift wrap (you can buy this here*) or simply upcycle a piece of cloth you already own. If you wanna be extra generous and potentially help someone on their way to being more zero waste, then a reusable cloth bag* used as gift wrap is the way to go.
3. Reuse what you already have lying around. Newspapers can be reused (my husband still picks up the Evenning Standard from time to time). Just make sure you choose the headline carefully. My mum wrapped my gift in newspaper once and the headline read:
“I’d rather have £250 than spend Christmas with the family”.
I save the paper wrap from my loo roll to repurpose as gift wrap too. It’s a great conversation starter and it may even convince someone to try tree-free loo roll that is packaged in paper and delivers to your door. I also save any paper throughout the year that looks like it might make cute gift wrap.
Some simple swaps to a gift wrapping kit can make a pretty hefty difference when it comes to waste.
Instead of plastic sticky tape, I use…
TWINE/STRING: I often save twine from various packages throughout the year but I also have a roll of string. Choose natural materials such as string made from organic cotton or gardening twine that can be composted.
PAPER TAPE: If string isn’t enough to keep things under wraps or I’m sending something through the post, then recyclable brown paper tape is the next best thing. I love this stuff! It can be recycled with regular paper/cardboard waste and honestly, it looks way classier than plastic tape.
GIFT TAGS & ADORNMENTS: I use foliage I’ve picked up on a walk or cut from our potted Christmas tree to add a festive feel. I don’t want to burden the gift receiver with yet more bits and bobs to deal with, so I try to only use natural, biodegradable decorations.
When it comes to tags, if I’m giving it direct to the person, I don’t bother. If the gift it being given in advance and will potentially get lost under a tree somewhere, then I usually attach a piece of paper with the person’s name on it. I try to avoid writing on the gift wrap in case I can take it back to reuse again next year.
And that’s a wrap! Have a very merry (but don’t get wasted!) Christmas!
To read more about my approach to Christmas and the swaps I’ve made, read this post: Zero Waste Christmas Swaps!