What would Christmas be without festive holiday wrapping paper peeking out from under the tree? Well, as it turns out, it would be a more eco-friendly holiday. Christmas is one of the biggest paper gluttons, generating nearly one million tons of trash each year. The biggest percentage of that waste is wrapping paper.
Of course, the truly green alternative to Christmas wrapping paper is to not wrap your gift at all. But then, how fun is that? Here are 8 green alternatives to traditional Christmas wrapping paper that are eco-friendly and still let everyone have the fun of opening a festive present on Christmas morning.
Recycled Christmas Wrapping Paper
If you just can’t give up that festive holiday wrapping paper, there are many recycled papers on the market. Recycled wrapping paper uses recycled paper materials, like those you put out on your curb every week. Any kind of paper that can be recycled can end up in your recycled Christmas wrapping paper- old magazines, newspapers, brown bags, office paper and even old Christmas paper.
Recycled wrapping paper helps reduce your carbon footprint by using less energy, resources and creating less waste to send to landfills. Afraid your recycled holiday paper will be boring? Don’t worry. Recycled wrapping paper is just as vibrant and festive as traditional papers. There are endless designs and patterns. If you are looking for a great source for recycled holiday gift wrapping, look no further than Fish Lips Paper Design. Fish Lips carries a wide selection of festive Christmas prints and solid colors that are made from 100 percent recycled paper and soy based ink. And, the price is right, starting at just $4 per roll.
Recycle Your Own Materials
The cheapest and easiest source for recycled Christmas wrapping paper is you. Recycle your wrapping paper each year, reuse your boxes, bags, ribbon, bows and tags. But don’t limit yourself to using holiday papers and containers. Almost any paper, box or container can be used for your eco-friendly Christmas. Think outside the box for green alternatives to traditional wrapping paper. Use takeout menus, maps, junk mail, old school papers, photocopies from work that you no longer need, scrapbooking paper, magazines, wallpaper and food boxes such as Jell-o or cereal boxes. Have your kids color pages in their coloring books and use those as an eco-friendly Christmas gift wrap. Decorate the backs of old birthday wrapping paper you have saved and double its usefulness.
Biodegradable Wrapping Paper
Biodegradable gift wrap is made from a combination of recycled and sustainable materials. This eco-friendly choice is specially designed to break down easily, meaning it will spend less time in the landfill. But make sure your green gift wrap never makes it that far. Compost your used biodegradable wrapping paper after the holiday festivities are over.
Sustainable Wrapping Paper
Another green alternative to traditional Christmas wrapping paper is sustainable gift wrap. This eco-friendly option uses at least 50 percent sustainable non-tree materials such as hemp, bamboo, abaca or lokta bush. Sustainable materials are easy to grow, grow quickly and do not harm the environment. To go treeless this holiday season, visit Of the Earth and peruse their extensive line of festive Christmas wrapping papers. An added benefit- all Of the Earth papers are embedded with wildflower seeds that, when planted, sprout as the paper biodegrades for an extra gift come spring.
Wrap in Another Usable Item
Wrapping your gift in another useful item is a great way to go green during the holidays. Clothing, reusable fabric shopping bags, blankets and towels are all great choices.
Use Newspaper & Brown Bags
Using newspaper and brown bags as gift wrap is certainly not a new idea, but it is one that has been gaining popularity in recent years. If color is what you want, use the Sunday comics section or have your kids use markers, crayons, glitter or stick on décor to decorate the newspaper or brown bag. Adding finishing touches such as ribbons and bows will also make your gift more festive.
Wrap in Fabric
Using fabric to wrap your gift will save landfill space and provide materials for crafting or sewing. If you are wrapping a relatively large gift, consider using enough fleece fabric to make a tie blanket. Include instructions on how to make this easy and useful craft. This is an especially useful idea for the sewer in your life.
There are many companies specializing in eco-friendly gift bags for holiday gift giving. Wrapsacks specializes in reusable fabric gift bags. They carry over 40 different fabrics, colors and patterns. Their Track-a-Sack feature allows users to track where their sack has been, what gifts it’s concealed and what celebrations it has been a part of. So far, people have reported almost 35,000 Track-a-Sack giftings.
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