I love the winter holidays, but, there is no denying that they can be overly commercial and rather wasteful. Americans throw away 25% more trash during the holidays than at other times of the year. And, that amounts to 25 million tons of garbage. You can learn more here.
If Americans wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. So, what are a few ways to use less wrapping paper for the holidays? Here are five to start with.
One of the easiest ways to use less wrapping paper is to save it to re-use from year to year. While this isn’t always possible, you should be able to use this technique at least a few times. Just consider using the wrapping paper from your child’s doll to wrap your husband’s wristwatch.
If saving doesn’t appeal to you, you could consider giving smaller gifts or gift cards. The smaller a gift, the less wrapping paper it required to wrap it! Or, with a gift card, you can simply add it to their Christmas card when you give it to them.
If you have larger gifts to wrap, why not use reusable gift bags? You can sew large cloth, fleece, or burlap bags with a drawstring to wrap big presents. Then, after the unwrapping is over, just collect the bags and re-use them again next year. Or, send the bags home with the gift recipient so they can use them.
Wrap your presents in something other than wrapping paper. You can wrap children’s presents in comics from the newspaper. Consider using last year’s calendar to wrap smaller gifts. Or can use a pretty tin, a glass jar, or a decorated cigar box. Look around the house for inspiration!
To avoid gift wrapping entirely, consider gifting experiences. You can get the children a year’s membership to the zoo. Gift your husband a subscription to his favorite coffee subscription service or a year’s worth of movie streaming. Or, try giving one of those meal delivery service kits to someone you know that would appreciate it.
If being more eco-friendly is important to you this year, I hope that you can use a few of these ideas. Using less wrapping paper during the holidays doesn’t have to be difficult. It just takes a few simple changes to make a big impact. Just imagine if everyone implemented just one or two of these ideas!