I was horrified to find out that most of our wrapping paper isn’t recycled. Mainly because it’s covered in sticky tape but also because it often contains other materials which can’t be recycled such as dye, glitter and foil.
So the first steps to being environmentally friendly with your gift wrapping is to ditch
- Sticky tape
- Normal gift wrap
- Curling ribbon/bows
- Most store bought gift tags
However I think it’s exciting to rethink how I’m going to wrap my presents this year, and consciously and creatively source wrapping that is both pleasing to the eye but also doesn’t damage the environment.
1. Furoshiki Reusable Wrapping Cloth:
These are Japanese reusable cloth gift wraps. They’re reusable and come in great patterns. The other good thing is they don’t require sticky tape. They are around $10 a piece which is quite pricey or alternatively you could buy teatowels. I guess the other downside is that you can’t guarantee that your recipient won’t chuck them out at a later date, and as material can’t go in your normal recycling bin at home that means landfill. Otherwise a super cool idea.
2. Recyclable Gift-Wrap
Another solution is to source fully recyclable gift wrap that is ethically made. This way as long as you don’t use sticky tape it can go in the recycling bin. Additionally it is more affordable, you can even buy a plain roll and have the kids decorate it with washable markers etc.
3. Sticky Tape alternatives
You can actually now buy sticky tape that is biodegradable which means you can simply replace the one you have at home with this one and use as normal. Alternatively you can buy Washi Tape which is plastic free and fully recyclable as its made of paper winner!
Jute twine is made from natural fibres and is biodegradable so its a great option for replacing ribbon. Alternatively you can get paper twine or raffia in lots of colours. What would be better is to skip the ribbon completely and make a bow out of your recyclable paper.
5. Gift Tags
You can easily source recyclable gift tags, the same rules apply though as they do with wrapping paper and gift bags- no glitter, no plastic, no foil, no ribbon. Alternatively you can make your own or ditch them altogether and simply write on the paper/jar/bag itself.
The cheapest alternative is to reuse paper bags, jars, tins, gift boxes. Just check that the bags and gift boxes don’t have glitter or plastic in them before placing them in the recycling. You can even decorate your own just think washable markers, or stamps with washable ink so that they can be placed in there echoing after.
Happy Gift Wrapping!
Mumma Z xxx