Did you know? Most wrapping paper and gift wrapping materials are not recyclable? Anything glittery, with mixed in foil and plastic, textures, or lamination will inevitably end up in a landfill. Shockingly, out of the 4.6 billion pounds of wrapping paper produced annually in the U.S. alone, nearly half ends up in the trash posing a significant environmental challenge year after year.
So, how can we be more mindful of our wrapping choices while still making our gifts visually appealing? Don't be discouraged by the thought of plain brown paper; we have some tips and tricks to elevate your sustainable gift wrapping game this holiday season.
Kraft Wrapping Paper for the Win
We get it; brown may not be the most visually striking color, but it's a favorite of our Mother Earth. Kraft paper offers an easy transition from traditional wrapping paper and can be used for gifts of all sizes. Unlike traditional wrapping paper, it's easily recyclable or compostable. Take it a step further by reusing newspaper, old maps, magazines, Trader Joe's bags, or packing paper from online orders as wrapping materials.
To add a touch of nature's beauty, opt for twine instead of ribbons and bows unless you are using up what you already have. Sprinkle on biodegradable glitter and incorporate dried citrus ornaments, tree clippings, cinnamon sticks or rosemary wreaths for decoration.
For citrus ornaments, simply place lemon, orange or grapefruit slices on parchment paper or a reusable silicone baking mat in the oven for two hours at 200°F, flipping them every 30 minutes. Add twine or cotton string when cooled. When done, they can last for years and are fully compostable at the end of their life.
For greenery, experiment with pine, fir, rosemary, or eucalyptus. Any small, dry stalks can work wonders - let your creativity shine.
After the holidays, consider recycling or donating your unused kraft paper and composting the fruits, greens, and twine or saving for next year if they're salvageable.
Kraft paper is a blank canvas! Draw your own holiday designs or turn them into gingerbread houses with chalk markers.Try Furoshiki Wrapping
Originating from Japan and initially intended for transporting goods, Furoshiki wrapping has become a stylish way to wrap holiday gifts. This technique allows you to use square pieces of cloth, fabric, small towel, or scarves to fold and secure your presents beautifully. You can either gift the fabric itself (we love that part of the gift is also the wrapping!) or reuse it year after year.
The size of the cloth depends on your gift's dimensions, ranging from as small as your hand to as large as a dining table. A common size is 28 x 28 inches or 17 x 17 inches. The cloth should have a reversible pattern for folding and be thick enough to hold the gift securely.
Decorate your Furoshiki wrapping with ornaments, gift tags, or any natural elements of your choice. Once done, wash the fabric or cloth, compost the natural embellishments, and store it for next year's use. See a quick tutorial here.Wrap in Reusable Bags
Gift wrapping becomes a breeze with this technique. Similar to Furoshiki wrapping but a little easier, you can earn praise for turning your wrapping paper into a gift in itself by utilizing reusable bags!
Depending on the gift's size, any solid fabric reusable bag can be used. For various-sized gifts, consider our 3-pack cotton bulk bags as a simple and reusable wrapping option. Place the gift inside, tie the bag with twine, and decorate with citrus ornaments and other natural elements. By making the bag a part of the gift, your loved ones will not only receive a present but also a convenient bag to reuse and reuse for years to come.
Whether you opt to wrap your gifts in reusable bags, kraft paper, or embrace the art of Furoshiki this holiday season, remember that your thoughtful choices have the power to reduce waste and ease the strain on the planet. Each beautifully wrapped present represents a small yet meaningful step towards a more sustainable future, where we prioritize the well-being of our Mother Earth in every celebration.