A tweet about why we should wrap our Christmas gifts in brown paper went viral recently for a very good reason. What may come as a surprise to you, because it was to me, is that traditional wrapping paper isn’t recyclable. Instead, it ends up in landfill.
I took pride last year in how pretty my wrapping paper was, but this year now that I know better, pretty wrapping paper isn’t worth it. We’re well on our way to having more plastic in the ocean than fish, and I don’t want to contribute towards plastic pollution anymore.
I was going to buy brown paper, but found a lot of thin sheets with designs and crepe paper in my room. I have a habit of holding onto these things in case they would make a nice background to a page of my adventure book so a lot of paper from the Disney store, other places, and online piled up. I also had left over ribbons and string from other purchases, so this was a great way to upcycle things I already own.
Another innovative idea was making my own gift bag instead of buying one. I kept a few packages from online purchases, for the same reason’s as the paper, because I felt like I would use it for something. A pink floral envelop was just what I needed. Once I cut off the the top and removed my address – which thankfully was only a sheet of paper stuck on with sello tap and not an actual part of the packaging – I was able to cut holes to carry and it was perfect!
This year, I didn’t have to buy new wrapping paper or bags, as being a hoarder worked out in my favour! I also saved money from not having to buy new things. Christmas is already a time of over consumption, and capitalism thrives, so little things like this at least lessen the impact, and don’t contribute as much to plastic pollution.
Have a look around your house for what you can use to wrap gifts, and if you can’t find much then get some brown paper and accessorise with ribbons, stamps, and doilies! I don’t shop online as much anymore so if next Christmas I can’t find things to reuse, that’s what I’ll be doing.
It’s also great to find green gifts, like products that come in no packaging, or making something from the heart. Christmas is probably the most environmentally hazardous time of the year with so much overproduction and over-consumption of food and gifts, and all the energy that goes into keeping those Christmas lights twinkling. As it’s the season of good will, perhaps consider directing that energy towards the planet and being more eco-friendly.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!