Looking to go-green with your gifting? With a few simple changes, you can reduce your environmental impact and bring joy, not only to your giftees, but to mother nature too.
Opt for reusable wrapping
Try your hand at cloth gift bags! Just cut your chosen fabric accordingly, fold in half and sew along three sides. To ensure it closes properly, sew a piece of cloth on the open side or fasten with rope or ribbon. For an added personal touch, tuck a piece of greenery or your loved one's favourite flower into the bow.
Use recycled paper and hemp twine! Instead of buying new wrapping paper only to have it thrown out immediately after being opened, why not use the leftover craft paper, shopping bags or newsprint in your home to wrap your gifts. Finish off your environmentally-friendly masterpiece by wrapping with hemp twine.
If you're in a pinch and have to use regular wrapping paper, make sure that all the materials are correctly disposed of. If you can't save the paper for future use, or your gift comes in a plastic package, recycle it! It's not ideal, but it’s better than simply throwing it in the trash.
A fair trade top-off
For an added eco-friendly touch, consider adding a sweet treat that gives back, such as fair trade certified chocolate or vegan candy. With ethically-sourced ingredients, both you and your gift recipient can feel good knowing that your purchase supports socially and environmentally responsible businesses.
If you’re wrapping something soft or oddly-shaped that needs to be put in a gift box, opt for biodegradable cardboard. Paper routinely makes up a sizeable chunk of household waste, and although recycling is better than the trash, the process still uses up a lot of valuable resources. By choosing a compostable option, you can reduce some of the environmental impact that comes with recycling paper. A beautifully wrapped gift that helps the planet: it's a win-win.
For your next batch of homemade holiday cookies, ditch the plastic wrap and try your hand at beeswax wraps. Not only do they look better–they’re reusable, available in a multitude of prints, and even carry the sweet scent of honey. With a sticky exterior, they’re easy to fold and keep in place and better yet–they last up to six months! Let your gift recipient know they can reuse the wrap by simply rising in cold water before their next use.
Keep the gift-wrap simple
Many cities (including Toronto) will recycle plain-paper gift wrap, but unfortunately any wrapping paper that has decorative accents needs to be tossed. If you have to buy gift wrap, make sure it’s recyclable and free of metallic accents. If you can’t resist the extravagant kind, attach a little handwritten reminder for your recipient to reuse or recycle the wrapping–sometimes all it takes is a little nudge to keep items from ending up in the landfill.
Swap Scotch Tape for Washi Tape
Washi tape is a rice-based Japanese tape that’s an eco-friendly (and prettier!) alternative to clear tape. Not only is it sticky enough to be reusable, it’s biodegradable and tree-free–plus the rolls come in a range of cute patterns.
Remember, it’s the accumulation of all the little eco-friendly swaps we make in our daily lives that make a big difference in the long run. By choosing products and wrapping techniques that favour the environment by minimizing waste, we can all change the world for the better. So, get gifting and go green!
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