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Christmas wrapping paper alternative

Wrapping paper alternatives to reduce waste this Christmas

Our pledge to #cutthewrap this Christmas

We were both inspired by Eco Thrifty’s pledge to #cutthewrap and have decided to take part in the initiative this festive season. Every year, thousands of pounds are spent on thousands of miles of wrapping paper; most of which will be thrown in the bin after one use. If you think about it, wrapping a gift is an extra expense too. It’s technically a money-saving tip to not wrap gifts! Check out Eco Thrifty’s original article here

Why should we avoid wrapping paper

Quite simply, there is no need for wrapping most gifts. It is so easy to find an alternative to one use wrapping paper, saving you a few pennies and helping to reduce your impact on the environment.

Can you recycle wrapping paper?

A lot of wrapping paper can’t be recycled and this is another reason why we should try and reduce the amount we buy. Wrapping paper which has foil, glitter or a plastic coating on cannot be recycled. See tips below and find more information here. Check out the tips below to see which paper needs to go in the general waste or recycling bin. This also applies to Christmas cards so that is worth noting when you are buying cards this year.

Before recycling, remove any sticky tape and decorations such as ribbons and bows as these cannot be recycled.

Wrapping paper can only be recycled if it passes the scrunch test – simple paper wrap can be recycled but foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot and needs to go in the general waste.

Tips for recycling wrapping paper from Recycle Now

Wrapping paper alternatives

There are lots of alternatives to using single-use wrapping paper to make gifts look lovely. Check out some great ideas below:

Wrap presents in another present.  Presents could be wrapped in a silk scarf or t-shirt that would also be a part of the recipient’s gift. I originally got this idea from Lush. They offer to wrap gifts in-store in a Japanese knot-wrap which can then be used as other things such as a hair tie and a bag. You could purchase a knot-wrap from Lush here and put the list of things it could be used for inside the present. Using material also takes away the need for tape which is another product that cannot be recycled and is an added expense.

Use paper waste! The newspaper you were going to throw in the bin? The magazine you have read? The out of date road map that is of no use anymore? You can wrap presents in what would be paper waste for a different and eco-friendly wrapping alternative. 

Use glass jars. Depending on the size of the present you could coat the inside of a glass jar with some paper waste and then place the present inside. 

Reuse old gift wrap. Where I can, I always keep gift bags given to me and try to unwrap gifts sensibly and keep the wrapping paper. Another tip I have is to keep all your Christmas cards and cut shapes out of them to reuse as gift tags the following year. 

My list of great zero waste Christmas gifts

There are loads of great gift ideas which require no wrapping at all! Here are some of my favourite ideas:

zero waste gift cookie recipe jar
Image credit: cgdsro

Recipe in a jar. This could be something sweet or savoury. I think it’s a great idea to give your loved ones your favourite recipe for them to make themselves. It could range from a cookie mix or a vegetable soup.

Homemade beauty products. One year I made all my friends a homemade sugar body scrub for Christmas and they loved it. Some are so simple and have as little as three ingredients: granulated sugar, coconut oil & essential oil. Check out a full recipe here.

Giving a voucher or membership. There are so many great vouchers you can gift these days, from a meal out, a massage, a cooking lesson or even cinema tickets. You could also buy an online subscription to a magazine or audiobook!

Beeswax wrap. Be the catalyst that starts a change. Beeswax wrap is actually pretty easy to make at home and can be a great gift. Check out a recipe from Good Housekeeping here. Or buy online here – sign up to The Beeswax Wrap Co’s newsletter to receive 10% off your first order!

Get crafty. Check out my post on how I made macrame plant hangers for presents last Christmas here

It’s also important to make others aware of why less wrapping paper should be bought this Christmas. It’s great that you are informing yourself by reading this article but please ask your friends and family to not wrap their presents in single-use wrapping paper also. Looking after the planet is the greatest gift you can give this Christmas. 

Join the #cutthewrap challenge this year by using the hashtag on Instagram and Twitter and by tagging @ecothrifty. You can also sign up on Ecothriftys website.

wrapping paper alternatives - cutthewrap

Please let us know by commenting below if you have any other ideas on wrapping paper alternatives or zero waste Christmas presents.

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