Possibly half of the paper America consumes each year is used to wrap and decorate presents! That makes the annual trash from gift wrap and shopping bags over 4 million tons.
Here’s how to lessen the impact:
- Use environmentally friendly wrapping paper, paper from recycled content.
Avoid buying glossy foil or metallic wrapping paper. It’s difficult to recycle, and it has no value for use as mulch since it contains heavy metals.
- Reuse gift wrap when possible. Opening large gift packages with care will help, and save those fancy ribbons and bows for re-use.
- Make the gift wrap a part of your gift by using a scarf or towel to wrap the gift. Click here to learn Furoshiki – the Japanese art of wrapping and carrying things with a square of cloth.
- Use leftover wallpaper, fabric scraps, old maps, sheet music or even the Sunday funnies with a festive bow – use raffia, twine or other natural materials instead of non-recyclable ribbon.
- Gift bags with a little tissue paper can be used year after year and are a quick and easy way to wrap. Save boxes and ribbons to reuse.
If everyone wrapped just three gifts in reused paper or fabric gift bags, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 hockey rinks.
Check out our other holiday tips here.