1Thing: Sustainably Festive

The greatest gift to Mother Earth is sustainability

December 7, 2018

Imagine Christmas morning as a kid. You run downstairs and see gifts wrapped perfectly with a bows on top just asking, begging you to unwrap and reveal what’s inside. You attack each parcel with your hands as claws impatiently tearing away at every folded corner, crease and edge. After what seems like seconds, you sat there with new toys in hand, a smile, and a bunch of destroyed wrapping paper or paper gift bags that end up… in the trash.

What’s wrong with this picture? To a kid, maybe nothing. But as adults, the answer should be simple. Wrapping paper during the holidays can be a large waste. Just think of how much wrapping paper waste your family creates. Now multiply that by the houses neighboring you, then the towns neighboring you, then the states, and so on. Much of that wrapping paper can’t be recycled like normal white copy paper.

All of that can add up to a lot of paper waste that ends up in landfills, our oceans, and comes from a precious resource: trees. So how do we stop the wrapping paper madness?

The first step is purchasing wrapping paper that actually CAN be recycled. A quick search can easily pull up great brands, like Wrappily, which cater to those eco-conscious for any gift giving occasion.

Keep in mind, even if you do purchase recyclable wrapping paper, there are a few things that will make your batch useless if you include them in your recycling. Make sure to remove:

  • tape
  • bows or ribbons
  • laminated paper
  • non-paper additives such as metallic flecks or glitter
  • thin paper such as tissue paper
  • textured paper such as pressed velvet or fabric

Luckily, bows can easily be recycled simply by not throwing them out! Use a simple piece of adhesive or glue to reattach. There are more helpful tips in this article from USA Today.

Another great way to simply cut out the waste completely is to give gifts in a gift! Reusable tote bags are great for groceries, gym bags, and even purses. You could even have a party with friends to decorate some canvas bags. Now that's both fun and a great stress-reliever!