Only 38 days until Christmas, can you believe it? Now that we have shared with you a list of thoughtful and environmentally-friendly gift ideas, we would like to share some tips on how to sustainably wrap them.
Did you know that every year in the U.S., 4.6 million pounds of wrapping paper is used? That’s right, and each pound emits 3.5 pounds of CO2 when made! Not to mention that all of the cute glittery, metallic, or velvety wrapping papers we use, as well as the decorative bows and ribbons, are not recyclable and will add up in landfill piles.
So as we get ready to give our loved ones amazing presents, let’s find some ways to do so in a way that is mindful of our planet.
What can I use to wrap my gifts?
Kraft paper is a really good alternative to traditional wrapping paper as it is made from wood pulp and is 100% recyclable and biodegradable. This plain paper will allow you to get creative with decoration!
Fabric gift bags are also an alternative to wrapping paper, most are made from organic cotton, they come in many sizes, colors and patterns, and the person receiving them will be able to reuse them. Burlap bags are also an option and will offer a more rustic look.
You can even opt for a vintage look and repurpose road maps if you have some lying around, they make for really cute gift wraps!
What about ribbons?
Most ribbons used to decorate gift wrappings are made of plastic or synthetic materials that are very harmful to the environment. Instead, there are a few options you can choose from such as recycled cotton ribbon, burlap mesh, raffia, or hemp twine. Wrappily and Amazon (Burlap or Cotton) have some great options!
For the cherry on top
To add a fun touch to your gift wrapping, you can skip the synthetic bows or stickers and opt for a more natural and earthy look using pine branches, pinecones, holly sprigs, dried fruits, dried flowers, cinnamon sticks, or other greenery. Depending on where you live, these can also be very easy to source.
Brighten Solar Initiative
The Brighten Team made a tutorial video using kraft paper, burlap ribbon, and dried flowers to show you an example of what it would look like to wrap your gifts using these materials. We also linked a few options for you to purchase as we wanted to make it as easy as possible to wrap gifts sustainably while spreading awareness about the waste created around the Holidays and wrapping papers.