Here is the first of my eco-friendly Christmas blogs. I wasn't sure which one to kick this set off with. But while out shopping for some essentials for the house I started to notice the shops have upped their game this year including lots of recyclable wrapping essentials. So I did buy a few items and could not wait to get started.
Here are some facts which have led me into changing my ways....
In the UK 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is used every year and ends up in landfill. That is approximately 4 rolls of wrapping paper per household. Now all that wrapping paper needs sticky tape, which will also end up in landfill. It is thought that every year we, in the UK use 40 million rolls.
When you think of eco-friendly wrapping do you think boring, dull and uninspiring? Well I want to help you change that if you do. I hope I have ideas which can help you get started no matter what your style is.
But I must point out, before you go out to invest in new wrapping, the first thing you should do is assess what wrapping supplies you have in your collection already and make sure you use this up. After all, wastage is not eco-friendly (if you are like me, you to will have a collection left over from every year). If you are satisfied that you do indeed need more supplies, then read on first to see what you should invest in....
Where to start..........
See what you have, you might be surprised at what you find. Initially while looking through my wrapping paper I came across some brown paper (which can be recycled plus you can buy brown paper made from recycled paper - bonus).
After this I made a list....
Twine - for the rustic look (you can also buy coloured cotton)
Recyclable ribbon - different colours
Christmas tea towels and or napkins (made from linen or cotton)
Recyclable nametags - you could also buy wooden Christmas tags from craft stores which you could decorate and then be used as a tree decoration.
That is it!
I just love the traditional look. The fact that you can brighten it up using coloured ribbon, maybe drawing on it or using eco-friendly ink, is a bonus. You really can do so much. In this picture I have used brown paper for the largest and smallest of the parcels.
The largest one was the trickiest to do - lets just say I will not be doing this after a few glasses of vino. Firstly you measure out the width of your gift as normal but for the length you add extra, this depends on how many pleats you would like but a safe bet is half. You start with the length and fold over a width of your liking (I used approx. 1cm) and crease using your forefinger and thumb. I repeated this until I had the desired amount - or got frustrated lol. I finished the wrapping as normal. If you want to avoid using sticky tape like I did here, you have to really make sure your creases are done well - I went over them a few times. This way the paper set in place. I tied the ribbon over the ends to help keep them tucked in. For my name tag I used a bought one, however you could easily make one of your own using card and a bit of string/ribbon. I also like the idea of using some of our Christmas wooden shapes and writing people's name on one side and colouring in the other as these can double up as decorations.
As for the middle box, I have just reused a little bit of protective packaging from an online order and the ribbon also came from a previous purchase. I like this as it is reusing what I have and again no tape was required.
I do urge you to assess what you get in the post and see if you can reuse it, I think you will be surprised what you find.
This idea appeals to me for the obvious reasons.....no waste.
For the gifts that can be harder to wrap, this is ideal! Using something like a tea towel in which the recipient can wash then bring out every Christmas (which of course will remind them of you and your useful wrapping technique) and reuse is a great idea. If there isn't lots of extra material you can use ribbon to keep it all together or if you have lots left you can tie the ends together. I have used a linen Christmas napkin as the smaller piece. The wrapping material can also become part of the gift....maybe your wrapping up a small little tea hamper? I used little bits of festive decorating to finish them off. These are pieces that have been bought to me throughout the years that I keep and reuse. I think It adds the final touch.
This is not an exhaustive list. There are other ideas such as:
Make a gift basket (give this to someone you know would use a basket).
Use gift boxes - there are some people I know appreciates this, then reuse it the following year for wrapping. I like to think that, that person then reuses it the next year and so on.
Using recyclable gift bags - like the brown bags, you can decorate any way you like. Bonus in that it will not take long to wrap.
I have a pinterest board dedicated to eco-friendly wrapping, if you would like to see more then please do check it out.
I really hope you enjoyed reading this and have got some good ideas now for your own Christmas wrapping this year. I would love to hear what you thought of it and if you tried out any of my suggestions.
Stay safe and keep communicating.