Each Holiday Season, the US produces one million tons of extra garbage a week.
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we use enough ribbon to wrap the whole planet. Endless paper, plastic wrap, and cardboard are used simply shipping items from manufacturer to sellers, to buyers. Now add in possible shipping from buyer to gift recipient plus the gift wrapping: the bows, ribbon, envelopes, cards, tape… etc.
Read the ideas below for ways to create less trash and give everyone the gift of an environmentally-friendly Holiday Season:
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A gift is easily placed in a gift bag and then the bag is overflowingly stuffed with tissue paper creating so much unnecessary trash!
The point of wrapping is to allow the gift to be a surprise and only a few pieces of tissue paper is needed for this.
Choice 1: Use a single piece of tissue paper to wrap around each item (or a small group of items) placed in the gift bag. This allows the items to be concealed if there is some pre-Xmas “peaking”.
Choice 2: Place item(s) in the gift bag and place 1-2 pieces of tissue paper over the top and tucked into the sides of the item(s) to cover them.
Choice 3: Use drawstring gift bags, no tissue paper needed!
If you must wrap, wrap using bags! Wrapping paper cannot be reused but gift bags can.
Make the bag a gift as well. Christmas themed drawstring gift bags and reusable grocery bags are perfect for wrapping.
If you have little children, you can have all of “Santa’s Gifts” in a large Santa Sack. All the gifts can be inside, unwrapped, with small gift tags on them. This way, the gifts are still a pleasant surprise and Santa gets to be eco-friendly.
Or Better Yet… Don’t Wrap Gifts, Period.
I am an adult child and I can tell you that no child cares what a gift is wrapped in! Wrap it in toilet paper and they will still be overjoyed that you got them the latest gadget. And hopefully, no reasonable adult would turn their nose up at an unwrapped gift.
Knowing that someone took the time to think about you and that they spent their time and energy in getting you something, is a gift in itself. Fuck the wrapping.
This Holiday Season, take the time to notice what you waste. If you can find alternatives, use an eco-friendly or recycled product to replace it, or better yet, cut out trash where you can. Please pass this message along to others and let’s try our best to be environmentally friendly when gift-giving!