Eco-Friendly Christmas Wrapping Ideas
17 September 2020
We LOVE the luxury and pure decadence of the Christmas season. From the gifts stacked high under the tree, to the table struggling under the weight of roast dinner with all the trimmings, it’s the most indulgent day of the year. But of course, there’s also a downside to just how “extra” Christmas is… and we’re talking about the extra strain it puts on the planet.
We’re all increasingly aware of the need to reduce our waste, so the last thing we want to be doing on Christmas day is throwing away armfuls of packaging. At allbeauty, we already support sustainable packaging, but we’ve put together some simple changes we can all make to reduce our impact on landfill. These steps may seem insignificant on their own, but it only takes each of us making small changes to make a big difference.
“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
Anne Marie Bonneau, @zerowastechef
Start planning your eco-friendly Christmas with these ideas for reducing, reusing and recycling your packaging.
Reduce Your Waste
The most impactful thing you can do to keep Christmas packaging away from landfill sites is to reduce what you use. We know that tearing open gift wrapping is synonymous with Christmas celebration, but does it need to be? Does every gift really need to be wrapped?
Many brands release special boxed gift sets at Christmas time, which are already beautifully presented. Why not keep the element of surprise and excitement that goes hand-in-hand with unwrapping by hiding gifts in the house and giving the recipient a series of clues to its location? You never know, by thinking outside the box, you may just discover a new tradition.
Reuse Existing Packaging
If you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to wrapping your gifts, consider whether you could reuse things you already have around the home. Our absolute favourite option for this is using beautiful pieces of cloth. Search your local charity shop for saris or other decorative textiles and cut them to size. Not only is this a great way to support charities and reduce waste, but they also look gorgeous under your tree. That’s what we call sustainable Christmas shopping!
Another option, which is even savvier, is to start collecting the brown paper and plain packaging from deliveries you receive. The paper can be ironed (carefully, making sure this is done underneath a towel or cloth!) to regain its shape, and boxes can be repurposed as packaging for new gifts. Why not go the extra mile and decorate the packaging to make it more personal? Check out the papercraft section of your local hobby store for beautiful rubber stamps, or, choose a nice ribbon which can then be reused. Of course, if you’re feeling especially crafty, you can also create your own fun stamps… using potatoes and cookie cutters! Cut a large potato in half and push the cookie cutter 1 cm into the potato. Remove potato surplus from the outside of your shape and the cutter, and then you have a perfect (degradable) stamp!
Recycle Your Gift Wrap
Ideally, we’d all find ways to reduce and reuse packaging this Christmas – recycling is the least impactful of the “three R’s”. But, let’s face it, some of us are going to find it harder than others to step away from the seasonal aisle. If you’re set on buying Christmas wrapping, opt for one that still has the properties of paper. If it’s metallic, shiny, feels like plastic or has glitter embellishments, it can’t be recycled.
Try the crinkle test to see if your paper is recyclable – if it crinkles, it’s probably ok to throw in with your recycling. Or better yet, choose wrapping paper which is safe to compost! Now that’s recycling done right! Simple brown paper is also very easy to decorate, as mentioned above, and can also be an environmentally friendly option!