That's a Wrap on Waste
Each year in the U.S., 4 million tons go from logs to landfills to make wrapping paper and holiday shopping bags, according to the Clean Air Council, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit. After mulling these numbers over, you might find that purchasing paper just to wrap up another item seems like an immense waste of money and resources.
But hopefully these facts stimulate a question in your brains-- How else could I present someone their present this holiday season?
Use any type of paper you have in the house. If you have old encyclopedias, wrap your gift in that. Old magazines from 2011? It'll do!
Save all the gift wrapping that you do inevitably receive, and reuse it for another year. Neatly fold the paper and store it for when you might want to wrap something.
Paper bags/brown paper bag: cut it open to reveal the virgin skin without printed advertising, and wrap your gift. This is a great way to upcycle those Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s bags that have been lying around your house forever.
Buy or make your own cloth reusable gift bags. Heck - even make the bag from an old t -shirt. For a baseball fan, take that oversized Yankees tee you have been sleeping in for months, and upgrade it to something new. You can purchase specially made reusable gift bags on etsy or just make them yourself.
Use a reusable bag (like Baggu) to wrap the gift, and include the reusable bag as part of the gift. Congrats-- you’ve created a chain reaction.
Twine - ribbons pollute the environment, but cotton/sisal twine is biodegradable! Combined with your brown bag, issa look. Take scraps from pine trees that you find on your walk home from work, add them into the twine and your gifts are now 10 times more festive.
Newspaper - and if you want to flex on your giftee, finish the NYT crossword. They won’t know if you cheated.
Use a box that you have on hand, like the one your PS4 came in, and put your gift in that. It’s a two-in-one: you always get a grinchy surprise when they realize you did not get them a video gaming system, but in fact a candle. So fun!!!
Use a thrifted neck scarf to wrap your gifts. To make it aesthetically pleasing, try the Japanese way of wrapping gifts, called Furoshiki. Use a tea towel to wrap your gifts in a gift, and they now have another useful item because you can really never have enough tea towels.
Hopefully you don’t need any kind of wrapping because you chose to gift your loved ones with experiences and not material items. We all have trouble thinking of what anyone even really needs these days. So, stay sustainable, millennial, and send us photos of how you chose to wrap your presents this year!