The festive season is around the corner and people are starting to make plans. We look forward to spending time with our family and friends as we exchange meaningful gifts with them. As a result, there would be tons of non-recyclable gift wrappers laying around and filling up trash cans.
Sustainability officers working in corporate companies are expected to find ways to create eco-friendly packaging for products. Likewise, a member of every family must also step up to the task. As the chief sustainability officer in your home, how can you create sustainable gift wrapping or boxes for Christmas?
1. Using fabric
Furoshiki is a Japanese form of gift-wrapping using cloth. This zero-waste Christmas gift idea ensures that you reuse fabric rather than toss them away. For example, leftovers and unused pieces of material would make great packaging. You can cut them out to get desired patterns or join different fabrics together.
Many people have no use for their old shirts, pillowcases, scarves, tea towels, and other clothing. Since most of these fabrics have great designs and colors, you should use them for sustainable packaging. The Furoshiki method helps to save money on wrapping paper so you can focus on buying the best gifts.
2. Adorn packages with natural items
Lovers of nature can integrate natural elements into their gift wraps. It’s another simple and unique way of giving presents to your loved ones. You get to use leaves, thistles, dried flowers, twigs, and feathers to decorate plain or brown Kraft paper. This eliminates the need for those wrapping papers that contribute to environmental waste.
You can pick fallen leaves and glue them to the sides of your gift wrappers. Their colors would make the packages look beautiful. After wrapping the gift, use natural items, tissue paper, twine, and ribbons to create nice gift boxes. You can also use herbs like bay leaves or even fresh flowers to add some vibrance to your plain papers.
3. Recycle boxes
Every home has boxes that are taking up space. These old gift boxes can be used for sustainable packaging during Christmas. Instead of using plastic bags, these boxes should be recycled and used for wrapping presents. Small gifts would fit into jewelry boxes, shoe boxes, or any small-sized boxes.
Most retail companies also deliver products with a couple of boxes for safety reasons. If you’re giving big and somewhat fragile gifts, you should turn your Amazon delivery boxes into gift boxes. You can also choose to wrap with some plain paper or newspapers. Then, use ribbons for a final touch.
4. Use glass or ceramic containers
Glass jars and ceramic pots are great for gift wrapping. You could use them to package a variety of edible treats such as pickles, peanuts, popcorn, chocolate, and homemade cookies. These containers help to make simple Christmas gifts stand out. You can also add fabric and a handwritten note.
Other presents such as pens, cash, gift cards, socks, earrings, and bracelets would fit into glass jars as well as clay or ceramic pots. You just need to decorate them with accessories and bright ribbons. Your friends and family would appreciate the fact that they can reuse these containers.
5. Newspaper or map paper
Newspapers are often never recycled because people just read them and toss them into the bin. But they can be used for sustainable packaging. Why purchase wrapping papers when you have newspapers all around? With bows, strings, and ribbons, you should be able to package your gifts with newspaper.
Maps are yet another paper that we don’t reuse. If you don’t have any, there are yard sales and thrift stores that sell cheap maps. They are usually large enough to wrap moderate gift sizes. After covering your package, you could use some yarn, bows, or feathers for a nice finish.
6. Sustainable tote bags
Tote bags are fashionable, and everyone seems to be collecting them. You could buy a few reusable bags and package your gifts with them. Tote bags also count as extra gifts since everyone uses them for packing groceries, school supplies, and other items.
These reusable bags have beautiful designs on them so there’s no need for decorating. If you are busy, sustainable tote bags might be the best option. All you need to do is put the gift inside and add some paper ribbons. Tote bags help to keep wrapping paper and plastic out of the trash.
7. Create your own
When it comes to Christmas gifts, there are no rules whatsoever. You can create, construct and design gift boxes with just about anything. The best thing is there are several sustainable packaging materials around us. You just need to be more observant and put your creative skills to good use.
With sustainable packaging, you get to present unusual but cute gift boxes. It also helps you to keep the environment clean and green. Accessories such as paper toilet roll, dried flowers, cardboards, wooden crates, bits of lace, laundry pegs, twine, burlaps can help to create your own unique gift packaging.
8. Buy eco-friendly packaging
If you’re not a DIYer and prefer to buy Christmas wrapping and packaging, seek sustainable solutions. Eco-friendly packaging is often made of recycled or renewable materials, and they produce little to no environmental waste. You can source them from local companies that help to promote sustainability. They may offer recycled cardboard, wrapping sheets, organic packaging, and fabric bags that are reusable and environmentally friendly.
And if you’re willing to spread the word about the green movement, you can become an environmental activist. You’ll help protect the environment by asking local businesses and businesses you do business with to source more eco-friendly packaging.
If you’re passionate about the environment and reducing waste, don’t stop there. Consider further education in sustainability to build your knowledgebase so you can pursue careers in areas like conservation, environmental science and sustainable development. Make a different not just this year, but every year.