5 Ideas to Reduce Holiday Trash
During the holiday season there is a 30% increase in the amount of trash produced compared to the rest of the year. This increase is primarily due to packaging from online orders and single-use gift wrapping. One solution to reducing your holiday related trash is to use reusable gift wrapping techniques. Keep reading to learn 5 ways you can reduce your holiday related waste and still give beautiful gifts to your loved ones!
Cloth Gift Wrapping
Almost all wrapping paper is not recyclable because it is coated in metals, plastic, glitter, all things that cause contamination if you try to recycle it. Even if the paper isn’t metallic or glittery, if it’s shiny or textured it can’t be recycled. Wrapping gifts in cloth is a great way to reduce holiday related trash. By using festive, holiday printed cloth to wrap your presents you are using something that can be reused many, many times.
After giving your gifts ask if the recipient will reuse the cloth themselves, if not ask if you can take it to reuse. There are often sales around the holidays on cloth at retailers. Especially come January there will be clearance sales on holiday themed cloth, so go stock up for next year! If you’re unsure how to make a gift look nice in a cloth wrapping, here’s an article and video from fabric.com to help you out!
Repurposing Other Paper Goods
Do you have a collection of beautiful calendars that you’re just not sure what to do with? They can be turned into wrapping paper! By repurposing calendars you’re reusing them one last time before recycling. Ultimately reducing the amount of single use paper you consume. Another great idea is using old funny pages to gift wrap. The colorful cartoons make for a great reused wrapping paper.
Reuse Holiday Gift Bags
Gift bags are a common way to “wrap” gifts, and generally the bags can be reused many times if they’re treated with care. Buying a higher quality bag that is more sturdy can help with making this a viable reusable option. You can also buy or make cloth bags that will last a lot longer than paper. Just remember if you use tissue paper in your bags, that it is NOT recyclable. Tissue paper is made from a very low quality paper, and therefore isn’t able to be recycled. BUT, you can always reuse tissue paper for another gift, simply fold it neatly and reuse until it’s worn out.
Decorated Holiday Boxes
Another great option for reusable holiday gift wrapping are decorated lidded boxes. You can purchase decorated boxes or make your own (a fun activity to do with children, for sure!). You can glue beautiful paper to the box and decorate it with your favorite holiday stickers, glitter, painted motif, and even use an ornament as part of the decoration instead of a bow is a great way to make the box extra special.
Reuse Your Wrapping Paper, Bows, And Get Creative!
If you have a large stockpile of wrapping paper for this holiday season, don’t worry, you can always reuse it! Ask your family members to try to carefully remove the paper so you can reuse it, instead of tearing into it. Collect large pieces of wrapping paper at the end of the gift giving bonanza, and fold or store it in a tube. Now it can be reused for smaller gifts next time. You can also collect bows and reuse them in the future. I know with my family we always snatch up the prettiest paper and bows to reuse next year. Don’t forget that you can use decorative cookie tins and other lovely containers too! It doesn’t have to be specifically made to hold gifts to make a beautiful reusable gift wrapping option.