We’ve all heard it, that familiar ring-ting-ting of holiday music streaming from every retail-shop since the end of Halloween. As the days grow shorter, and the weather gets colder, we’re reminded December’s around the corner, and staying mindful around unwanted food, gifts, and seasonal waste can be challenging.
According to research by Vancouver-based non-profit Zero Waste Canada, Canadians throw out around 50 kilograms of garbage each December - a staggering 25% more compared to the rest of the year! Because items like glitter and foil gift wrap, clear cellotape, and plastic coated gift bags can’t be recycled, they contribute to an overwhelming 540,000 tonnes of landfill waste that could be easily avoided with a few eco-friendly swaps and simple ideas.
1. Reusable Wrapping
With a lot of gift-wrapping designed for single use, it’s no surprise that many of their laminates, dyes, and flashy metallic materials can’t be recycled. (That includes gift bags with shiny, or plastic coatings!) To avoid holiday packaging ending up in the bin, consider presenting your gifts inside of upcycled satin gift bags, glass mason jars, trendy fabric wraps, or reusable baskets. By using alternatives to commercial packaging, it increases the likelihood your items will be used again, and again, without deterring from a joyful unwrapping experience.
2. Use What You Already Have
Did you know around 2,259,000 tonnes of paper is produced for printing in Canada? To reduce the seasonal strain on our forests, it may be time to look at what we’ve already got on our shelves before reaching for something new. Old newspapers, magazines, maps, comic book pages (even marketing fliers!) can provide eye-catching, easily recyclable wrapping solutions. For a compost-friendly solution to cellotape, consider sealing your gifts with expressive and fun Japanese washi tape, paper twine or natural-fiber string.
3. Get Crafty
Imagine delighting your loved ones by designing your own wrapping paper using brown-paper scraps and vegetable-based paint! Finally use up the ends of those old plant-based candles by stamping parcels with a custom wax seal. Add some seasonal zhuzh by cutting and drying sprigs of pine, flowers or fruit. However you want to express yourself, handmade gifts from the heart are sure to be noticed and leave a lasting impression. Most of all, don’t forget to share the love! By challenging your friends and community to take part in creative, eco-friendly wrapping solutions, you’re inspiring the change that fights to keep our planet healthy all year round.
We hope you liked our article. Tag @ardentearthstore on Instagram with your favourite zero-waste wrapping solution to be featured on our page.