Store bought wrapping paper, while it looks nice on the gifts, usually ends up in a landfill somewhere a few days after Christmas. The wrapping is normally made from virgin paper stock, colored with all sorts of dyes and inks – all of which is not very eco-friendly. This holidays season we are going to try to use only recycled paper for wrapping and shipping, and these are some of the things that we are going to do:
1. Re-use paper shopping bags. This can be done either by placing the gift inside the bags and giving the gifts that way, or you could cut up the bags to make actual wrapping paper. We went out and bought holiday rubber stamps and ink pads and we are going to make our own wrapping paper instead of buying rolls of the stuff. This way, we are using paper that was already destined for the landfill and using it once more before it gets thrown away or recycled.
2. Re-use wrapping paper from last year. You know you have some sitting around that you folded up real nice and tucked under the bed. Why go out and buy new paper when you already have paper stored away!
3. Use magazine and newspaper comics to wrap the gifts in. Not only does it make for an interesting wrapping job, but it also re-uses that paper one more time before it gets sent to be recycled.
4. For shipping, shred magazine and newspaper for packing materials. Instead of buying packing peanuts or styrofoam for shipping stuff, just start shredding magazines – free packing materials!
5. Old boxes make great gift boxes. From cigar boxes to small shoeboxes, this is a good way to pack those breakables. Stuff the shredded newspapers inside and wrap the outside with your homemade paper and you have a nice custom gift box.
No matter what you do, see if you can avoid buying rolls of new wrapping paper. Most of us have plenty of paper and bags in our houses to wrap gifts for the next couple of years – see if you can make it through the holiday reusing what you already have sitting around!