It’s the time of year when we are all busy shopping for gifts for our loved ones. Finding the perfect gift to take home and wrap before placing it under the tree. Often when the dust has settled on Christmas Day it can be overwhelming to see how much wrapping paper and ribbon ends up being thrown out. Not only does the continual purchase of these items get expensive, it also adds a significant amount of waste to our landfills. There are many steps we can make that reduce our holiday waste and can ease the pressure on our landfills and our wallets. We’ve made a list of simple waste to reduce your holiday footprint this year:
You can use materials at home to make your own reusable gift bags. Maybe you bought an ‘ugly Christmas sweater’ for a party and only wore it once, or maybe red wine has stained your winter table cloth. Whatever the reason may be, you can reuse textiles by sewing them into simple gift bags and the best part is you don’t need to be a master sewer! Other great upcycle wrapping options are newspaper and burlap. Giving these items new life as wrapping paper, will also give the gifts under your tree a unique rustic look.
Use recyclable materials
Kraft cardboard and kraft paper are great alternatives to the glossy boxes and paper that are often not recyclable. As well, the kraft look will gives your Christmas a beautiful traditional feel. You can add your unique flair to the blank canvas of kraft paper by drawing your own bows or other designs. If you have little ones letting them draw on the wrapped gifts is sure to be a hit with grandparents! For large gifts you can use larger patterns and for smaller gifts or stocking stuffers like tealight 6 packs more intricate patterns look great.
Saving items for the next holiday season is a great way to reduce your Christmas waster. Rather than buying new ribbon, bags and bows put these items away for the year with your Christmas décor. Gift tags can even be re-used and can even become their own tradition. Your little ones will start to remember that the reindeer tag is from Grandma and Grandpa and the Santa tag is from the big guy himself.
Gift consumable items
Items that can be used and consumed ensure that your gift to a friend won’t make its way to a landfill. Even better are items that have a positive environmental impact such as gifting plants, seeds, honey or beeswax-based products. We love tealights, tapers and 3x3 pillars for gifting to someone new. If you gift votives, remember reusable glass cups. These items are sure to be a hit and will greatly reduce your holiday waste.
Decorate with greenery
It’s not just wrapping paper that ends up being a post-holiday burden on the landfill. Decorations can end up filling our garbage especially ones that are typically only used for a season. Decorating with foraged items that are compostable such as pine, cedar, birch and cones will not only look and smell wonderful, it will reduce your footprint and save money! You can even use greenery to wrap gifts. We wrapped a pair of tapers in burlap then attached a piece of fir with raffia to make a perfect host gift or stocking stuffer.
We hope these tips are helpful for reducing holiday waste. While it may be hard to get our waste down to zero there are many things we can do to start down the path to no waste. We will be challenging ourselves to reduce our waste this Christmas and hope you do to!