Christmas is only a few short days away and it seems like the shops are full and the streets are buzzing. If you’re like me, you have probably just finished the last of your holiday shopping, and all that is left to do is start wrapping everything up and put it under the tree or in the Christmas stocking. I was recently thinking about all of the waste that happens this time of year. As a kid, my mom would often reuse wrapping paper. It wasn’t uncommon to get a birthday gift wrapped in the comics pages or with newspaper wrapped up in a colorful bow. Why don’t I do that anymore?
The statistics about waste during the holidays are not pretty at all. I found this list on the House Beautiful website and these are just the numbers for the UK. Now imagine this across all of the countries that celebrate Christmas.
- 300,000 tonnes of card packaging is used at Christmas; enough to cover London’s famous landmark, Big Ben, almost 260,000 times.
- 1 billion cards end up in the bin, when they could be recycled.
- The amount of wrapping paper used for presents is enough to wrap around the equator 9 times.
- 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away.
- 6 million Christmas trees are discarded every year.
- 250 tonnes of Christmas trees are thrown away after Christmas, when they could be used for compost.
- Approximately 2 million turkeys, 74 million mince pies and 17.2 million Brussel sprouts are thrown away every Christmas.
- 13,350 tonnes of glass are thrown out in the UK after Christmas.
Wrapping up Christmas
So, how can we save the planet and the holidays at the same time? Here are some wrapping ideas and stores that sell really cute gift wrap that is also good for the environment.
1 – Do what my mom did and use newspaper or the funny pages. Just ensure that there are no awkward stories or jokes and be sure to use some really colorful ribbon. You can also use brown paper bags or cloth.
3 – Wrappily sells adorable recyclable and compostable paper. It is also printed with a soy-based ink. It’s cute and colorful to boot, so you can find options for other times of the year, not just Christmas.
4 – Jute, canvas bags or event sheets are also really great options, especially when it comes to big items like a new bike or scooter, which can be tricky to wrap. They can also be folded up and used for other events and parties.
5 – You can also buy plain butcher or kraft paper online and then use stamps and ink to make your own wrapping paper. This is really fun if you want to customize it. Another option is to have your kids draw on it or splatter paint on it.