The festive season is meant for spending time with loved ones, which for many includes the exchanging of gifts. Amidst the excitement, we often forget to consider what happens to all that gift wrap and packaging after we’re finished with it. According to the GWP Group, a UK packaging company, consumers in the UK use approximately 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year, with over 83km2 heading directly to the bin. Many local authorities don’t accept wrapping paper for recycling due to the additives included, such as dye, lamination, and glitter. This huge amount of gift wrapping can’t be fixed in place without loads of non recyclable sticky tape - 40 million rolls to be exact. Luckily, having a sustainable Christmas morning is easier to achieve than you might think with our handy sustainable gift wrapping tips!
With ethics and sustainability high on our list of values, we feel as though it’s important to share what we know in order to help all of us have a more eco-friendly holiday season. Here at Artisans & Adventurers, we’re working towards creating a waste-free future. By using recycled brown paper and paper tape for our customer orders online, we’re helping to keep waste out of landfills and hopefully inspire others to do the same. But our sustainable wrapping practises don't stop there! If you're looking to add some more flair to your pressies without sacrificing on sustainability, we've found some perfect solutions.
Fabric gift wrap is a fantastic alternative to paper wrapping that is both sustainable and fashionable! Not only that, it is fantastic for those of us who are not-so-confident at wrapping, or for any awkwardly shaped gifts. You can purchase purpose-made fabric wrap like our African Wax Cotton Gift Wrap or one of the fantastic sets from Wrag Wrap. However, this isn't your only option! You could also try out dual purpose wrapping - if you are gifting a tea towel (see our wonderful selection of ARTHOUSE Unlimited illustrated tea towels), for example, try using it as wrapping for another gift!
Another great option is to re-use paper from other items. Whether you recycle wrapping paper you've received previously or save up your newspapers - using what we have is always better than creating new waste! We absolutely love using newspapers to wrap our gifts as they are large enough for 1 page to cover most presents. Our favourite newspapers to use (as well as read!) is The Happy Newspaper. These colourful pages full of happy news storied are sure to delight the gift recipient. A few extra tips we have are;
- Reuse paper, bags, and other materials where possible. It’s good for the environment and your wallet!
- Use a stocking! Place gifts straight into a stocking or fabric gift bag & there's no need to wrap. These can be used time and time again, creating a nice tradition. Our colourful African Wax Cotton Stockings are perfect for brightening up the big day!
- Tie your packages with string or use paper tape instead of plastic sellotape. Double check it is recyclable!
- Use herbs like rosemary or even off-cuts of a Christmas tree as gift decorations instead of plastic bows. This not only adds a unique touch, but makes your present smell amazing.
Lastly, If you are not sure whether or not your wrapping materials, or any household materials, are recyclable, www.recyclenow.com is a great resource for understanding how to properly dispose of waste.