That’s a wrap – environmentally friendly alternatives to wrapping paper

Wrapping paper goes in the garbage

Wrapping paper goes in the garbage

Even though there’s no snow, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”  The lights are up.  The decorations are out.  The gingerbread is in the oven.  The tree is aglow.

If your house is like mine, presents are starting to appear beneath the tree.  But what are those gifts wrapped up in?

Wrapping paper is not accepted in the Blue Box because it often contains dyes that contaminate the other acceptable papers. As well, metallic and plastic wrapping paper cannot be recycled. All wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, and tape go in the garbage.

Instead of wrapping gifts, you can always use reusable gift bags.  Tissue paper can go in the GreenCart (no tape), but damaged gift bags go in the garbage.

You can also make your own reusable gift bags:

This gift is wrapped in newspaper, which can go in the Blue Box for recycling.

This gift is wrapped in newspaper, which can go in the Blue Box for recycling.

If you still want to wrap up gifts, there are many great alternatives to traditional wrapping paper:

  • Wrap your gifts in newspapers that can go in the Blue Box.
  • Make your own wrapping paper using your home printer.  About Art & Design has some downloadable patterns based on cross stitching patterns.  Computer paper can go in the Blue Box.
  • Use potato stamps to decorate brown craft paper, which can go in the Blue Box.  Pocket Alchemy has some great examples.  Brown craft paper goes in the Blue Box.
  • Going Home To Roost used black craft paper, and decorated with white paint markers.  Again, this paper can go in the Blue Box.

Give a gift to the planet this year.  Use an alternative to traditional wrapping paper that can be reused, recycled or composted, and doesn’t end up in the landfill.

About John Watson

I'm the Director of Customer Success for ReCollect Systems. We're a technology company that specializes in waste management apps that delight residents. Previously, I was the Waste Diversion Educator Coordinator for Halton Region, where I implemented award winning communications and outreach programs.
This entry was posted in Blue Box, Garbage, Green Living and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to That’s a wrap – environmentally friendly alternatives to wrapping paper

  1. Chris Lloyd says:

    We have been using gift bags for years! Some have been around for years. They get recycled from one family member to the next over the years too. Instead of tissue paper we stuff the bag with newspaper!

  2. crunchymum says:

    This was a very interesting read, thank you. You really got me thinking about Christmas wrap. I had no idea that Christmas wrap couldn’t be recycled! I haven’t done my Christmas wrapping yet and you have given me ideas for how I can do it differently. What I’m planning to do now is use brown paper (I already have a roll) and a roll of craft paper my kids use on their easel to wrap our gifts. Then I’ll make the potato stampers you suggest and have my kids decorate all the gifts. They can even decorate their own because they’ll be all wrapped up! Thanks for the inspiration!! :)

  3. Thanks for the shout out John! This is a great post and I’m tickled to have my wrapping paper amongst the ideas. And reusable gift bags from old pillow cases and such … that makes me whirr with possibility! Cheers.

  4. Hi John,
    In your post, That’s a wrap – environmentally friendly alternatives to wrapping paper, you included a pingback to my blog post: Gift Bag and Tag Sets at http://eccentricquilter.wordpress.com. Thank you for sharing, but please correct your post so it reads “They are made like a pillow case and are tied closed”, not “made some from old pillow cases”. Some are made with scraps from other projects and some are made with fabrics purchased for the purpose of making reusable gift bags, but either way they are still more environmentally friendly than paper wrapping. If you go to my blog, you will see that there are several more article on the subject including fabric wrapping and reusable gift tags. Thanks for dedicating a website to recycling.
    Kalia

  5. Pingback: An alternative to wrapping paper | Pale Leaf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s