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It’s almost that time of year.
The nights are drawing in, Christmas adverts are (already) starting to appear on the telly, and we are all beginning to think about arrangements for the holiday season.
Traditionally, this would mean a huge increase in the amount of ‘single-use’ in our lives. Whether it be the wrapping we use for our gifts, Christmas cards or (hopefully not so) terrible Christmas cracker presents, December has a tendency to bring about a change in mentality to how much we consume.
Things are starting to change though.
With the increasing awareness of how plastic is impacting on the environment, as well as what our single-use culture is doing to the world around us, we are starting to look for alternatives to conventional single-use plastics that have the potential to end up in the natural environment.
In this blog, we’re going to give some unique and thoughtful ideas of gift wrapping sustainably this Christmas – and something you can take forward throughout the year.
Christmas Gift Wrapping
A task that many naturally excel at, and perhaps one that even more attempt once and then get a family member to help with, gift wrapping is truly a skill to be admired.
Gift wrapping typically is hard to recycle, due to the combination of materials used to give the desired sheen and sparkle. PET (a common type of fossil-based plastic) glitter is often used, which will contribute to the build-up of microplastics entering our water systems once disposed of.
The inks in the wrapping paper means an increased amount of energy is needed to complete the recycling process, as well as decreasing the overall output of successfully recycled material.
So what can be done to replace conventional gift wrapping?
A potential answer lies with the Japanese gift giving culture.
Furoshiki is a piece of cloth or fabric used to wrap gifts in Japan. After the gift has been received, the recipient actually gives back the cloth used to wrap the present. There is an acceptance that the time and effort used to wrap the gift is an important issue and that there is no harm in giving back the gift wrap.
Furoshiki is quite a skilled technique. There are many tutorials online which can teach you how to wrap gifts in this style, but we do express that patience is required for beginners!
An idea along similar lines is just to use scarves, which can then be returned to you, or given as a gift as well! This applies the same principle as Furoshiki, but without having to learn the skill of the wrapping technique (which we sympathise completely with!)
If you are set on single-use wrapping, we recommend going for fully recyclable, ink-free wrapping paper. This will lead to an increased chance of the paper being recycled, as well as an increased overall yield of recycled material compared to conventional wrapping paper.
You can also get plastic-free wrapping tape to compliment the plastic-free paper.
These are just a few ways in which we can make gift wrapping sustainably to the environment this Christmas, as well as reducing the total amount of waste we produce as well.
Have you got any unique ways to gift wrap this Christmas?
About the Author
Sean Cousins is the founder of LFHP, an online store providing plastic-free, biodegradable and eco-friendly gifts. LFHP has a range of gifts that have been designed with the environment in mind, as well as having a circular economy scheme ‘LFHP Zero’.
LFHP’s gifts are wrapped in reusable packaging made from recycled plastic bottles, as well as being packaged with home compostable packing peanuts which can be fully dissolved.
Win 1 of 3 The Eco-Friendly Munching Snack Boxes
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