So, you've bought your gorgeous sustainable gift, and now it's time to wrap it - don't fall at the last hurdle! We recently read a scary stat that over 200,000 miles of giftwrap is chucked out each Christmas, with a huge amount of not being recyclable and being layered with plastic (glitter we are looking at you). With that in mind we have put together a few simple tips on how to gift wrap more sustainably. Not only is it better for the environment, it is way cheaper, it looks pretty and you might just enjoy doing it.. plus let's face it we all have a few spare evenings in at the moment. So get yourself a little mulled wine, crank up the tunes and get creative....
When it comes to choosing what to wrap your gift in start by looking at what you've already got - even in your own recycling. Old paper bags, old fabric, even previously used gift wrap is all preferable to buying new. A favourite of ours is a simple but effective one - old newspaper - the black and white text makes for an elegant background - extra points for finding an amusing headline.
2. NOT ALL TAPE IS CREATED EQUAL
Unsurprisingly sellotape is bad for the environment. If you wrap carefully you can actually avoid using tape all together - simply use an extra sheet of paper to wrap around the middle and use twine to hold it all in place. If you are using fabric you can simply tie it all together. It is also possible to buy compostable brown tape which works well if you are using simple brown paper bags or recycled paper.
3. NATURAL ADORNMENTS
We love using greenery in our festive decorating and that extends to our giftwrap. Forage in the woods or just in your garden or balcony. A little sprig of rosemary can be beautifully effective. Slices of baked orange and cinnamon sticks not only look pretty but smell gorgeous too. If you are feeling extra sweet you can bake little gingerbread biscuits with a hole in to thread through the twine - an extra gift in itself.
4. ALL THE TRIMMINGS
We all love a ribbon, but often they are made from synthentic materials that can take a long time to break down in landfill. Try to choose ribbon made from natural materials if you can but we also find that compostable garden twine is a an elegant option.
5. GET ARTY
This really is the time to let your creative juices flow. Some of the most striking gift wrapping we have seen has been plain recycled paper with a 'bow' simply drawn on. Cute and quirky. Similarly you can just write the names on - no need for extra waste with tags.
Lastly try and save what you can from the gifts that are opened. It's not always the easiest with over-excited kids who might rip their presents open in eagerness but it is often possible to re-use all of these items once again. There's a longstanding joke about the Queen saving wrapping paper - if it is good enough for Her Majesty, it is most certainly good enough for us.