19 Nov Eco Wrapping
If we estimate 2 million tons of wrapping paper used over Christmas, this equates to 30 million trees. Most wrapping paper is dyed, laminated and contains glitter, plastic or gold shapes, so it can’t easily be recycled. You can tell by trying to scrunch it up. It does not stay scrunched if it is a mixed materials
UK households produce over 25% more waste during the festive period, partly due to the amount of wrapping paper, festive bows and Christmas cards. As a result, it can be difficult to know what goes in the recycling bin.
There is a plentiful supply of this. Keep the paper on the present with string (remember that cellotape is plastic which cannot be recycled) and then the sheets can be recycled afterwards.
your Christmas is rather black and white and when everyone has finished unwrapping their presents, their hands are covered in black newsprint. It is also difficult to make it look tidy and presents do have a tendency to slip out.
Reuse last year’s paper
The presents look colourful and if you choose your paper carefully, no one can tell. Give everyone a pair of scissors on Christmas day to carefully cut the cellotape so that the paper can be removed intact and carefully folded and stored for next year. You can use old Christmas cards to make labels.
You can’t be spontaneous as you need to have collected the paper from last Christmas. The wrapping paper does smaller each year, therefore so do your presents. Be careful to check that the paper from last year does not have the names written on from the year before, otherwise at the present opening you end up with some very puzzled relatives, although actually it can be quite hilarious. Some swaps are obvious such as the young daughter can give grandad his socks and grandad can give the teenager her make up. Some presents swaps are just not obvious, especially the chocolate. When this happens put all the presents on the table and let everyone choose what they fancy in turn. This works quite well and the year we did that and everyone got the presents they wanted instead of what other people wanted to give them.
Make your own recycled paper
It is fun to do and you can make up your own art work. Grandparents like to keep the paper as art work from their grandchildren so this is an additional present.
- Take blank white paper and paint a repeating pattern on it- you could also make a repeating stamp from a potato.
- Make your own recycled paper. Using good quality paper (newspaper ends up making stiff blotting paper), rip up paper into small pieces, liquidise it with water and then press it into a deckle (a flat rectangular sieve) and make your own. As the paper is drying you can press some string in to make a watermark – the initial of someone whose present you will wrap. It can also be painted. If you are organised in advance you can put dried flowers into the paper that you made in the summer.
- Make a pâpier maché box. Can be reused after Christmas.
- You can also put seeds into the homemade paper so that the card can be planted to give flowers in the summer.
The paper is not very flexible and you need to be careful not to break your parent’s liquidiser. It is also very messy and you have to be careful not to spread the soggy bits of paper around the kitchen. It is time consuming.
You could wrap a present in a new teatowel and then you get two presents for the price of one.
Google furoshiki. With a large square of material ( you can buy lots of material from a charity shop, even old sheets which you can then tie dye) you can carefully wrap a present with no string or cellotape and the material is reusable again next year
Have a great Eco waste free Christmas
Give presents, save trees
Reuse old wrapping paper
Don’t forget labels.