On the twelfth day of Christmas a Waste Elf gave to me 12 presents wrapping
Once the presents are opened on Christmas Day there’s generally a huge pile of wrapping paper sat on your floor. It’s a bit of fun for little Waste Elves to run through the pile kicking their feet, but whilst some wrapping paper is just paper there are many rolls which are not paper so cannot be recycled. The best way to find out is to try ripping it – if you can easily rip it then it’s made from paper and you can put it in your recycling but if you can’t then it needs to be put on your rubbish pile or used to make something else.
We are big fans of reducing the size of the pile of things that need to be thrown away and here are a few ideas to help you.
Re-use wrapping materials – collect the padded envelopes and cardboard boxes that the presents you’ve bought online come in and use them to package up the things you’re posting off. We’ve all got a few gift bags saved from presents we receive, remember to use them at Christmas if they’re right for the occasion. Saves you money too!
What are you buying? There are some great gifts out there which need less wrapping, gift vouchers and alternative gifts for example.
Wrap your gifts in re-usable packaging. You could buy attractive gift boxes and bags this year and then use them again next year and the year after.
Use something different to wrap your gifts. This article from how stuff works includes using shredded paper from junk mail or magazines instead of polystyrene beads or brand new tissue paper, wrapping one gift with another e.g. a tea-towel or scarf around a book and making your own gift bags using paper bags.
Use recyclable wrapping paper. It’s not always possible to check the paper before you buy it but if you avoid shiny paper with lots of glitter it’s more likely to be made from paper. For simple but stylish wrapping you could try brown paper, a gold marker pen and red ribbon.
If you’re feeling really thrifty collect the large bits of paper after they’ve been discarded and iron it on a very cool setting so you can use it again next year.