‘Tis the season to be wasteful. Or so it can seem, with millions of rolls of gift wrap thrown away every year. But change is upon us all and it begins with people like you. The little changes you make inspire us at Primrose to do better; did you know that we’ve started introducing more eco-friendly and recyclable packaging solutions, beginning with our new houseplant range? Growing awareness and some great television from David Attenborough has made us all realise a need to do better. We all need to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever we can and the Christmas season is no exception to that. Simple changes can help reduce Christmas waste and our guide below will give you all you need to start.
We tend to buy gift wrap throughout the year for every birthday that comes up. And what happens? We end up with scraps of leftovers that don’t quite make it around the oddly shaped vase we’ve bought for the newlyweds. Don’t throw those scraps away – save them! And any gifts you receive yourself, be sure to save the paper. Collect it all together and by the time Christmas rolls around you’ll have a collection of gift wrap that can be reused in a variety of ways. You can either wrap an entire gift or add decorative strips to plain paper. Gift bags are also perfect for holding onto as they rarely get spoilt and can be used again and again.
Make it special
There are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives to standard paper gift wrap; material wraps are a great way of creating something special. Wrapping up a gift in a beautiful material such as linen, gives it an extra special touch and the wrapping becomes a gift in of itself! It’s also something that can be used again and again. Be sure to source material that’s 100% natural and plastic-free where possible. An alternative to this is using materials you already have – you can easily add a Christmassy flare to any gift by wrapping it in a Christmas tablecloth, teatowel – even a Christmas stocking could double up as the perfect wrap for a wine bottle!
You can avoid buying gift wrap by using readily available items. A newspaper may seem an unsightly idea but actually, a text-heavy monochrome print combined with a colourful ribbon or string can look wonderful under the tree. And just because you go simple on the gift wrap doesn’t mean you can’t splash out on the extras. Using printer paper to wrap smaller items, and decorating it with some natural flourishes like some holly or a sprig from your Christmas tree can look both traditional and thoughtful. You could even take a trip to your local art store, buy some stamps and get the kids involved with decorating some plain paper with some stylish patterns.
If you want to do your bit for reducing waste but haven’t got the time for the ideas outlined above, then the best thing you can do is shop as ethically as possible. That means buying gift wrap that is plastic-free and fully recyclable. Simple brown craft paper is a cheap and recyclable product that’s eco-friendly and easy to dress up. You could even go the extra mile and shop from companies which support natural causes. The RSPB or the World Wildlife Fund are excellent charities to start with.
Are you planning to get ahead with your Christmas wrapping this year? Why not tag us in an Instagram post showing us your eco-friendly ideas for gift wrapping! We may even feature you on the Primrose feed.
Scott is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.