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Posted on by Unwrapped Life



🎵 "It's beginning to look a lot like garbage and waste piling up in landfill, everywhere you go..." 🎵 The Holiday season is upon us and we're here for it... but not all the excessive waste. In North America, 25% more trash is thrown away during the Holiday season than any other time of the year... ewwww. But don't despair, we're here to help! In Part 3 of our Holiday blog series, we're digging into "Sustainable Gift Wrapping", offering easy alternatives and fun ways to get in the festive spirit. Missed Part 1 "Brands We Love", or Part 2 "Plastic-free Gift Guide", be sure to check them out!

Let's make this fun and easy! Many items you likely already have around the house, and if not, it will be a fun adventure to get crafty. Gift wrapping that is sustainable; be it recyclable, reusable, or part of the gift, is a sure way to please everyone on your list. Ready to hear more? Then let's get wrapping!

Here we go...


Kraft Paper:

This is a fun one! If you're buying new, look for 100% recycled Kraft paper, which is made 100% from recycled/ non-virgin materials. Another great tip is to reuse Kraft paper packaging that comes with online orders (like ours!). You might be asking... why do we prefer Kraft paper? Wrapping paper, is NOT recyclable... well some *might* be, depending on your municipality, most are not. Here are a few things we know for sure:

    • glittery/glossy foil wrapping paper = NOT recyclable
    • printed wrapping paper (no foil/ shine) = *might* be recyclable, check with local municipalities!
    • plain white or Kraft paper = recyclable (compostable if soiled)

Paper Tape:
A simple roll of paper tape is key, as it's recyclable, unlike standard plastic-tape. Paper tape is quite sturdy, and we have found that making tape loops to hide the tape on the inside of the wrapping works quite well, but we also do like seeing it! Paper tape is becoming much more accessible, and you can find it at most crafting and home improvement stores, or online.

While plastic-free scissors are gorgeous (drooling over rose-gold), we're betting that most of us have a pair of trusty scissors at home, be it, with plastic handles. Using what you have is always the most sustainable option, but if you're looking for a new pair, look for 100% stainless steel scissors (they'll last a lifetime!). 

Twine/ String (optional):
If you'd like to add some flair to your gift, grab some twine or string! These materials can either be reused around the house or composted if they're made from natural fibers. Unlike traditional ribbon which is, well... plastic, and yes, likely garbage.

Decoration (optional):
This is where the magic happens, if you're into magic! Simple greenery (clipped from a tree outside) or dried fruit, are all great and compostable decorations to brighten any Kraft paper box. Easy recipes for dried citrus (oranges, lemons, etc.) can be found HERE, and if you make too many add them to the tree or garland, or even as a garnish for festive cocktails! Simply attach to the package with twine/ string and secure with a piece of paper tape (if needed). Another fun idea, the decorations can be used as a "potpourri simmer pot" (*hint*, extra gift!) -- dried oranges, sprig of rosemary, and a cinnamon stick; perfect combo. 



Kraft Paper
A simple yet stylish way to wrap a gift that avoids traditional gift wrap. Can be easily personalized with stamps, paint, string, decorations, etc. (check out images above!). Can also be elevated with amazing "tape-free" wrapping options, great tutorials can be found on YouTube.

Reusable Bags
We love a great gift bag! While they're not recyclable... they are reusable. Using gift bags from Holiday's past is a great sustainable option, but if you're needing to buy new, a fabric reusable bag can complement a thoughtful plastic-free gift wonderfully. Ensuring reusable bags are made from natural fibers, while not easily recyclable, at end of life, most are compostable.

Part of the Gift
We love seeing components of a gift being used to wrap! Great options: a tea towel as wrap for the Foodie on your list, or a festive Swedish dish cloth wrapped around a bottle of wine with twine. 

Gift Tags
A fun way to reuse holiday cards is to keep them and cut the front cover to an appropriate side and use as gift tags! Simply punch a single hole and attach with twine/string. Beautifully festive and repurposing an item that would otherwise be trash.

We hope we've inspired you to approach gift wrapping a bit differently this year, we can't wait to see what you come up with!

From all of us at Unwrapped Life, we wish you joy, health, and happiness this Holiday season.  


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