Change One Thing: Rethink That Giftwrap
This week’s Change One Thing post, is one that is a very tricky one for me to abide by! This week’s post focuses on the wastefulness of gift wrap. I am a total victim to a cute gift wrap purchase, but I have recently fully understood just how much the environmental impact is not worth it. I used to be the person who went into The Container Store and lost their s*** over all of the amazing prints and patterns. That was before I learned that according to the Wall Street Journal, gift wrapping sales in the U.S. totaled $9.36 billion in 2010 (more than the combined GDP of Africa’s 9 poorest countries).
OK so we buy A LOT of wrapping paper….but we can recycle it all right? Wrong. Due to their dying and lamination processes, lots of wrapping papers are not recyclable. That means that they end up in landfills…apparently 4 million tons of wrapping paper or 5,787 NFL football fields do this each year. That is an obscene amount of waste for something that you rip off in two seconds to get to your real gift.
So how can you make a change?
To cut back on gift wrap waste there are many options, but the first is the most obvious. Don’t rip that paper! When you get a gift, unfold the wrapping paper in a civilized manner (it is so hard I know) and store it. I have reused all the gift wrap I have gotten over the past year and didn’t need to buy a single roll of wrapping paper in 2016! (and trust me, I give a lot of gifts!)
But what if you need to wrap a gift now and you haven’t saved up any wrapping paper? Then think outside the box here (pun sort of intended). This past Christmas we used newspaper for all of our gifts and saved a fortune! Plus we got creative with the decorations and it turned out looking really cool too. You could also use, construction paper, old posters from Goodwill, old gift wrap from Goodwill, comics or reused shopping bags.
Finally, if you refuse to give up on buying wrapping paper (I understand 1000%) buy gift wrap that is made from recycled materials. Wrappily is great because they make their paper from recycled materials and come in fun prints and patterns. They print their wrapping papers double sided on newsprint, and they are so cute you could die (the palm tree/wave combo is my fave of course!)