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Wrapped with Love: Making Your Christmas Gifting More Eco-Friendly

Did you know that most wrapping paper we use at Christmas is non-recyclable? Until a few years ago, I have to admit that I didn't.

Shiny, laminated paper, foiled or glitter-coated paper and textured wrapping paper can't be recycled. In fact, most paper and tissue paper is of such poor fibre quality, it can't be recycled. The same applies to ribbons, glittery cards, sticky tape and glossy labels. That's a lot of single-use rubbish on Christmas day.

There's something magical about Christmas morning, and seeing these tantalising shapes under the tree, where we all try to work out what Santa and his elves have brought us. Can we keep the Christmas fun and anticipation, all while being more eco-friendly? Of course, we can!

There are many ways to do this:

  • Re-using gift bags and wrapping paper
  • Making your own decorated brown wrapping paper or unprinted newspaper with stamps, marker pens or paint
  • Furoshiki wrapping: Japanese-style wrapping using a piece of fabric. It looks incredible and is surprisingly easy to learn (thank you YouTube!)

As I was preparing my own supplies to wrap presents for this year, I decided to make a few kits to pop on the shop. 

If you'd like to join me in making your Christmas a little more eco-friendly, (and a bit goofy) take a look at the kits on offer. Each one includes:

  • 10 hand-drawn stickers to seal bags or hold your gift label in place
  • 6 handmade watercolour gift labels
  • 4 metres of baker's twine in a complementary colour

All you'll need to get is brown wrapping paper or newspaper to wrap your presents, which you can find online or locally (e.g. from a postal supplies shop, craft shop or office supplies shop).

All of the above, except for the stickers*, are 100% recyclable and compostable. If you can, remove sticky tape and put the wrapping paper into the green bin or your home compost. 

[* I'm currently working through an existing batch of stickers, but next time, I'll be opting for the recycled and recyclable sticker type.]

If you can, use washi tape or twine to close your presents, as these are biodegradable, unlike plastic tape.

Most of the gift labels and sticker sets aren't specifically Christmas-themed so you can use them all year 'round to wrap thank you gifts or birthday presents and look extra thoughtful.

It turns out that I've been harping on about reducing waste around Christmas for a while, as I found one of my old 2008 blog posts. Yet, every year, I discover new ways to be kinder to the earth in gift and packaging choices.

Do you have tips to share? Pop by Instagram, use the hashtag #alongthelanes and share your suggestions on the best ways to make your Christmas more eco-friendly.

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