For our third installment of Green Living‘s Sustainable Holiday series, we’re breaking down how to reduce waste in your holiday gift giving this year.
This past year has been a struggle for most of us, and while we might not be celebrating the holidays as we have in years past, there is no reason we can’t spread holiday cheer. In the fashion of all things eco and sustainable living, we have compiled different ways to share gifts—zero waste style. Whether you’re mailing gifts across the country or exchanging gifts under a tree with those in your household, we have some great tips for you this holiday season!
Check Your Recycling
If you recycle at home, your recycling bin is likely full of perfect materials for wrapping gifts—old magazines (like Green Living), newspaper, cardboard, paper bags, the list goes on. These items can serve as unique wrapping and a fun DIY project to test your artistic abilities on. Pull out some markers or pens to decorate your makeshift gift wrap (markers and other inks can easily be removed during the recycling process, avoid things like acrylic paints or glue).
Save and Reuse Old Mailers
During COVID, online sales have skyrocketed due to stay-at-home orders. With that being said, there are probably a lot of intact mailers that can easily be reused and repurposed for your holiday gifts. You can cover the outdated labels and retape them to send out again. This is a great money-saving, eco-friendly tip for mailing.
Splurge on Zero Waste Materials
Websites like Etsy, PackageFreeShop, and Wrappily have an abundance of sustainable options that can be at the very least recycled, while some will biodegrade or can be planted after use. Most gift wrap isn’t recyclable, making these eco-friendly options great alternatives to standard wrapping paper. The only caveat is these options come with a higher price tag, making these items inaccessible for some.
Reusable Wrap & Bags
The gift that keeps on giving! The internet is full of reusable wrapping paper and gift bags. Reduce your impact this holiday season and many more to come with wrapping paper you can reuse. Made of stretch fabric in assorted colors and patterns, it truly is a gift that gives over and over again.
If you’re on a budget, like most of us, but still want to lessen your environmental impact this holiday, choose the route of wrap free. When doing a gift exchange, play the role of Santa and use a giant reusable shopping bag or tote to pull gifts out for recipients and hand-deliver. This may not be suitable for young kids whose eyes light up when they unwrap a present, but it’s perfect for all the grownups in your life.