Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Ideas

Environmental sustainability is becoming increasingly important to consumers, and for good reason. The global warming crisis continues to worsen, and while it can feel like there’s nothing we can do, there are plenty of steps you can take to have a more eco-friendly holiday season.

You may be surprised to know there are a number of ways you can go green during the holidays, including wrapping your gifts in a way that doesn’t generate so much waste. If you aren’t sure where to start, keep reading for some eco-friendly gift wrap ideas.

How can you wrap your holiday presents in an eco-friendly way?

One way to make sure you use eco-friendly wrapping paper is to avoid using paper products at all. There are a number of creative containers you can use to store gifts. Coffee mugs are a clever and interesting option for smaller gifts, and you can create a custom coffee mug online to make the packaging even more personal. There’s no better way to go green and impress your gift recipient than to make your “wrapping” an additional present in and of itself, like a custom mug.

If something you’re gifting requires any kind of plastic packaging or container, you should look into Earthwise Packaging. Earthwise Packaging is a sustainable bioplastic organization that creates containers that use a plant-based type of plastic derived from sugarcane. You can learn more at earthwisepackaging.com.

Anyone who does want to use wrapping paper on their gifts should look for a sustainable brand. There are several companies that offer recyclable paper that can help reduce the hundreds of thousands of pounds in trash caused by wrapping paper and shopping bags alone. Most wrapping paper can’t be recycled due to the presence of dyes, laminates, or other non-paper additives. Companies that use alternatives like newspapers use less energy and can even print with gentler, soy-based ink.

What else can you do to have a more sustainable holiday season?

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Environmentally conscious holiday fans have a lot of options when it comes to making their celebrations more sustainable. Electricity generation is one of the primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions during the holiday season. Changing the lightbulbs you use, both indoors and when hanging holiday lights, can make a big difference. LED lights and candles can be up to 80 percent more efficient than traditional lights. Since many of them use indoor and outdoor timers, you can also cut down on your energy usage by turning them off at night or when you aren’t home.

If you’re planning to entertain, skip on the plastic cups and plates. Though doing the dishes can be time-consuming, using disposable cutlery and dinnerware can create a lot of plastic waste. Ideally, your guests will volunteer to help with the cleanup or at least rinse off their own plate after they finish eating. You should also make a plan for freezing or donating your leftovers. Food waste is another major problem in the United States, it’s always better to use your leftovers or donate them to someone in need.

The holiday season often generates a significant amount of pollution and waste, particularly through packaging and electricity usage. Fortunately, there are several simple steps that anyone can take to go green and make better choices when they look for gift packaging or purchase their holiday lights this year. Even just using eco-friendly packaging and switching your light bulbs can make a noticeable difference. Though it often takes conscious effort, you’ll feel better and have done something to improve the world around you by celebrating the holidays in a more sustainable way.

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