Wrapping paper is something I’ve been meaning to deal with since before Christmas – then I realised I had almost an entire roll of Christmas wrapping paper left over from the previous year, and decided to make do with that for the time being. We do have a good policy in our house of keeping all wrapping paper that could possibly be reused, and sellotape is picked off the rest, which is then recycled. But it would be great to go one step further and start wrapping things up in an environmentally friendly way!
One of the biggest concerns I have is with sellotape (or sticky tape, adhesive tape, whatever you want to call it). I’ve done a bit of googling (as usual!), because I wasn’t sure exactly what it was made of. Originally, it was made from natural cellulose and rubber resin, I think, but of course it’s now generally all synthetic. I think one of the best ways to combat sticky tape if you’re not sure about it is to stop using it! You can tie up parcels etc. with ribbons instead (ribbons may be a topic for another post!) – although if you’re sending something in the post then you’ll want something that can hold it together a bit more securely. My favourite sticky tape alternative is this Eco Paper Packing Tape. (Whilst we’re on the subject of sticking, I can’t resist telling you about Paperchase’s Eco Glue: I keep going back to look at it – when I next want to buy some glue this will be top of my wishlist.)
And then of course there’s the wrapping paper itself. I’ve heard various suggestions in the past, including old newspapers, brown paper, recycled wrapping paper. I don’t have an exhaustive list of things to try (I would be here forever!) but if you’re looking for some starting points then try these:
- Make your own – use old sheets of paper and stamp or draw pictures or patterns on them (great if you have young children too!)
- Use old newspapers – thanks to ljpaul5b3g for this one (and for the above suggestion too!)
- Reuse what you’ve already got, and what you get given.
- Try out some post-consumer paper – have a look at Re-wrapped or Paperchase’s recycled kraft wrapping paper as a start.
- If you want to go for something a bit different, what about Lush’s Knot-wrap gift wrap? Although if you like that sort of thing you could always made your own using any leftover materials you have at home.
I hope this post gives you more ideas about how you can change the little things in your life to more eco-friendly alternatives! It would be great to hear about the alternatives you use!