How to Give More Gift and Less Garbage on Christmas

On those familiar nights in December, when the bows, ribbons, and toys that litter your living room floor become beautifully adorned presents piled under the Christmas tree, it’s easy to forget that the most wonderful time of the year is happens to be one of the most wasteful as well. Americans alone, toss out 25 million tons of additional garbage during the holiday period. That’s 1 million tons more trash every week!

Ironically, a big reason for this ugly statistic is a result from one of the most beautiful sights of the season. Wrapping gifts is a precious holiday pastime that helps us all get into the Christmas spirit. 70% of Americans say they actually enjoy gift wrapping, something we spend about 3 hours doing every year. Unfortunately for the environment, most conventional wrapping paper and supplies you’d likely find at a store are made from non-recyclable materials, generating an extra 2.3 million tons of landfill waste each year – that’s a lot of trash for holiday cheer.

This season, don’t catch yourself reminiscing on the fond memories of Christmas past, preparing your Christmas presents with a gift wrap that threatens our Christmas future. You can still jump start your holiday joy with pretty little packages that won’t hurt the planet, simply by thinking outside the box!

Reusable Gift Wrapping Idea

Swap the Wrap with Reusable

Gifts are an inherent part of any celebration. They often come wrapped in colorfully printed wrapping papers, ribbons, and bows, turning into colorful heaps of trash within moments of being given and received. Replacing conventional wrapping paper with reusable swaps means more gift, less garbage!

Repurposed Alternatives

  • Tote bag
  • Glass Jar
  • Tea Towel
  • Unpaper Towel

Find Your Re-Purpose in Life

Wrapping papers lead colorful, but very short lives. When you consider that Americans spend $12.7 billion each year on a product that’s thrown away within 60 seconds, it’s pretty clear that gift wrap accounts for an enormous part of our annual holiday waste – environmentally and economically!

Repurposed Alternatives

  • Paper grocery bag
  • Newspaper
  • Button down shirt
  • Vintage scarf
Repurposed Gift Wrapping Idea
Recycled Gift Wrapping Idea

Rejoice with Recyclables

Gift wrap is made to catch your eye, with its vibrant ink dyes and glossy sheen. Unfortunately, the very elements that make most wrapping papers so attractive are what make them un-recyclable. You don’t want to toss any shiny, laminated, glossy, glittery, or metallic-looking paper into your recycling bin because these bad apples will spoil the whole dang batch.

Repurposed Alternatives

  • Kraft paper
  • Beeswax / Vegan Food Wrap
  • How We Roll toilet paper

Reduce the Ribbons &
Disposable Decor

It’s estimated that Americans throw away roughly 38,000 miles worth of ribbon each holiday season. That’s enough ribbon to wrap around the Earth once and still with plenty to tie a bow with. Ditch the disposable embellishments and switch to these more sustainable gift decorating options that you can reuse, recycle, repurpose, or compost later on.

Sustainable Ties & Decorations

  • Hemp
  • Twine
  • Leather chords or straps
  • Scrap fabric
  • Metal wiring
  • Vintage or Costume jewelry
  • Real plants
  • Reusable fabric bows
Sustainable Ribbon & Decor Ideas

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