Nat King Cole plays in the background, as a hot cup of tea sits on your table. Your living room is littered with presents and paper and ribbon and tape, as you begin — wait, where’s the tape?
Sound familiar to anybody? (Yo, I can’t be the only person who loses the tape every. single. time. I set it down. ;))
I actually really enjoy wrapping presents. It’s therapeutic to me. But to some folks, wrapping presents is hell on earth — need I bring up the tape again?
For the last few years I’ve really tried to limit my waste when wrapping presents. And this year is my most waste-free year yet!
I was able to wrap my gifts entirely plastic free. And they’re actually not ugly either!
Here’s how I did it and how you can, too. It’s easy and hassle free — trust me.
I’ve been collecting newspaper, ribbon, tissue paper and gift bags for the last year. Anytime paper was stuffed in one of my packages from Amazon or Package Free Shop, I tucked the paper away and recycled the rest. If I got smaller boxes, like ones from RMS Beauty that contain my makeup, I saved those bad boys, too.
Here’s the thing with being zero waste — clutter is problematic. Collecting isn’t necessarily encouraged. But! When it comes to reusables, you’re encouraged the save and save and save.
For example, glass jars. I’ve got a cupboard full of glass jars with lids. I use them for anything from grocery shopping (buying bulk!) to carrying left overs to holding salad dressings to stuffing them with gifts for the holidays!
Same goes for paper. If you get paper in the mail that you could reuse — do it! I have a box on my shelf in my bedroom that has a host of different size boxes and papers and ribbon and all sorts of stuff I’ve gotten over the past year.
But let’s say you haven’t been saving for the past year and you really don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on wasteful wrapping….
Here’s what I’d suggest….
1. Buy twine/string that comes in paper. I got a spool of twine that came in black and white/red and the only packaging it came in was paper! I found this at Target. Also, I found ribbon that was mainly in paper and had just a small bit of plastic around it. Clutch!
2. Opt for paper bags! I bought a bunch of brown craft paper bags from a craft store and I’m using them for lots of presents this year. You can jazz them up with some ribbon or greenery and add some tissue paper.
3. Look for tissue paper that doesn’t come wrapped in plastic. It can be hard to find sometimes, but it’s out there! Also, reuse your tissue paper as much as you can. Or, use some old fabric to wrap your gifts instead of paper!
4. Get creative/go outside. I cut off a few pieces of a pine tree to use as decoration on my boxes and bags. You can use sticks and pine and all sorts of wintery items to dress up your stuff.
5. Stay away from tape. I didn’t use tape this year when wrapping my presents. Instead, I reused boxes and wrapped ribbon or twine around it. The boxes stay shut just fine that way!
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Less is more. When you’re wrapping something, don’t feel like you have to go overboard. Often, a simple paper bag with some tissue is all you need.
If you see family and friends tossing out tissue paper or boxes, take them with you! Tissue paper can be reused over and over again. Same goes for wrapping paper, boxes, gifts bags, ribbons and anything else.
As far as name tags go, you could write the person name directly on the bag. Or what I do is cut out a piece of paper into a circle. Inside the circle I write their name. I then punch a small hole through part of the circle and, using twine, tie it onto my gift. It’s recyclable and simple!
How are you wrapping your gifts this holiday season?