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Conserve Christmas Wrapping Paper

Conserve Christmas Wrapping Paper

The Christmas and Hanukkah seasons are here, and most people are just about done with their holiday shopping. Now it’s time to wrap all those presents.

Have you ever considered the environmental impact of all that wrapping paper and ribbon? Ever thought about its impact on your carbon footprint? The exact amount of paper we use is relative, depending on gift and family size, but according to an article on the, the UK alone consumes 8,000 tons of wrapping paper a year. That’s the equivalent of 50,000 trees. To convert that into U.S. consumption, we can probably multiple that by five, given that the U.S. population is five times larger than that of the UK.

So this year, if you want to make your winter holiday a little greener, start shrinking your carbon footprint by reducing, maybe even eliminating, wrapping paper. Here are some great alternatives:
  • Alternative Wrapping Options – Reuse newspaper comics, ad inserts, mail-order catalogues, colorful ads or pictures from any magazine. If you have a young girl, reuse one of her old Tiger Beat magazines. I guarantee she’d rather have her gift wrapped in Justin Bieber than Frosty the Snowman.

  • Reusable Gift Boxes and Bags – Try using reusable gift boxes and bags, or tap into your inner child and decorate an old shoebox. A glue stick, some macaroni shaped to spell MERRY CHRISTMAS, a little glitter and you’ve got yourself a kitschy box perfect for any friend with a sense of humor. According to the Stanford Recycling Program, if every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.

  • Bow Alternatives – As for those big bushy bows with a useful life of about 10 minutes, try going for a festive natural product like an acorn, or a sprig of holly or evergreen. Or at least save and reuse the bows.

  • Reuse Ribbon – Roll it up and save it for the next birthday or holiday – just like our grandparents and great-grandparents did (my grandmother very delicately opened and saved the wrapping paper, too). According to the Stanford Recycling Program, if every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.


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