In Denmark, we use 825 tonnes of gift wrapping paper each year. Most are only used once before being thrown away. Gift paper is often coated with mica and plastic, and therefore cannot be recycled for new paper production. It must be thrown away as normal household waste. It is a waste of resources and it puts unnecessary strain on the climate. If you would like to steer clear of the environmentally damaging gift wrap, here are some alternatives for beautiful gift wrapping with a clear conscience, and the lucky recipients will receive gifts that are creatively and personally wrapped.
Fabric scraps, old tablecloths and bed linen
Perhaps you have fabric scraps lying in the stash that you never get to use for anything? It can also be a beautiful tablecloth that has been hidden away at the bottom of the drawer because of an ugly red wine stain. The fabric can be used as wrapping. You can just cut around the stain. The fabric can also be used for gift ribbons.
Wrap the gift in a gift
A really smart idea is to wrap the gift in something that is itself a gift. Go to flea markets and find beautiful, old wooden boxes or patinated cake tins for the purpose.
Another good bet is silk scarves. Here you can be inspired by the Japanese wrapping technique, furoshiki, where the gift is wrapped in a scarf or piece of cloth for the purpose. There are different ways to do it. On youtube you can find more guides for furoshiki.
Newsprint and paper bags
Sort through the stack of newspapers and give them an extra lease of life before they end up in the paper bin. The good thing about newspapers and paper bags is that they form a neutral background that can easily be spruced up with a twig, a strip of colorful tape, yarn, rubber bands or (reused) gift ribbon.
A little tip: Check by rubbing on the newspaper whether the print rubs off. Not all gifts are prettier with a print.
Go for 'green' or recyclable gift wrap
Is there sustainable gift wrapping paper? It actually does. Fortunately, several manufacturers and retailers of gift wrapping have realized that many consumers want gift wrapping paper that does not put an unnecessary burden on the climate.
Many factors come into play when gift wrap is to be defined as sustainable. But follow these pointers and you'll be fine:
- Choose gift wrap produced from recycled paper.
- Buy FSC-labeled paper.
- Choose gift wrap that can be reused – i.e. is free of plastic film and glitter.
A completely different option is reusable gift wrap that doesn't get crumpled or broken - for example Everwrap, which comes in great colors and patterns. Among other things, it is negotiated here .
Instead of gift ribbons, you can use jute cord, yarn scraps or fabric ribbons. And the gift can be nicely spiced up with seasonal leaves, branches or other fine things from nature.
Pass the package on
During the year, think about saving nice bags from products you bought in stores and the small shipping boxes you get with the parcel post. With a little aesthetic sense and dexterity, they can be decorated nicely and make the gift look like a million. Only the imagination sets limits when it comes to wrapping gifts.