one of the joys of christmas (for me, anyways) is wrapping gifts with pretty paper and lots of bows. as soon as christmas morning is over though, this turns into one giant heap of trash! here's some information and several tips to help us all reduce the environmental damage of this paper intensive holiday.
did you know?
- gift wrap was founded by hallmark in 1917. it's now a $2.6 billion industry each year!
- about half of the 85 million tons of paper products americans consume every year goes toward packaging, wrapping and decorating goods.
- wrapping paper and shopping bags alone account for about 4 million tons of trash annually in the u.s. alone.
- if every american family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
tip: try to start by purchasing wrapping paper made from recycled materials. you can also skip the paper all together and reuse items from around the house. use fabric scraps, newspaper, maps, vintage sewing patterns, reusable shopping bags and more!
many centers and cities can recycle wrapping paper with no problem. call your local recycling center (or check their website) to see if they're able to recycle it in your town. if your paper can't be recycled (especially if it has glitter or metallic paper in it), consider reusing it! above is a little collection of ways to reuse wrapping paper that i gathered from this article. i especially love the idea of shredding it for use in gifts next year!
photo by brittni mehlhoff