As the festive season approaches, the time spent visiting different shops starts to appear on most people’s agenda. The joy of giving during this period of merriment brings with it an added strain in relation to environmental pressures. The colourful gift wrapping paper, gift packaging boxes and also ribbons and bows may earn us points with our loved ones but are also a culprit in the growing issue of waste generation.
The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) is encouraging all readers to embrace sustainability and reduce waste generation during this gift-giving month. Exploring different ways of celebration is an essential step towards becoming more environmentally-friendly in our practices.
The tradition of beautifully wrapped presents has long contributed to visual aesthetics underneath our Christmas trees, however, the environmental consequences can no longer be ignored. In most cases, commercially available wrapping paper is not even recyclable and this is due to materials such as foil, plastic coating or glitters that are added to make it more colourful and eye-catching. These materials are sometimes also added to give it a glossy or laminated feel or to make them more durable, resulting in an increased difficulty in breaking down them in recycling plants. So, let us join forces in using alternatives to what is no longer serving us.
Some examples of sustainable alternatives to traditional wrapping include the use of eco-friendly, reusable ones. These reusable options can be a creative option which can quickly elevate your gift from the rest! Consider using fabric wraps or even christmas decorative tea towels which can add an extra layer of thoughtfulness or be part of the gift itself.
One can also opt to buy recycled wrapping paper and these normally are distinguishable from ttraditional ones as they lack certain finishes and are marketed as being made from recyclable materials. Another option can consist of using old newspapers or plain kraft paper or cardboard which you can personalise as you wish, adding a personal touch. You can also opt out of gift wrapping altogether and invest in some reusable gift bags or boxes which can be stored and repurposed for future celebrations. This can also apply to Christmas cards which can be substituted through digital and animated ones.
This Christmas we can really make a difference if such practices, small as they may sound, are adopted communally. By opting for sustainable alternatives and embracing eco-friendly wrapping solutions, we can celebrate the season with a sense of environmetal responsibility and consciousness. Let us also remember to separate waste generated around Christmas time correctly and avoid getting fined for non-compliance during such merry moments.