Healthy Tips

Choose eco-friendly wrapping paper options

Not only is wrapping paper expensive and harmful to the environment, it’s not necessary! There are tons of other options for eco-friendly holiday gift wrapping.

 

Not only is wrapping paper expensive and harmful to the environment, it’s not necessary! There are tons of other options for eco-friendly holiday gift wrapping.

All that wrapping paper adds up

… in money and in natural resources! Canadians spend millions on wrapping paper every year. Moreover, the ecological costs can also be huge—not only is wrapping paper expensive, but it’s especially wasteful because it always eventually gets discarded. To compound this problem, the City of Winnipeg’s recycling program limits what it accepts, which means that much of the beautifully decorated bags and bows will end up in the landfill. Learn more about what the city does and doesn’t recycle. 

It has been estimated that in the US alone, holiday wrapping paper and shopping bags generate 4 million tonnes of waste every year. Plus, it’s difficult for a consumer to tell whether their paper comes from an unsustainably managed rainforest that contributes to deforestation.

And for those out there who use wrapping paper as kindling for the fireplace—stop! The chemicals in wrapping paper (from glitter to dyes and other additives) can cause dangerous fumes when burned.

Eco-friendly options 

Yes, buying gift bags is better than buying wrapping paper because they last longer, and sure, you could buy recycled wrapping paper, but these options are even better for the environment and are way more fun:

  • reusable tote bags or shopping bags, preferably made from organic cotton or hemp
  • kids’ artwork
  • newspaper (the cartoon section is especially colourful), magazines, sheet music, maps, paper bags, and calendars

You can even be more adventurous:

  • wrap present in other presents, such as scarves, bandanas, towels, or other fabrics
  • make a gift basket
  • reuse your old boxes, such as those for mandarin oranges

We want to hear from you! Do you have any other great ideas for wrapping presents without the wrapping paper?

Check out these Health(ier) Recipes-in-a-Jar for the ultimate eco-friendly gift giving idea!

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