It can be difficult to minimise the waste during the silly season, so a great place to start is with gift wrapping. Zero or minimal waste gift wrapping doesnt have to take any extra time but does require a bit of creativity and imagination.
Reuse what you have
Old wrapping paper works a treat. If it’s already done a few rounds or has been scrunched or torn by eager hands, you may be able to salvage enough to make a belly bar for your gift and recycle the rest. In the past I’ve wrapped with recycled brown paper and old paper bags that I’ve held onto (turn them inside out if there's a logo printed on the outside) and cut my old wrapping paper into strips to add a pop of colour to presents.
Don't be afraid to think outside the box. The presents above were wrapped with Who Gives A Crap toilet paper wrappers! Yep.
If you like to get your craft on, you could also draw on or decorate paper for wrapping. Stamping with leaves or other natural materials can work beautifully too. This can also be a fun Christmas craft activity for little ones.
Go for a forage and collect leaves to use for decorating. Eucalyptus leaves are especially good to use because they dry beautifully and are guaranteed to look good come Christmas Day. A sprig or two of dried lavender or rosemary against brown paper and tied up wit string looks lovely too.
Got some fabric scraps lying around? Put them to good use and wrap up some presents. Natural fibres are best as they can be composted. Furoshiki is the Japanese art of fabric wrapping, which makes it sound tricky, but can be deceptively simple. It’s also a great way to wrap and carry bottles of wine.
This present is wrapped in a linen tea towel.
Muslin looks beautiful all wrapped up and has so many uses that - with any luck - your gift recipient will be able to wrap it up and use it again and again. Tea towels (see above) are also a great idea and double as a second gift that is most surely going to get some use in the future.
Again, think outside the box. You can wrap with clothing too!
Try to avoid plastic
No matter how you choose to wrap your gifts, do your best to use less plastic. Opt for wrapping paper that isn't covered in plastic. When you're wrapping your gifts, try to use less sticky tape. I managed to wrap all the presents in this blog post - except for one - without the use of sticky tape, instead keeping it all wrapped up with cotton string. I understand that everyone’s needs are different and that sticky tape might be the only way to avoid curious children getting into presents early, but if there's a way to cut back, give it a go.
One more thing
If you’d like us to gift wrap a present you’ve bought in store or online at ecoHaven (for free 😉), just ask. We have some beautiful 100% recycled paper that also happened to be non toxic and vegetable dyed. Win, win!