Community & Environment

Christmas giving, the sustainable way

Christmas presents wrapped in sustainable and recycled material

We’re about to have a summertime Christmas and hopefully you’re well and truly prepared. With gift giving for the extended whanau a staple of the holidays, our classic kiwi Christmas can leave us with more bin bags of ripped up wrapping paper than gift bags.

Some hints and tips for inventive wrapping

Unfortunately, wrapping paper is often used once and then thrown away. Any metallic and shiny wrapping paper cannot be recycled so avoid these where possible. Try reusing the wrapping paper from your birthday or last Christmas instead of buying it new.

You’re Christmas doesn’t have to be confined to just simple wrapping paper either. Digging out an old stack of magazines can provide you with a colourful and unique patchwork of wrapping for each gift. Or how about old maps or newspapers which are perfect to cover larger gifts.

Depending on the gift try putting it in a glass jar, it’s a gift within a gift!
Plastic ribbons and bows are nonrecyclable, so opt for cloth ribbons or off-cuts of material cut into Christmas shapes to jazz up your wrapping.

Never forget to unwrap your received gifts carefully and save the paper for reuse next year.

Hoard in November

Knowing the giving season is near, start holding on to any boxes or wrapping that you receive and put them aside for reuse. You can avoid using paper entirely by using reusable decorative tins, baskets, or boxes.

So, come next November, hold onto all the mint tins, postage boxes, and tissue paper that you can.

Buy smart, not plastic

Buy items that have minimal to no packaging where you can, it’s the gift people want not the plastic, no matter how pretty. Instead of getting premade gift baskets that are often wrapped in colourful plastic, make your own. You can personalise the items and still give it to them in a basket.

Instead of spending your money on a dust gathering gift, why not give home baked cookies, jams, a plant or tree. These don’t need to be wrapped in anything at all and won’t lay around until someone remembers to return it.

And some gifts don’t have to create any waste at all; concert or movie tickets, or a dinner out can all be given with no additional waste.

No more secrets

Does your gift receiver already have a sneaking suspicion or outright know what their present will be? How about doing away with wrapping altogether, the wrapping is only there to be torn off anyway.

Our Christmas spirit doesn’t have to end up in the landfill, inventive and thoughtful gift giving is the way to go this year.

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