Go green on gift wrap.
Yesterday’s post reminded us to shop conscientiously for the holidays, and today we have another important reminder for gift-giving season: Wrap conscientiously. Today’s #DailyRevolution is to wrap any gifts you may be giving this year in repurposed or recycled materials.
The United States spends about $3.2 billion annually on wrapping paper. Because of the dyes and lamination used to make traditional wrapping paper, as well as its thinness and the plastic tape often found on it, lots of wrap waste is not recyclable -- meaning most of it ends up in a landfill. One estimate found that wrapping paper and shopping bags make up 4 million tons of the trash we create annually in the U.S.
Beyond waste, the paper production process is extremely detrimental to the environment on many levels. Not only does paper production destroy our natural forests, but also the paper and pulp industry is unrivaled in its use of water per ton of product, and is the second-largest energy-consuming industry. Producing paper also pollutes air and water, releasing greenhouse gases and pollutants like nitrous and sulfur oxides, acetone, methanol and carbon monoxide into the air; and deadly dioxins like furans and chloroform into the water.
This year, commit to skipping traditional wrapping paper and use one of these alternatives:
Fabric scraps: Pull out the old craft bin and find some colorful scraps to tie up your goodies.
Old newspapers: Grab those funny pages before they head to the recycling bin.
Recycled brown paper bags: Save a grocery bag.
Your 2017 wall calendar: Use the art from an old calendar.
Avoid plastic ribbons and bows. Instead, tie your treasures up with reusable fabric ribbon or string (and be sure to save it for next year). If you receive any gifts wrapped in traditional paper this year, unwrap them carefully so you can save the paper and reuse that, too.