Congratulations! You have made it through another year. Time to celebrate the Holidays. Bring on the peppermint hot chocolate, the smell of pine in the air, and the extra 25% of garbage we throw out between Thanksgiving and the New Year. What? Were you not expecting us to say that? You probably were, I mean, we are a recycling center. It’s true though, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day Americans throw out 25% more garbage. I don’t actually think this surprises anyone. The extra 25% of garbage includes all kinds of things, but wrapping paper is one of the most notable. While paper is often recyclable, wrapping paper often is not. All foil and glitter wrapping paper is not recyclable and let’s face it, we all love things that sparkle so most of us have that kind of wrapping paper. So it is time to replace our garbage wrapping paper with something better! Something more sustainable. We have come up with a list of our favorite alternatives to wrapping paper.
Newspaper. I am sure many of us have seen this many times before. But this one is my favorite because it takes care of two problems with one solution. We all have that one newspaper. You know the one. The one that always mysteriously shows up in your driveway? The one you can never seem to cancel? The one you never wanted in the first place. Instead of transferring it from your driveway to the garbage, use it! And not just for the holidays! Have a baby that was just born or a birthday? Use newspaper from that day! Give it a little extra something special. Not only is this better for the environment but it is cheaper! And gives a solution to that pesky persistent newspaper.
Brown Paper Bag
Keeping on the paper train, our next idea is to use paper grocery bags. Since Seattle has banned plastic bags we see a lot more paper ones hanging around. The problem is, paper bags have less reusable value. Not to mention they are actually worse for the environment than plastic bags. Keep those paper bags out of a recycling center that cannot recycle it and use it as wrapping paper. Plus it just looks really neat! In addition, you can draw on them! Have the little ones draw on the grandparents’ presents and it is like an extra gift!
Since the weather is much colder now, I am sure many of you have plenty of scarves to go around. Probably more than you can handle and definitely more than you need. Especially in this area, we love our scarves. Instead of hoarding those scarves or throwing them out, use them to wrap presents! The one thing you definitely do not want to do is throw it away! Textiles are notoriously hard to recycle. Most recycling centers won’t take them. Finding another use for them is actually really important not to mention it looks great! There are plenty of tutorials online that show you cool ways to wrap a present using a scarf.
So there you have it! Three ways to wrap presents that are not going to clog up our landfills. If you do find yourself with wrapping paper that cannot easily be recycled, try calling your local recycling center to see if they accept the wrapping paper or know a place that will take it.
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