Everyday Sustainability Series

Item #1: Gift Wrap

With the amount of climate issues on the news, it’s easy to feel hopeless in the fight against climate change. However, changing small habits can have a positive impact on our environment. By making an effort to change, we can reduce the impact before it’s too late. A survey from CARE Australia found that Australians use 150,000 kilometres of wrapping paper over the Christmas holidays – that is enough to wrap the entire Earth almost four times. The worst part is that due to its plastic-like finish, wrapping paper is not recyclable. This leads to tonnes of wrapping paper heading into landfill.

Here are some sustainable alternatives to traditional wrapping paper:

Recycle unused worksheets

Unused worksheets are a unique and sustainable way of wrapping gifts. As they are made of paper, the wrapping is fully recyclable. For decoration, you might like to add a ribbon or another embellishment that can be reused.

Try Furoshiki wrapping

If you are into sewing at home and have some spare fabric lying around, Furoshiki wrapping might be for you! Furoshiki wrapping originated in Japan, where women would use fabric to hold together loose items or use as wrapping for gifts. It has now become popular across the globe due to its sustainability and availability. To try this at home, simply collect a square piece of fabric, around 50cm in length. You can use tea towels, old scarves, scrap fabric, old pillowcases and the list goes on! This method of wrapping is unique so get creative!

Gift bags/ boxes

If you want to gift wrap sustainably but aren’t willing to give up the appeal of traditionally wrapped gifts, this is the solution for you. Gift bags and boxes can be reused over and over again and if treated well, can last many years. They are quite a common method of wrapping. By saving your gift bags instead of throwing them away, you can amass quite a large collection. One of the positives of reusing gift boxes and bags is that you don’t have to go out and spend money on gift wrapping; just place the gift inside and you’re done. For someone with limited gift wrapping skills, gift bags can be a lifesaver.

Gift cards

Gift cards are extremely versatile and useful when it comes to gift-giving dilemmas. They allow the recipient to choose their own present which can avoid those awkward smiles! Gift cards are eco-friendly as they produce little waste and can be recycled. Gift cards don’t need wrapping; they save paper from ending up in landfill.

Brown paper

Brown paper, recyclable and aesthetically pleasing, is a solution to any gift wrapping problem. Unlike traditional wrapping paper, brown paper is not coated in plastic. You can use brown paper to wrap any gift as it is very easy to work with. Once your gift has been wrapped, you might like to tie some twine and leaves to give it a rustic appearance or use paints or stamps to personalise your gift. The sky is the limit!

In this time of uncertainty, it’s important that everyone does their bit in the fight for our planet. By making small changes to your everyday routine, you will make a difference. However, we can only succeed if we work together so please share these ideas with your friends and family.

Stay tuned for next term’s blog where more articles on sustainability will be featured!

Alice Fiorini







Categories: Middle School Blog