How we can reduce our environmental footprint on gift wrapping, without reducing the joy we get from gift giving? In this short blog post, I look at the different ways we can make gift wrapping more sustainable.
How we can reduce our environmental footprint on gift wrapping, without reducing the joy we get from gift giving?
The choice of paper for wrapping
There are various paper options available, but the best way to be certain our wrapping paper is sustainable is to choose FSC (forestry stewardship certified) paper, which comes from sustainably grown forests. Recycled paper is not as widely available on the high street but as the name suggests, a part or whole of the paper has been created from post-consumer waste, and is therefore an ecological option. As there is no actual certification available with recycled paper, it is sometimes hard to tell how much recycled fibres are used in the actual product. Also there is a limit to how many times recycled paper can be recycled, after which the fibers disintegrate and form a lesser quality product.
Please note that if the paper you purchase has any metallic sprinkles, glitter or printing (called foiling), it is non recyclable and not a great option for the environment, no matter how sparkly and beautiful it may be. Some wrapping paper also has microplastics in it, and without knowing the method of production, is it nearly impossible for the consumer to know whether their wrapping paper contains them or not. One way to deal with this problem, is either purchase paper that is clearly marked as FSC certified, 100% recycled, or buy from small independent businesses, like myself, who know the origin of their paper. You will also need to consider whether any additional ribbons and decorations you put on the wrapped present, are sustainably made, or recyclable.
A way to make your own recycled gift wrap is to upcycle papers available in your house. These could be magazines, old books, wallpaper, drawings – you could even use colouring in book pages and get your children to decorate each present. You can also repurpose the used wrapping paper after Christmas into other projects, like notebook covers, for lining drawers or making a scrapbook. The choices are truly endless and it is a lovely way to make use of beautiful designs, which would otherwise end up in landfill.
Furoshiki and reusable fabric wrapping
You may have heard of the new trendy product, called furoshiki, which is a Japanese fabric cloth, used for centuries for gift wrapping. The beauty of this product is that it can be manufactured from sustainable fabrics and reused over and over again, not only for gift wrapping, but also for other practical purposes, like for food wrapping. You can use fabric you already have and sew it into a square (usually 50cm x 50cm), or you can purchase custom fabric from sites like Spoonflower. To see the fabric designs available in my Spoonflower shop, please click here. To make the choice even more eco-friendly, please choose organic cotton which is not chemically treated and less polluting to the people and planet.
My Scandinavian gift wrapping products
I have a large range of Scandinavian gift wrap products in my store. Inspired by my childhood growing in the Finnish forest and all things Scandinavian, my wrapping paper has an enchanting woodland feel and charm. All my wrapping paper is printed in the UK, either on 100% recycled, or FSC certified paper. The paper used in my product range is fully recyclable. The swing tags that come with my gift wrap are all printed on 100% recycled card stock and/or plantable wildflower seed paper, which can be sown in your garden after the event. My gift wrapping range comes from my surface repeat pattern collection, which is full of beautiful designs. To see some of my repeat pattern work, and to request to see my entire portfolio to license for your own commercial project, please visit my surface pattern designer page.