Sustainable Gift Wrapping and Christmas Decoration Ideas
From the gifts we buy, to the way we wrap them, and how we choose to decorate our homes, opting for less wasteful, or disposable choices over Christmas means casting a vote for a more sustainable future.
Our small changes over the festive period can all add up to make a world of difference.
It’s estimated that each year, us Britons throw away enough wrapping paper to circle the globe 9 times!
Imagine the impact we could all make if, together, we took small steps to reduce our waste at Christmas time.
Read on for our environmentally friendly christmas wrapping ideas, and a brilliant guide from Organic Blooms on how to make your own wreath at home.
1) Go for gift bags
Gift bags are a great alternative to wrapping paper and can easily be re-used and re-purposed time and time again.
You could also try giving plain paper shopping bags a Christmas makeover by decorating them with stamps and pens.
2) Reduce, reuse, recycle
Got a friend who loves fashion, a nephew who likes comics, or a spouse who enjoys sports?
Why not try adding a little personal flair to your gifts this year and re-use an old magazine, comic book or newspaper to wrap up your presents.
This recyclable gift wrapping is a great way to save some money as well as use up old paper you would have otherwise thrown away.
Just remember to double-check the headlines so you don’t send the wrong message!
Forget wrapping paper altogether, and start using a good old fashioned stocking!
There is nothing more exciting than a filled stocking at the end of the bed or under the Christmas tree.
A personalised stocking for each member of the family will last for years and becomes a lovely memory for years to come.
4) Brown paper packages tied up with string
Ditch the cellotape (other adhesive brands are available) this year and opt for a string to tie up those loose paper ends.
Not only will this eco-friendly gift wrapping give your presents a classic look, but it will means you can re-use your wrapping paper without it getting torn and ruined.
Top Tip: Using your string, tie a small branch from your Christmas tree or cinnamon stick to make your gifts extra festive.
5) Use FSC or PEFC approved wrapping paper
If you do opt for wrapping paper, looking for the FSC or PEFC logos is a great way to be sure that the paper comes from responsible sources.
These logos guarantee that the labelled wood or paper doesn't come from illegal logging or damaging forestry practices.
6) Make your own wreath
If you're looking to put your crafting skills to the test at home this Christmas, the nature-friendly flower experts at Organic Blooms are on hand with a step-by-step guide to making your own wreath from scratch this year, made with foraged local plants:
- You'll need a reel of wire and a wreath base (10 inch diameter is a good size). There are several types available from floristry and craft suppliers: for natural wreaths that last well, we suggest a mossed copper wire base.
- Raid your garden or local park for some evergreen foliage that is hardy, healthy and hydrated. Medium and small leaved shrubs in a variety of textures and colours work best: try blue spruce, yew, box, holly, garrya, holm oak, euonymous, hebe, mature ivy with berries and bay. Cut 12-15cm lengths, stripping the leaves from the bottom 2cm.
- Gather your foliage in bundles of three stems. It could be three pieces of one type of foliage, or three different types. Lay your first bundle on your base with one stem angled to the left, one central to the base, and one slightly to the right. Bind the bundle to the base by winding the wire around a couple of times, pulling it tight to hold in place. Leave the wire attached ready to wrap around your next bundle.
- Continue adding more bundles of foliage, wrapping the wire around each time. Overlap each new bundle with the cut ends of the previous one – this will hide them nicely and aiming for an overlap of at least a third of each bundle creates a nice full look. Repeating patterns of bundles gives a very pleasing effect.
- Once your base is completely covered, tie off the wire, then add natural decorations on wire including cinnamon sticks, dried orange slices, pine cones and red crab apples. Choose three or five of each and place in groups around the wreath, pushing the wire through the base and wrapping around to secure.
- Decide which is the top of your wreath and fix a wire loop on the back to hang – then finish with a festive coloured rustic bow of traditional or hessian ribbon, fixed to the top or bottom of your wreath with wire.
- Give your wreath an occasional water spray to keep it fresh and afterwards take it apart and compost it, saving the ring and wire for next year.
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