By Ed Marroni
December 10, 2012
It has been looking like Christmas, a time when more presents are given than any other day of the year in the United States.
But it’s not enough for us to give presents, we need to dress up the gift to look pretty using wrapping paper and ribbons. What happens to the beautiful wrappings? They are torn off and thrown in the trash.
During the holidays, 25% more trash is generated with single-use wrapping paper. This adds up annually to millions of tons of waste. We can reduce this waste! Here are some options:
- Give the gift as is with a note who its from without any wrapping
- Wrap the presents in colorful newspaper (perhaps selecting pictures that convey something about the gift or the recipient)
- Remove the wrappings and ribbons carefully so they can be reused the next Christmas
- Wrap presents with fabric which is available or purchased (for examples, go to this website: http://www.urbanearthworm.org/2012/11/30/sustainable-holidays-wrapping-paper-and-holiday-card-alternatives/).
If every household wrapped just 3 gifts using one of these options, enough paper would be saved to cover 45,000 football fields. Rightly so, these options are counter to our custom and expectations regarding gift wrapping. Also true, more time will likely be required for gift-wrapping. But, will we allow ourselves to be ruled by custom or act in favor of our environment?