• Todd Petrella

One Way to Make Christmas More Sustainable

‘Tis the night before Christmas, and that means family time, rest time, good eating, good tidings, and, sadly, tons and tons of material going to waste. I don’t mean to be an “eco-Grinch” (a term I read on another blog) but I do want to spread awareness about how we can make the most wonderful time of the year a sustainable time of the year. There are many moving parts that go into the holiday season, and with that comes an incredible amount of waste. For this post, we’ll be looking at wrapping paper specifically, as that is one of the largest contributions to the Yuletide waste. So, what might we do about it?

For starters, the easiest way might be to change your holiday shopping habits. That’s a pretty loaded term, but like I said above, let’s stick to wrapping paper for the sake of this article. Every year, dozens of people purchase multiple rolls of wrapping paper, just to use very little of it. There is no problem with this, assuming that these people hold onto the wrapping paper to reuse for the years to come. There is a problem however, when unused wrapping paper is thrown away after it’s no longer needed. Most of it isn’t biodegradable, and if it’s shiny or glossy, that usually means it’s not recyclable either. Many sources state that in the UK alone, 227,000 miles of wrapping paper are thrown away each year.

There is an alternative in the form of gift bags, and these can be very environmentally friendly as they can be reused and repurposed for other things. I recommend holding on to every gift bag you receive this holiday and encourage your friends and family to do the same. When the time comes next year, there won’t be a need to rush out for wrapping paper, money can be saved or used for gifts, and you also won’t have to go through the hassle of wrapping said gifts.

And speaking of gift bags, one of our favorite eco-friendly organizations, 4Ocean, produces and sells their own reusable gift bags! Check them out and see how you can give the gift of a cleaner ocean: