Submitted by Cleaner Greener Hingham
Who doesn't love the look of a beautifully wrapped gift during the holidays? While conventional wrapping paper, with all its glitz and glitter, is lovely, its production and use takes a heavy toll on the environment. And did you know that it can't be recycled? This holiday season, get all of the pretty with none of the guilt by applying the principles of reducing, reusing, refusing, and recycling.
Reduce your use of wrapping paper by substituting paper that you already have around the house. Drowning in piles of your little one's school art projects? Use some of those drawings to wrap up gifts for the grandparents. Have a print media habit? Use old newspapers or magazines to do up this year's delights. The teen in your life will appreciate a package covered in his/her favorite celebrity far more than snowflakes and candy canes. Newspapers in a foreign language (easy to find in Quincy) are worldly and neutral.
Reuse items from prior years as much as possible. Gift boxes and bags can be used multiple times before they begin to look tired. Breathe new life into a wrinkled ribbon by giving it a quick mist with a spray bottle of water and applying a warm iron or flat iron. If you need to buy new, choose quality items that will last for several uses.
If you want to go all in, you can always opt to refuse conventional giftwrap. Instead choose one of the many reusable shopping or tote bags that you already own. Dishtowels, reusable fabric gift bags, and cloth napkins or placemats are also great alternatives that won't be tossed once the presents are opened.
Recycle any paper that you can, remembering that tissue paper and wrapping paper cannot be recycled. Any bits of paper with tape attached should also be trashed. Try avoiding tape altogether by binding your presents using only yarn, twine, or reusable ribbon.