Opening a gift clad in festive paper is part of the excitement of the season. Unfortunately, gift bags and wrapping paper contribute almost 4 million tons of waste a year. In fact, during the holiday season, household waste can increase up to 25%. A lot of that extra waste is from food, product packaging, wrapping paper and bows. Here are 3 ways you can celebrate a more sustainable holiday season:
- Reduce the Waste: Reducing the packaging of the gifts you buy reduces the waste. Items purchased from local craft fairs or thrift shops usually come with minimal packaging. Amazon offers toys and electronics with frustration-free packaging, which removes the extra packaging and makes it easy for you to unbox a give-ready gift. Stick a bow on the iconic smile box for an even easier wrapping job.
- Wrap Responsibly: Help reduce waste by wrapping responsibly. Instead of the sparkly snowflake wrapping paper that will just end up in the trash on Christmas morning, use newspaper, magazines, paper bags or old maps. Try wrapping gifts within another gift, such as a scarf, kitchen towels, or reusable tote bags.
- Give Experiences Not Excesses: Instead of getting your family member another pair of pajamas, give them the gift of an experience. Choose something they might not buy for themselves, like a pottery class, museum membership or gift certificate to a spa. Or get tickets for a movie or concert and tag along for an extra special memory.