The cost of gift-giving during the holiday season seems to be rising every year, so saving money when possible is the goal of many shoppers.
Kerry Maule, who runs the Positively Green TikTok account (@positivelygreenliving) that shares hacks and tips for sustainable living, has offered a free, environmentally friendly way to replace expensive gift wrap to keep your presents hidden until the time comes.
Maule starts the video with a cardboard box full of protective paper used for packaging.
“Don’t throw this away,” she says.
After unraveling the crumpled-up sheet of paper, she then places her item in the middle and tucks the material around it, folding it over until it is completely covered.
She then ties her gift up with string to make an elegantly disheveled parcel to place under the tree.
How it’s helping
First, the packaging doesn’t cost you a penny. Since the items you buy online will likely contain vast amounts of protective material when they get delivered, reusing that instead of buying purpose-made wrapping paper will save money.
Furthermore, this method reduces waste. Instead of putting the packaging in the trash or sending it to a recycling site, you can take advantage of the material yourself for a unique and fun way to keep the mystery alive until the holiday of you are celebrating, whether that be a religious one, a cultural one, or just Festivus.
Maule’s method also doesn’t require any plastic tape. As she observed, paper that has the sticky tape attached cannot be recycled, so you’re skipping that step and making the process a whole lot easier — and cheaper. Even the string used to tie up the parcel can be reused.
Meanwhile, wrapping paper that has foil or glitter isn’t recyclable, so avoiding these types of products is also beneficial for the environment.
Research has shown that in the United States, $12.7 billion is spent on gift wrapping each year, with 2.3 million pounds of the material eventually ending up in landfills — where it will contribute to the production of planet-warming gases.
What’s everyone saying?
Commenters on Instagram were impressed by this simple tip that can make the holiday season a little cheaper, with some sharing their own suggestions for a planet-friendly holiday season.
“I never thought about reusing this in that way,” one Instagrammer said, while another added, “Pulling some out of my recycling RIGHT NOW!”
“That’s what we do!” added another. “Children got used to it and don’t mind grey and brown presents with the jute string. Ripped packaging after Christmas then go into the compost on the allotment and the string get re-used infinitely. Win-win!”
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