In this article, Tatjana Ahmed, Housekeeping Manager, Grand Hyatt Dubai, celebrates the festive season with tips on green gift wrapping ideas.
It is again the season for living rooms around the world to be covered in a sea of crumpled paper and tossedaside bows. Wrapping paper from holiday gifts are largely to blame for a 25 percent spike in trash volume between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. What has the eco-minded gift-giver to do? Here are some ways to give a thoughtfully wrapped present and give back to the Earth, too.
Say ‘silver bells’ without leaving a metallic taste in your mouth. A different twist on recycled paper, recycled aluminum foil adds shiny happiness and closes the loop on recycling. Tie on some colorful raffia or hemp twine to up the festive factor
Reusable gift bags or shopping bags make a wonderful alternative to gift wrap.
Let surplus maps lead the way to sustainable wrapping. These maps give your package a hip design. Not to mention, they’re educational.
When a gift bag just won’t do, try a gift basket - you won’t need any additional wrapping. After the gift-giving is over, people can use it to store things in their home, or to take to the farmers’ market!
Make the wrapping part of the gift! Containers make great no-wrappingneeded packaging: A bucket or watering can is easy to fill with gardening supplies and a mixing bowl or stockpot makes the perfect package for your favorite cook. And, don’t forget soft wrapping paper alternatives that are also great gifts, like a scarf, tunic or a beach towel. It’ll give them a little hint as to what’s inside, but your creative wrapping will get years of use.
Some of the best decorations for your gifts can be found in backyards, beaches and fields. Sprigs of berries, branches, shells and pinecones are naturally beautiful and don’t require any manufacturing at all … just a short hike.
Avoid sticky situations at your recycling facility by wrapping your gifts without conventional — often petroleum-based — tape. Opting out of tape by making tightly creased folds as you wrap, securing it by tying up the package tightly (in two directions) with natural twine or wool yarn that can be reused.
If necessity is the mother of invention, competition is the sister of connection! Challenge your family to a little friendly competition — come up with the most inventive, resourceful, brilliant wrapping paper alternative using natural, reusable, recycled or repurposed raw materials. Then before present-opening commences, take a vote on the best idea. Award the winner a gift!