In the solid waste industry, the holidays are considered the most wasteful time of the year. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that the US produces over 25% more waste during the holidays than the rest of the year– that’s equivalent to an extra one million tons headed to the landfill each week! The good news is there are steps everyone can take to decrease holiday waste and ensure we recycle correctly.
Sustainable Gift Wrap
When wrapping presents, consider what can be recycled or reused. It is estimated that 2.3 million pounds of wrapping paper end up in landfills each year. Wrapping paper can be recycled if it is free of non-paper additives such as glitter, plastic, or foil
- Try the Scrunch Test: If you can scrunch wrapping paper into a ball and it stays together, it can be recycled. If it does not hold, it must be thrown in the garbage.
- Go Green: Use eco-friendly alternatives such as newspapers, old maps, or brown paper grocery bags (bonus points for drawing your own design). The colorful Sunday comics section of the newspaper is a fun substitute for traditional wrapping paper.
- Level Up: What's even better than wrapping presents in something recyclable? Using something reusable! Take inspiration from Furoshiki, the traditional Japanese method of using fabric to wrap objects. Cloths such as bandanas or scarves can be elegantly folded around gifts and reused by your gift recipient for years to come.