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Ultimate tips for a plastic-free Christmas: wrapping

Wrapping Christmas gifts is all part of the fun. I remember my dad collecting all the wrapping paper, taking the tape off and folding it neatly so it could be reused again the following year. However, I don't see it lying around at his house anymore so it must have eventually made it into the waste. Probably the paper waste, because I don't think I knew that Christmas wrapping paper isn't recyclable until last year or the year before. Yes, so the shop bought stuff, usually the one that comes with a plastic wrap on it can't be recycled as it contains plastic. Crazy, eh. 

Instead we've put together some ideas to what you use could instead for this festive season. 

Wrapping paper alternatives:

1. Brown kraft paper: You can get this from most news agents, post offices, stationary shops or craft shops. It always seems to be located near the till somewhere. Kraft paper is made from recycled paper and is naturally a brown colour. You can tie it with jute or add your own decorations to it to brighten it up or even create your own stamp. Did you ever cut a shape into a potato when you were a kit and then cover that shape with paint and use it as a natural stamp? I don't reckon it's too hard to carve a tree shape into a potato. 

2. Newspaper: Using newspaper is good because it's mostly free! I get my local newspaper popped through my letterbox every week for free, you can also pick it up at my local supermarkets. It says take one, but sometimes I take two or three. 

3. Make your own paper: Making your own paper is stuff a fun activity to do if you've got a bit of time on your hands and a collection of scrap paper. I've added the link to my favourite instructions here

4. Lokta paper: Lokta paper is made from the Lokta shrub, which naturally sheds its bark. It can be a little more expensive than other plastic-free alternatives but totally worth it if you want more of a sleek and less homemade finish. 

5. Bento bags: There is absolutely no reason why you can't wrap your presents in fabric. Using a bento bag can be ideal as all you need to do is tie the two handles together. The recipient can then also use it as a lunch box! So you're essentially giving two presents! You can buy our bento bags here.  

6. Recycled Sari Wraps: These wraps are made in India using old saris that are recycled into a plastic-free present wrapping option. These beautiful wraps are definitely a showstopper and something that can then we used as a scarf afterwards or again to wrap a present in the future. Get yours here.

Sellotape alternatives:

1. Twine: Twine is made from high-quality cotton and comes in lots of difference colours. It's fully biodegradable but also reusable. Simple tricks such as tying a bow with it that's easy to undo, rather than a difficult knot means that it doesn't have to be cut to open and then can be reused for years to come! See our selection here.

2. Paper Tape: Switching to paper tape is super easy. I prefer using it, not only because it's plastic-free obviously, but because you can tear each piece off. You don't need any scissors or a dispenser and it can go straight into your paper rubbish. We stock it in two sizes here

3. Eco-friendly glue: We stock plastic-free glue by Coccoina which is made from potato starch and almond aroma. It includes a natural bristle made from pig hair and comes in a tin. A great plastic free alternative to pritt-stick or PVA. Get yours here.

4. Paper clips: How many paper clips do you already have at home? This is a super cheap way to make sure your paper stays put and they look ace too! 

Presentation ideas:

1. Go outside and collect your natural decorations! Things like cones, dried berries, dried leaves and fruit, pressed flowers, feathers, spices all look amazing on parcels. I previously wrote a blog on how to dry petals- you can read it here. I also remember as a kid really enjoying pressing flowers. You don't even need to buy a kit really, just pop them under some heavy books and in a dry, warm place for a couple of months. Best do that one soon so they're ready in time!

2. Eco glitter: Did you know glitter is made from plastic? Tiny pieces that just go everywhere. We stock biodegradable glitter. So if you're making your own greeting cards, this is what you need. See our glitter selection here

3. Recycled boxes from your corner shop: If you've ordered from us before then you'll know that your orders are always delivered in recycled boxes. I'm friends with all my local news agents and they collect their sweet boxes for me so that I can reuse them to send you your goodies! You can easily do the same for your Christmas presents! If you've got something that needs to go into a box, instead of going out and buying a presentation box, why don't you see if you can get one for free from your local shop.

4. Wood wool: Buying sustainable wood wool is a great way to stuff your boxes. We've taken inspiration from Shoreline Shaving who stuff their shaving kits with wood wool and it looks incredible! 

Christmas cards:

1. Plastic free Christmas cards from UK independent designers: We've got lots of creative friends and we've got a couple on board to help us create a plastic free Christmas card range. Supporting small businesses and artists is amazing for so many different reasons. And it's especially nice when you've got people around you who have put so much thought and care into creating something in the most sustainable way possible. See our range here

2. Make your own: Get creative and make your own Christmas cards this year. It might take a little longer but it'll go down a treat, I promise!

Got any suggestions that you think we've missed? Pop your ideas in the comments!

 

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