Every year, people end up with tons of extra wrapping paper. I am always amazed with the mountains of trash that build up over the course of Christmas morning. Wrapping paper of all designs, colors, and sizes is used for wrapping, just to be crumbled up and thrown away. Clearly, this isn’t very eco-friendly. This got me asking, “Is there anything we can do so we aren’t as wasteful?”
After a little Q&A with family, we’ve come up with a few quick ideas for that extra, recycle-bin destined wrapping paper and Christmas waste.
Crafts for Kids
First, instead of just tossing away the extra paper and bows, use the supplies for arts and crafts. This is best if you have a big family Christmas every year with lots of children. While the parents are enjoying coffee and talking, set up the children with glue sticks, safe scissors, glitter, and anything else you can find. Have them make ornaments, Christmas cards, pictures, snowflakes, or whatever they can think of!
Still have presents to mail out? Instead of peanuts, use excess wrapping paper. It works as a great insulator and protective barrier for presents of all sizes. Don’t worry about what types of paper are going in the package or if they match. Just be sure your items are snuggly in place to avoid any damage. The best part is it’s fun to open!
Use it for the New Year’s Party
With all the extra ribbons, bows, and decorations, you have a great stock pile for a festive New Year’s eve. Fold the extra paper into designs of stars or snowflakes, and string them up across the house or in the party room. You can also wrap party favors in old gift wrap too. I suggest cutting up the worst paper for confetti you can let down or sprinkle everywhere.
Save the Best
Finally, you can always keep all the best wrapping paper for next year. The less you have to buy means the smaller your footprint is when it comes to next Christmas. You can use the worthy remains for presents, decorations, or anything you can think of!
Okay, so this isn’t as ‘fun’ as the others, but it can still be an adventure. I like to get a huge sack, stuff it full of wrapping paper, and head over to the local recycling center looking like Santa. Before you do that, however, be sure to call or Earth911.com your local recycler to make sure they take wrapping paper, which can vary in ingredients and styles. If they don’t, then consider sticking to the tips above!