Get Christmas all wrapped up
It all adds up. Scots are expected to use upwards of 19,000 miles of wrapping paper this Christmas – enough to wrap the coast of mainland Scotland more than two and a half times. If we were to cut that down by just a quarter we could save around 1,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from being released into the atmosphere. That’s the same as 1,042 flights from Edinburgh to New York.
Anyone with young children - or pets - will know that no matter the gift, what’s on the outside is often the most interesting part of any Christmas present. From sparkly wrapping paper that’s fun to throw about to ‘if I fits, I sits’ cardboard boxes, the amount of packaging that enters our homes over the Christmas period is monumental. But what goes in must come out so what can we do about it?
It’s a wrap!
When it comes to Christmas wrapping paper if you can scrunch it, you can recycle it! And don’t forget to also recycle the wrapping paper tubes as these are made of card as well. Avoid buying glittery and foil wrapping paper though, as this is not recyclable.
Cut down on the amount of wrapping you use by reusing gift bags, boxes and even paper – just unwrap carefully, remove tape and tags, and keep them to give to different friends or family next year – no-one will ever know!
Try out alternatives such as making your own festive themed wrapping using a roll of brown paper and fixing with ribbon or string to avoid using sticky tape. In Japan, the traditional art of gift-wrapping using fabric is known as Furoshiki (風呂敷) which can be used again and again and looks amazing.
Have a cracker of a Christmas
Much like wrapping paper and cards, if Christmas crackers aren’t too shiny or glittery then they can be pulled apart and the paper and cardboard elements can be recycled. Remember to recycle the paper hats and jokes – and we don’t mean retelling the one about the snowman at every opportunity. That’s ‘snow’ fun.
What about that little (normally plastic) gift that comes in the cracker and ends up living in the back of a drawer? Well, opt for crackers that are plastic-free or don’t contain a gift. For many the joke and hat are more than enough. Alternatively, you could get crafty and make your own using toilet roll tubes and wrapping paper, just make sure the gifts inside are practical and useful.
Find out more about what do with other items that might pop up over the festive season here.