It’s estimated that around the holiday season of November to January we produce 25% more trash than during the rest of the year. This is due to packaging waste, gift wrapping, unwanted items, etc. So as we move forward on our path to a more sustainable and healthy planet, we need to “think outside the box”.
At Ettitude, we encourage our customers and partners to find even more eco-friendly solutions to packing. Large-scale impact is made of a lot of small decisions, and we’d like to inspire you to make environmentally-focused decisions when you give or receive a gift.
There are 3 main steps to living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
- Reduce your consumption – meaning consuming/purchasing less. It’s best to ask yourself, “Do I really need that”?
- Reuse whatever you have taken in. This means reusing the item or finding alternative uses for it. For example, old jars = new glasses or storage containers.
- Recycle is the last step and is only used when you no longer have a use for leftover items.
In this article we are going to discuss how these 3 steps relate to packaging.
Really think about the gift that you’re giving – does it really even need wrapping ? Lots of presents look lovely on their own without being covered in wrapping! For example, you could use a small piece of ribbon, string or twine to create pretty gift bundles instead. Reduce your consumption of wrapping paper.
At Ettitude we pack our products in drawstring bags. These are great because not only are they made from our excess fabric cut-offs, you can also reuse the bag for anything! Take it to the gym, carry your delicates when traveling… the options are endless.
When you are gifting, why not try using fabric/cloth that you already have at home instead of gift wrapping? Patterned scarves, tea towels & thin shirts that you no longer use can be turned into a funky alternative! This is common in Japan where furoshiki (風呂敷) are used. Furoshiki are high quality wrapping cloths, and are often used to wrap gifts or transport small packages.
(Example of Furoshiki wrapping from Hibiki-An)
(So many different furoshiki wrapping possibilities. Japanese Ministry of Environment)
Try to combine gifts into one package – it might be nice to seem like you’re giving someone more gifts when you wrap things individually, but it’s far better for the environment to reduce the amount of gift wrapping you use!
Perhaps the most obvious tip – simply save the wrapping, boxes and gift bags you receive and use them again yourself next year (just try not to end up giving them back to the same person! #awks 😂)
Lastly try and recycle any paper wrapping that might be torn or can no longer be used. Avoid purchasing foil and metallic wrapping paper and gift bags as these are generally not recyclable and will end up in the trash. Some paper materials around the house that can create a cool look are maps, newspapers, brown paper bags, etc.
Transform your gift packaging into something new! Get creative, if your present came in a box, why not paint it or decorate it and use it for storage around the home?