Did you know it is zero waste week? A challenge to us all to adopt the 5 R’s (refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot) more in our lives. And this has got me thinking about the small changes we could all make to lessen our impact on the environment. Thankfully nowadays most wrapping paper is recyclable, but local councils vary about whether or not they accept it. So, here are our top tips on how to stay a little bit greener whilst wrapping – all of which we try our hardest to live by at Wrapsody:
- Reuse every day items such as old maps, newspapers, sheet music, comics, leftover wallpaper and old silk scarves from charity shops instead of traditional wrapping paper. You can also decorate your presents with items from nature (flowers, feathers, berries, pine cones, shells and herbs) or from items you might have lying around the house (buttons and brooches.)
- Check your sources. Always look for 100% recycled wrapping paper which is more widely available and more affordable than you might think: http://www.paperchase.co.uk/recycled-silver-kraft-3m-roll-wrapping-paper.html And you can also support suppliers of wrapping paper made from pulped plant fibre such as these beautiful (although admittedly incredibly expensive) examples from Kate’s Paperie: http://www.katespaperie.com/products/decorative-paper/handmade-decorative-paper-abstract-grid-natural-white.html
- Get rid of sellotape which is often petroleum based and rely instead on good old fashioned raffia, silk yarn, natural twine or wool. You need make your folds in the paper very sharp and be pretty dexterous to make this work, but with practice your presents will hold together nicely.
- Look to other cultures. In Korea Bojagi wrapping cloths were traditionally created by the women of the house out of fabric scraps and were used as tablecloths, food coverings and for carrying items a bit like a knapsack. And in Japan Furoshiki were traditionally used in public baths to wrap up a bathers’ clothes to prevent them getting mixed up with someone else’s. These became common as an all-purpose means of carrying until plastic bags appeared on the scene. Today, there is a resurgence of these eco-friendly, traditional wrapping techniques. With a few knots, folds and twists, presents can be wrapped to stunning effect.
Watch this space as Wrapsody intends to embark on some pretty fancy Furoshiki experiments over the coming weeks.