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Never use wrapping paper again: Tips for a sustainable Christmas

Christmas 2019

Kim Kardashian revealed this week that she doesn’t use traditional wrapping paper for her Christmas gifts.

In a recent Instagram story, the reality TV superstar explained that her family uses a cloth wrapping for their presents instead.

“Each year every family member picks a color and vibe so we know who the gifts are from. This year we chose creamy velvet,” Kardashian wrote.

Although the style was not to everyone’s liking, the idea of using cloth, especially old textiles like clothes, has appeared in a list of Greenpeace Canada tips for zero waste wrapping.

Canadians generate thousands of tonnes of waste from gift wrapping and shopping bags every year, with most gift-wrapping made out of hard to recycle mixed material which goes straight to landfill, according to Greenpeace.

“It’s far more sustainable to use pieces of fabric you already have or check out local thrift stores to find second hand fabrics to use,” Greenpeace wrote in the blog.

To keep the cloth in place there’s a guide to Japanese Furoshiki folding techniques as the environmental organization also recommends ditching the sticky tape used for wrapping, instead replacing it with string.

For added panache on a holiday gift, the Greenpeace blog suggests pine cones, berries or leaves instead of plastic ribbons and bows.

“Every year Canadians produce 545,000 tonnes of packaging waste, so that’s gift wrapping annually, and the equivalent to 100,000 elephants,” Jane Roussak, the Living Green Living Well coordinator with Green Action Centre told CTV Winnipeg.

Old maps, magazines, newspapers and kids artwork are all suggested by Greenpeace as more sustainable alternatives to wrapping paper.

For those feeling crafty the blog recommends retro-fitting cereal boxes as gift bags.

According to Zero Waste Canada, the average Canadian tosses about 50 kilograms of garbage each holiday season — 25 per cent more than the rest of the year.

While rules for recycling vary from province to province, there are a number of changes anyone can make to be less wasteful.

Many have advocated for gifting experiences, rather than things as a more sustainable option.

“What if we say gift-giving doesn’t matter? This is all about being with people you’re connected with – your loved ones and your family,” Colleen Thorpe, director general of non-profit organization Equiterre told CTV News Montreal.

“We could say buy locally, but after that I would say, don’t give. Give your time and give your energy and your love and think of activities to do, but don’t make it into a holiday of material gifts.”


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