Have you ever noticed that the amount of packaging and wrapping around toys is more than twice the size of the toy? If you look at the presents you get, there’s more wrapping to throw away than you get to keep. So this year, let’s try to do something different!
Presents without packaging
Yes, this is possible and it doesn’t take as much time as you think. Not everything comes with plastic bags, a cardboard box or colourful ribbon. Here are some presents you can get without any packaging and they still say how much you care:
- A gift card or voucher and gift cards can also be used again. So once you’ve spent the vouchers you receive this year keep the card and put money on it for someone else next year.
- Give membership or a subscription. Find something you know will interest the person you want to give a present to and make an enquiry. The National Trust is just one organisation that will give gift memberships.
- Take someone on a day out. Make a colourful card or voucher for you own gift, you could give your parents a home cooked meal or promise your nephew a day out in a theme park this summer. It’s a personal gift and gives them something to look forward to.
For more ideas check out our gifts with less packaging page
We have a big pile of padded envelopes here, we’ve got them from around various items sent to us over the year and there’s also some cardboard boxes. You can also do this at home, by keeping envelopes and boxes you can save yourself money and time. Simply wrap your presents and fit them into the items you’ve saved. You can even go to the Post Office website and print off the postage you need – even more time saved.
When you reuse envelopes make sure you clearly address them and cover up all old addresses to make sure your present gets to the right place.
Make your own gift wrapping
Wrapping paper and gift bags don’t have to come brand new from a shop, you can make your own or reuse ones from last year, even if you don’t think you are very creative. Here are three simple things you can do:
- Use newspaper or brown paper, to jazz it up use colourful string or fabric ribbon. You could paint the paper or make patterns using potato shapes (if you don’t remember how, look it up on the internet). To finish it off, add a gift tag made from an old Christmas card.
- Save gift bags and reuse them. No one will remember the silver gift bag that Aunt Sally gave you a bottle of wine in on your birthday, so use it again!
- Put your presents in other types of packaging. You could buy a big pick and mix, then put it in a glass jar and tie a ribbon round the jar.
For more ideas for alternatives to wrapping paper follow these links:
36 Green Gift Wrapping ideas
Reader’s Digest home-made wrapping ideas
Ways to save money at Christmas
Wrapping without waste from The Telegraph