What Should I Consider When Buying Wrapping Paper?

Sheri Cyprus

Buying wrapping paper is fun. The assortment of colorful gift wrap is never-ending and there are many colors and patterns of wrapping paper to suit every person and every occasion. Interesting gift wrap used to cover holiday and birthday presents has become a popular part of many cultures. The problem is, since gift wrap is so widely used today, it creates a lot of waste that is harmful to the environment. An environmentally sound choice, when buying wrapping paper, is to use recycled and recyclable gift wrap.

Aluminum foil can be used to make a metallic gift wrap.
Aluminum foil can be used to make a metallic gift wrap.

Recycled gift wrap can be found in many colors, patterns, and styles suitable for Christmas wrapping paper as well as for many other occasions. When buying wrapping paper made from recycled materials, read labels to find the gift wrap that contains the most post-consumer content. Recycled wrapping paper is manufactured with a large range of recovered materials including office paper, cardboard packaging, and old newspapers. If you have trouble finding recycled gift wrap in stores, wrapping paper made from recycled paper is available online.

A roll of recycled paper, which can be used as an environmentally-friendly wrapping paper.
A roll of recycled paper, which can be used as an environmentally-friendly wrapping paper.

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Recyclable gift wrap is paper that can be recycled after it is used. When you are buying a weekend paper you are also buying wrapping paper since you can use the colored comic pages, or black and white crossword puzzles page to wrap gifts. The paper can also be recycled with the rest of the other newspapers. However, avoid tape and use yarn or string to tie the comic or puzzle pages onto the gifts instead, as tape makes gift wrap non-recyclable.

Presents can be wrapped in newspaper.
Presents can be wrapped in newspaper.

For an alternative, fabric bags or towels can also be used to cover gifts instead of buying wrapping paper. Also, paper gift bags can usually be used for several years. Leftover wrapping paper can be put through a shredder and used as a filler for gift baskets. Giving presents such as gift certificates or coupons you make for cleaning and other services, are also good ways of being able to avoid buying wrapping paper in large amounts.

Environmentally, metallic paper is the worst choice when buying wrapping paper. Not only is it non-recyclable but due to its finish, the manufacturing processes used to make metallic paper is harmful to the environment. Gently used aluminum foil can be recycled from the kitchen and pressed out with hands to remove creases to make a metallic gift wrap.

Recycled wrapping paper is available in various colors, lengths, themes and styles.
Recycled wrapping paper is available in various colors, lengths, themes and styles.

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