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Welcome to week 12 of the zero waste challenge! If you’re new to the challenge (hello and welcome!) or just want a refresher on any of the past posts, you can find them all here.
Here are our numbers for last week:
- Our trash weight was significantly higher than it has been the past few weeks. There were two reasons for that: first, we obtained the turkey carcass from our Thanksgiving celebration, and after making stock and pulling off the remaining turkey meat, threw the carcass away. This attributed to at least 1/2 of the extra weight. The second reason is we went through our fridge and did have some leftover food waste that couldn’t be composted.
- Although our trash weight was more, we still only used one trash bag in the kitchen for the week. Our goal is to start to reduce this amount within the upcoming weeks.
- Our large outdoor collection trash bin was less than half full! This has been the case for a few weeks now. We have been thinking about calling our trash company and getting a smaller trash bin, but for some reason are hesitating. I don’t think at this point we would go back to needing more space, but it has been a hard step to take. However, the motivating factor is that we will be able to save more money per month (view our other money-saving zero waste tips here).
In preparation for the upcoming holiday season, I wanted to refresh my tips on reducing gift wrap waste, or zero-waste friendly gift wrapping options (I originally posted about this a couple of months ago after Little E’s birthday party). If you want to view the original post, you can view it here.
Otherwise, read on for 6 zero waste wrapping tips!
- Reuse gift bags and tissue paper – Personally, we save any gift bags we receive. The ones that are in good condition, we use in gifting an item to someone else. If we have any that are in not-so-good condition but still usable, we keep those for exchanging gifts between ourselves. With just this tip alone, our family has saved a ton of money by not buying bags/wrapping paper. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time we bought any!
- Gift wrap – There is a lot of recycled gift wraps out there. There is brown kraft paper which is made of 100% recycled materials, or there is eco-friendly wrapping paper made with recyclable and compostable materials (they come in really cute prints too!).
Photo source: pexels.com
- Reuse other materials for gift wrapping – Newspaper is a material that always comes to mind first (anyone else ever give or receive gifts wrapped in the newspaper comics)? Other things I’ve seen used as wrapping are old maps or fabrics. You can decorate a plain brown box and turn it into a fun gift box. Another option is to gift an item in a reusable storage container such as a cute basket or a fun tin.
Photo source: pexels.com
- Reuse gift wrap – After Little E’s birthday a couple of months ago, we ended up with a lot of ‘used’ wrapping paper that we wanted to try and reuse instead of throwing away. We ended up discovering that ‘used’ wrapping paper works great for wrapping breakable items for shipping or safe keeping!
- Reuse cards – I have heard of many people who reuse greeting cards as gift tags. You could even reuse them as wrapping paper decorations.
- Consider clutter-free, minimalist/zero waste friendly, and mindful gifts – Ok, I know I said this post wouldn’t be specifically about gift giving. But I feel like I at least need to reference a place that you can find gifts that fall under the categories listed above. Lucky for you, I wrote a post with over 42 clutter-free, minimalist friendly, and mindful gifts. Many of these can also fall in line with zero-waste friendly gifts. You can find that post here.
What tips do you have for reusing gift wrap? What is your favorite zero waste wrapping materials? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!