Unwrapping a gift brings the excitement and anticipation of wondering what could be inside, but can also waste a lot of resources. However, this waste doesn’t have to occur in gift giving, or when making everyday purchases.
The whole packaging process can be changed, by trying to minimize the amount of packaging needed, and then recycling or reusing those materials that are necessary for packaging. If you are ordering items online, try and consolidate several small orders into one larger one, which reduces the number of shipments, and therefore, the amount of packaging. Find out if it’s possible to use your work address to receive packages, so that other people’s orders going to the office can be grouped and sent together, which is another way to reduce packaging.
If you prefer to purchase items in store, try and buy in bulk. This saves packaging because you’re buying food in one larger container, instead of individually wrapped items. If you’re buying groceries and want them to stay fresh, you can simply place the food in reusable containers, once you return home. Also, don’t forget to bring your reusable bags with you to the store. That way, you won’t have to use and waste the plastic bags there.
When you’re giving a gift to someone, you can wrap it or use a gift bag, and still be sustainable. Always save and reuse gift bags and tissue paper that you receive with your gifts (just try not to give it right back to the same person you received it from). You can also make your own wrapping paper by using old newspapers or magazines. They can look as nice as actual wrapping paper (especially pages from magazines), but help reuse the materials you already own.
Gifts for yourself or others are always nice and appreciated, but you don’t have to pile on the packaging. Reducing the packaging you use is one great gift you can give the earth.