Green Book Fairies #25: Let’s Talk About… Gifts!

It’s day 25 and the Green Book Fairies love to give gifts just as much as wingless humans. I mean…that’s what we do. We leave the gift of books for perfect strangers to enjoy.

The Problem:

Many birthday and festive gifts are wrapped in single use packaging and non-recyclable wrapping paper. (Credit Donkey). In 2011 the Telegraph (UK) reported on the almost 230,000 miles of wrapping paper thrown away each year, and as population levels steadily grow, that number is ever increasing.

Wrapping Solutions:

🎁 Wrap the gift with used paper or newspaper.

🎁 Make a furoshiki cloth with old clothing. The furoshiki method is gorgeous. Lush Cosmetics offer knot wrap and you can also buy cheap “fat quarters” of material – or use waste fabric from crafty people 😍

🎁 Leave it naked and don’t wrap it the gift. Give it with a smile or a hug. You’re good to go.

🎁 Avoid using tape, instead choose reusable string or ribbon!

Gift Solutions:

🎁 Give the gift of an experience (i.e. massage, your time, tickets to an event, an escape room booking).

🎁 Think about charity donations or gift vouchers.

🎁 Regift something you already have or buy secondhand. As long as it’s thoughtful it will be well-received.

🎁 Homemade gifts are always very special (i.e. food, candles, homegrown plants, art & crafts – so many tutorials on YouTube). Here is a candle recipe: https://jojotastic.com/2018/10/04/eggnog-soy-wax-candle-diy-essential-oils/

🎁 If a new item must be thoughtfully purchased, buy something durable and/or reusable.

Gifts, by Emily of Toronto

Many people are surprised to learn that most wrapping paper is not recyclable. Even wrapping paper labelled as recyclable is often made of fibers too short and weak to be recycled again. While you could forego gift-wrapping altogether, there are several environmentally conscious options that can be just as festive and thoughtful.

Wrap gifts in a square scarf, hankie, or other piece of fabric using the Furoshiki method. Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese method of carrying items and wrapping gifts that originated in the 8th century. A few years ago, the Japanese government started a campaign to re-introduce Furoshiki as an environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic bags and other single use products.This eco-conscious method of wrapping gifts offers a way to personalize gifts while also eliminating wrapping paper, ribbon, accents, and tape.

A more cost effective option is to wrap gifts in brown butcher’s paper, tied up with cotton string. In addition to being completely compostable, I think there’s a nostalgic “Here Are A Few of My Favourite Things” vibe! 

In addition, when shopping for holiday or birthday presents, you can save money and reduce plastic consumption by searching secondhand shops or trying your hand at something homemade. According to one poll, 54% of people return their gifts after the fact so why not give something a little more personalized at a fraction of the cost like a plate of their favorite homemade cookies?

Book Fairy Verdict:

“I love gift wrapping and the ritual of it but that alone can get expensive. For me a beautiful solution is brown paper that I can decorate with whatever is at hand. It’s personalised and the extra care and creativity that comes with the gift itself is always appreciated. Win win!”

– Lou, Ipswich

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