EcoWaste Coalition: Creatively Reuse Wrappers and Other Gift Supplies to Curb “Holitrash”

Christmas gift wrappers and other packaging materials and accessories need not end up in landfills to rot, the EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental watchdog group, said.

Instead of tearing gift wrappers apart and tossing them straight to the bin, the group urged recipients to carefully unwrap presents and save the wrappers and other gift supplies like bags, boxes, bows and ribbons for the next gift-giving, or creatively reuse them.

Creative reuse of wrappers and gift supplies can help in reducing the tons of holiday trash, or “holitrash,” that are sent to landfills for disposal, the group pointed out.

For example, wrappers can be reused to cover books and notebooks, embellish scrapbooks or for DIY paper crafts. Even crumpled wrappers can be reused as a cushioning material for fragile items to be taken down and stored after the holidays like Christmas lights.

Gift bags and boxes can be reused as storage for curios and ornaments, jewelry, makeup, photos, buttons, art materials, coins, keys, and lots of other things.

Bows and ribbons can be used again for future gift-giving, or transformed into personal accessories like hair bows and ties, and as ornaments for the doors, walls and windows.

Greeting cards can be repurposed into instant bookmarks, or simply stored and reused as decorations for the next Christmas celebrations.

Cash envelopes or money covers can be reused to keep name cards, ID photos, receipts, etc.

Hamper baskets can be used as containers for condiments, fruits and vegetables, ornamental plants, etc.

“Sky is the limit for the creative reuse, recycling or upcycling of Christmas gift supplies. Imagination is everything that you need! Also, there are plenty of DIY guides on the Internet and YouTube,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.

“Preventing and reducing ‘holitrash’ will help in minimizing the environmental impacts of the joyful season,” the group said. “Celebrations, especially those inspired by our faith and culture, must not drown us deeper in plastic and garbage.  Zero waste and toxics-free lifestyle is the way to go."