MANILA, Philippines — As shopping for gifts hit hectic levels with Christmas Day nearing, a waste and pollution watch group reminded the public to use alternative gift wraps for their holiday presents.
In a statement on Saturday, the environment group EcoWaste Coalition has called on Filipinos “not to make the cheerful tradition of gift-giving a sad one for environment due to the thoughtless use and disposal of gift wrappers.”
“Gift-giving need not dirty and pollute our environment with more garbage. With a little creativity, we can make our gift-giving tradition less wasteful and less stressful for Mother Earth,” the statement quoted Zero Waste Campaigner Daniel Alejandre.
EcoWaste said brown paper bags, magazine pages, Sunday Comics, shoe boxes, used gift wrappers, and other recycled materials are some of alternative gift wraps that can be used for the holiday presents.
The group also came up with suggestions to avoid the purchase and ensuing disposal of gift wrappers and trimmings this merry season.
Choose gift items with less packaging or require no wrapping.
If wrapping is needed, opt for substitute wrappers such as magazine pages, Sunday comics, potato-chip packs, etc.
For tying, go for abaca and other native twine, strips of scrap fabric, etc.
To protect fragile items from breakage, try crunched or shredded paper in lieu of bubble wrap or foam peanuts.
Make use of brown grocery bags, shoe boxes, tin cans, empty jars, etc. as gift receptacles.
Upcycle old clothes, fabric scraps, spare scarves, orphaned socks, and old pillows into gift wraps.
To embellish recycled gift packs, use unwanted fashion accessories, old cards, magazine cutouts, dried leaves and twigs, etc.
Try Furoshiki, the Japanese art of wrapping, using vintage scarves or fabric scraps (check the Internet for free tutorials).
Put an unwrapped gift into a reusable cloth bag, which can be reused as a carry or shopping bag.
Refrain from putting wrapped gifts in plastic bags.
Cut and turn old Christmas cards into gift tags.
Carefully unwrap gifts and save the wrappers, ribbons and bows for the next gift-giving. /je