Eco wrapping paper

Eco wrapping paper is all the rage

According to my children, it is my generation that has destroyed the planet and I must therefore take full responsibility for ruining their futures. I tried to tell them that I grew up taking pop bottles back to the shop for the deposit and collecting silver paper for Blue Peter appeals but this seems to mean nothing to them. 

I do want to do my bit though. I take care to minimise our plastic consumption, offset our carbon footprint and recycle where I can. And I turn the lights off, which is more than they do! But now that we are approaching Christmas, the season of the unnecessary and excess, taking a greener approach to life seems more important than ever.

I read somewhere that the super-sparkly Christmas wrapping paper that I favour is one of the worst culprits in the recycling Most Wanted list as it can’t be recycled and takes forever to biodegrade. So this year I thought I should try something new.

So, I started my search where most of my online searches begin these day – Amazon. And I wasn’t disappointed. I had assumed that my main option would be to buy myself a roll of utilitarian brown paper and go from there so first I looked up stamps and inks. There are loads! You can basically buy yourself a stamp of any design you care to mention and if you can’t find what you’re looking for then someone will make it for you.

Excited at hand-printing my own paper, I moved on to gift tags and then away from Amazon altogether and off to Pinterest where, as you can imagine, all the best-dressed presents hang out!

By now…

I was positively salivating at all the beautiful options. Brown paper had been joined in my imagination by white paper. . . and even black. I was sourcing unusual twine and wondering what the under-tree lifespan of a sprig of rosemary might be.

But really? A sharp kick in the kneecaps from reality brought me up short. It might look gorgeous on an Insta shoot but it’s not that practical to attach greenery to all your gifts. And where in the mad-busy run up to Christmas was I going to find time to create my own wrapping paper when I barely had time to wrap the gifts in the first place.

So it was back to the drawing board. Rather than jazzing up my own brown paper with potato printing (not that practical and very unlikely to actual happen in a busy household without any toddlers to assist) I decided to look at ready printed recycled and recyclable wrapping papers.

And guess what? There’s masses of that too. Rolls upon rolls of it.

THe Trouble is . . .

it’s just not that pretty, is it? Call me shallow, but I do like a bit of glitter with my gifts. I love that the sparkles get into the carpet and are still there in March. It makes me laugh when everyone’s eyebrows seem to have a tiny bit of glitter in them that just won’t wash out no matter how hard you try. And brown paper just doesn’t do that for me.

So, I’m going to have to compromise . . .

When it comes to wrapping gifts this year, I’ll be seeking a happy medium between brown and gold. With all the masses of gift wrapping paraphernalia that seems to be available, a halfway house must be achievable that placates my inner guilt whilst at the same time pleasing my inner princess because, after all, if you can’t have a little bit of sparkle at Christmas then what hope is there for any of us?