Lets be honest, wrapping gifts in paper, it’s all about the eye candy and not much about the environment. In the UK, we waste stacks of trees and resources with glitzy paper for a 20 second fix. It is estimated by Waste online that over Christmas as much as 83 square km of wrapping paper will end up in UK rubbish bins, enough to cover an area larger than Guernsey and the total waste wrapping paper the UK produces over Christmas could stretch to the moon if each sheet was laid end to end.

And part of the problem is the most popular wrapping paper cannot be recycled and ends up in landfill is often dyed, laminated and contains non-paper additives such as gold and silver coloured shapes or glitter which cannot be recycled. This means paper is either dumped in the bin or, worse, put in the recycling bin, which will mean the whole lot is contaminated and has to go to landfill.

So whats this got to do with Birmingham Friends of the Earth?
We want to promote the alternative wrapping that is available, and on the 9th of November will be having its first group of crafters coming together to make creative wrappings to get people to think differently about wrapping paper and also make items that will be showcased and available for sale at our Christmas fare on the 19th December and hopefully will raise some money to get allow great campaigning around the city. Contact Joe Peacock on 0121 632 6909 or email http://www.blogger.com/campaigns@birminghamfoe.org.uk.

So here are some of the things the crafters will be making for alternative wrapping paper, (if you have other ideas, please share them as comments):

Furoshiki, which is a Eastern tradition of wrapping using material, which I discovered after watching recycle now. See myfuroshiki for the real thing, photographed is one of her great prints and will have some of their great products available on the stall on the 19th December. Also I square scarves from charity shops can do the job as well.

Material gift bags that can be used and used again, which can be made over from left over material.

CD/DVD material present bags. This one is from Thailand and can be used again and again.

Use newspaper or magazines for wrapping. Recently I have had lots of success with using adverts in womens magazines, they spend so much on the creative, such as the perfume adverts, its always nice to show them off. Use string or ribbon to wrap them up and you can use them again.

If you cant make it on the 9th November, you can still help out by contributing:

  • Any scrap, Christmassy, material we can use. Anything from old curtains, to off cuts, nice duvet covers or pillow cases picked up at a charity shop.
  • Scarves that are square shape or can be altered to fit.
  • Thread, ribbon and sew on decorations.

Please drop these off at the Warehouse and we will see what our creative people can do.

And start thinking about how you can reduce, reuse and recycle at Christmas!