With the holiday season in full swing, every shop across the country has Mariah Carey playing on repeat; Christmas trees are being carefully decorated and festive gifts starting to be exchanged. Whether these presents are for the office Secret Santa, distant family members or even your closest friends, it can be tricky to find the perfect gift. In fact a recent study by ING Dreamstarter found that 75% of Australians admit they don’t use the Christmas gifts they receive, with the majority of these unwanted gifts going to waste.
With this in mind, we think it’s about time we start thinking more eco-friendly and ethical when it comes to buying and wrapping presents and the good news is that nearly half of Aussies are willing to buy sustainable gifts. To help us give more sustainably this year, ING Dreamstarter teamed up with world-famous sustainable gift wrapper Megumi Inouye, who hopes to revive the art of gift-giving and inspire us to wrap up a gift that gives back this festive season.
The way you wrap and present a gift can be just as impactful as the gift itself. For me, gifting is an art form and wrapping is the vehicle of expressing the intention, the feeling behind the gift and what will continue to remain in people’s hearts even after the gift itself loses its practical purpose.
To get us started, Megumi has shared five easy yet effective ways to wrap gifts in a sustainable way that makes reducing waste easier during the festive period.
1. Consider the person you’re buying for
We often procrastinate over what we’re going to buy our loved ones and then leave wrapping it up to the last minute, leaving us with a gift wrapped in haste not with love. Try and find a way to make wrapping the gift extra special, such as making a card out of an old photo or reusing the same card each year for each other and dating it, to avoid this unnecessary waste.
2. Repurpose paper with unique designs for a splash of colour
Given that collectively we throw out $282 million worth of wrapping paper each year, it’s important to try and reuse wrapping materials where possible. Everyday items such as scrap fabrics, cloth napkins, buttons and bottle caps can all be repurposed into gift wrapping materials. Megumi also recommends keeping cards, invitations, theatre programs or anything with beautiful graphics – such as our Dreamstarter recycled gift wrap.
3. Keep a hold of ribbons and strings gifted to you
Ribbons are colourful and festive, so she likes to repurpose old ribbon as adornment pieces to plain gift wrapping or make a new topper design with them.
4. Leave a little to the imagination
It’s sometimes nice to give a hint of what the gift could be so I often place books in a paper sleeve and only cover the title portion. Alternatively, a wine bottle need only be partly covered with a message to be a considered and thoughtful gift.
5. Create your own packaging
Megumi likes creating her own packaging material from recycled paper. It’s not only sustainable, but the different shades of colours can make for an artful presentation. The ING wrapping paper, designed by Bill Hope, Luca Ionescu and Mulga, communicates important environmental and social issues. It’s also double sided – showcasing some of the social enterprises supported by ING Dreamstarter who are doing amazing things for our community. This paper used by Megumi in the below video is printed by Words With Heart using 100% recycled paper and dyed with eco-friendly inks, and for every sheet sold a day of education is given to women and girls.
Check out the video below to see more tips and tricks from Megumi on how to wrap up the perfect Gift That Gives.
This study was conducted by YouGov Galaxy in September and October 2018. The sample comprises 1,039 Australians aged 18 years and older. Age, gender and region quotas were applied to the sample. Following the completion of interviewing, the data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.
ING is a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. Dreamstarter is a trade mark of ING Bank (Australia) Limited.
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