The Holidays Are Paper’s Time to Shine
The holidays are a Papertarian’s Wonderland.
There’s the obvious: wrapping paper, cards and family newsletters. But that’s really just the start. The truth is that December and January are when I send and receive the most handwritten or printed correspondence, the most photographs of family, friends, new babies and travel. And it’s when so many of us hear from our favorite charities requesting our support and telling you how far your dollars went in helping others over the last year. All these correspondences are meaningful, and the paper they come on is thoughtfully considered.
And then there are the boxes! For papertarians, corrugated shipping boxes are the hero of the holidays sustainably delivering our gifts to their recipients! And the modes of packaging are becoming even more sustainable as padded paper mailers replace plastic sacks, Seaman’s paper-based Vela bag replacing polybags and 3M’s paper-based Cushion Lock Protective Wrap for what’s inside the box are increasingly used by e-commerce brands.
Of course, Americans don’t need us to tell them that a season of gift-giving, gratitude and togetherness can and should be joyful, restorative and make you feel good. What we are uniquely suited to tell them is that the holidays don’t have to come with those feelings of guilt and excess that they sometimes do, because you can choose paper and paper-based packaging, which is made from a natural, biodegradable, recyclable and renewable resource, and can be turned into other things many times over.
If you or someone you know wants to go that extra mile with resource stewardship this holiday season, we are providing tips and strategies for celebrating the Papertarian way. Some of my favorites are using shipping boxes as temporary recycling bins throughout your house to handle the surge in recyclables most families see this time of year. Or stocking up on paper takeout containers to send guests home with leftovers. Or using kraft paper to cushion fragile gifts or Christmas ornaments when they are being put away for storage.
Papertarians like me really love knowing what kinds of greeting cards and wrapping paper are best for recycling. It’s perhaps the most “news you can use” tidbit I share this time of year. In short: avoid glitter, photo paper and foil. The rule of thumb is: If you can scrunch it into a ball, it’s good to go into the recycling bin.
So make your Christmas even more sustainable and use paper and paper-based packaging.
All of us here at the Paper and Packaging Board truly wish you and yours a papertarian holiday filled with the blessings of paper and paper packaging alternatives.
Ho ho ho!