tips from the hive for a plastic-free holiday
The holidays can be magical. But if you’re concerned about the amount of waste you generate in your day-to-day life, this time of year can also be overwhelming. Start looking, and plastic shows up in almost every modern holiday convention. It’s there in shopping bags you tote away from major retailers during a holiday sale. It’s in many of the toys we give our children and the gadgets we give loved ones. It covers the ready-made treats we can buy for holiday parties.
Setting aside plastic, there’s other waste to consider — the wrapping paper we tear open and toss, the gifts that collect dust in closets, the easy pull of giving more stuff when we simply don’t need more.
Looking to cut back on waste this holiday season? We turned to some of the Bee’s Wrap team — now nearly 40 people strong! — to ask for their tips and tricks. We’re sharing most of these anonymously, so as not to spoil the surprise for any intended gift recipients who might be snooping for clues.
“I’m making an effort to make thoughtful, handmade gifts instead of buying new gadgets, toys, or things that will be forgotten in a month,” said one of our hive. She’ll be making handmade Christmas ornaments from wine corks, twigs, and scraps of ribbon, and crocheting a blanket for her nephew.
“We are changing it up this season by giving our honey as gifts in reusable glass jars, instead of buying random gifts and gizmos,” said another. “Did I mention cookies? I make them every year — it’s a long standing tradition — and always deliver in a tin. With my cookies there is only one caveat: if you give back the tin, I will refill it for you next year.”
Cookies are popular on staff! “We (by ‘we’ I really mean my wife) actually make a lot of homemade treats — cookies, breads, candy, pies, and so on — to share with neighbors, friends and family instead of buying pre-packaged,” another colleague shared. Best of all? Those treats all head off to their new homes covered with Bee’s Wrap.
Getting Creative with the Trimmings
“We wrap our presents in fabric every year,” said Sarah, the Bee’s Wrap founder. “I have been thinking about using fabric that can be reused as a satchel for veggies or small items when out shopping or regifted, and including instructions.”
“I’m reusing wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons for last year and the years before,” another staff member shared. If you haven’t already started reusing wrapping supplies, make this the year to start, and choose a shoebox or cubby for stowing away supplies until next year. Another member of our team is planning to make her own wrapping paper, reusing brown paper bags.
Another idea? Use Bee's Wrap! Include a note explaining what Bee's Wrap is and how your gift recipient should use and care for it, and let the wrapping paper become part of the present.
“Mostly, I’m just giving less of everything. And because we’re buying fewer items, I’m trying to spend our gift budget with local or ethical companies using natural materials and fibers, even if those things might cost a little bit more,” suggested one member of our team.
Similarly, a few folks said they’re making more donations in honor of loved ones instead of giving physical gifts. Last year, one colleague gave her adult family members Kiva loan gift cards, giving each the chance to find projects to support with their individual donations.
Consider the Packaging
“Look for products in glass containers instead of plastic,” said one team member, “or better yet, buy beauty items in bulk or hand-make them.” Packaging is one of the worst offenders of single-use plastic and waste. (We’re proud that our packaging is 100% recycled paper and plastic-free!).
One of the best ways to curb waste is to opt for something gently used over buying new. “I’m shopping the thrift store. My toddler is obsessed with bags, purses, and dress up clothes, and what better place to find treasures?”
How will you cut down on waste this season?
If you’re still on the hunt for gift ideas, we’ll admit that we think Bee’s Wrap makes an excellent gift this holiday season. As versatile as it is beautiful, Bee’s Wrap is meant to be used and re-used. It’s a gift your friends and family will reach for long after the holidays end. And at the end of the wrap’s useful life in their kitchen, Bee’s Wrap is fully biodegradable — meaning this is a gift that won’t end up in a landfill or collecting dust in a cabinet. If Bee’s Wrap is right for someone on your list this season, shop online or find a stockist near you.