A Mathematician has come up with a festive equation to help you with your last minute Christmas wrapping.
Bluewater shopping centre in Kent found that Brits often overestimate the amount of wrapping paper they need and predict that over one tonne of paper will be wasted this Christmas. To counter this, the shopping centre is encouraging consumers to minimise reduce their gift wrapping footprint by publishing mathematical formulae that can calculate the amount of paper required for various shaped presents.
Warwick Dumas from the Department of Mathematics, University of Leicester, provided a simple formula for Bluewater that basically states that the paper should be the size of surface area of the object plus 2cm for an overlap. However, Dumas has gone into great detail on the topic of optimal wrapping by taking into consideration unusual-shaped objects and what to do if only a small non-square piece of wrapping paper remains.
He said: “Wrapping a cuboid diagonally uses strictly more paper than wrapping the traditional way except for an item with a square base, but wrapping diagonally uses a different shape of paper and so could be useful when only a small piece is left. When wrapping ‘diagonally’, 45 degrees is the best azimuth as long as a>b>c are the dimensions of the item. Otherwise the best angle is such that the flaps only just meet.”
Fiona Campbell-Reilly, Marketing Manager of Bluewater hopes that “by using this formula, Bluewater shoppers can make an effort to become as green as their Christmas tree.”