Skip all the waste from Christmas wrapping this year and try these eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas instead. It’s a great way to reduce your impact this season.
One of the joys of Christmas is receiving gifts from friends and family all season long. The expectation of what can be underneath the beautiful gift wrap is sometimes just as enjoyable as the gift itself.
Presentation is a big part of the joy of giving and receiving a gift. When you see all of that hard work get ripped apart in a matter of seconds, though, it can be disheartening. And when you have to carry out multiple trash bags full of discarded wrapping paper, it can be discouraging, too. The U.S. EPA estimates an additional 1 million tons a week is sent to the landfills between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, and a lot of that waste is because of gift wrap.
Why not increase the joy of gift-giving and decrease your environmental impact this holiday season with these brilliant alternative wrapping paper ideas. Your gifts will definitely stand out among the rest!
Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas
Any gift bags bought in the wrapping paper aisle are a smart investment for gift giving. That is if they are reused. If your friends or family happily keep gift bags and repurpose them over and over again, they are a smart and inexpensive purchase.
Home décor and craft stores are full of beautiful, reusable storage boxes meant for photo storing, craft supplies, paper, etc. Package a gift inside one of these boxes that needs no gift wrap and can then be reused. Wooden boxes are also a great find.
Alternatively, you could decorate a box that you have with something special, such as finger painting from a child or decoupaged photographs of family.
Who doesn’t love a basket to help with their storage and organization (especially in the weeks after Christmas when everyone tries to organize their home)? Put your gift in a basket and then cover it on top with crinkled paper, tissue paper, a dish towel, etc.
The comics section makes a lively and colorful gift wrap that can easily be recycled, rather than sent to the landfill. Or customize gift wrapping based on the recipient. For instance, a teenage boy might like the sports section, or giving a financial gift (such as a gift card or an investment book) would be great wrapped up in the stocks section from a newspaper.
Reusable Shopping Bags
Who doesn’t need another reusable shopping bag? We tend to have them stashed everywhere, so it’s always nice to get another. Purchase a beautiful reusable bag that will be both gift wrap and a useful gift for living an eco-friendly life.
These beautiful items can be found everywhere, from the mall to thrift stores. They can be very inexpensive, too. Wrap a small item (or hard to wrap item) in the soft fabric. Plus, your gift recipient gets a fashion accessory, as well!
Pillow Cases and Bedding
There are a lot of gifts, especially children’s toys, that are hard to wrap in paper. Don’t struggle with trying to figure out how to wrap the present and make it look pretty. Just put it in a pillowcase, tie it closed with ribbon, and you’re done!
Pillowcases that you already own can easily be used, but this is also a smart idea when gifting kids new bedding. They might not be excited to open sheets, but they will remember the pillowcases that held their gifts! (If you have a super big present, such as a bike, a sheet can work to wrap it, too.)
Do you have maps in your glove compartment that you don’t use anymore? Or that are so old that the roads have surely changed by now? Maps make great gift wrap, especially for anyone that loves to travel.
Large pieces of fabric are great for wrapping gifts. And if you’re gifting fabric to a crafter, then they can use it in their crafts, too!
There is even a Japanese practice that uses fabric as gift wrap. It is called furoshiki. You can furoshiki wrapping cloths online, or find a tutorial to show you how to beautifully and elegantly use fabric instead of paper.
More Eco-Friendly Christmas Tips
- Homemade Christmas Gift Guide
- 10 Tips for Reducing Waste During Christmas
- Eco-Friendly Artificial Christmas Tree
- Homemade Natural Christmas Tree Soaps