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6 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

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It is crunch time. T-minus 5 days until the the jolly old fat guy slides down the chimney with gifts, and somehow manages to get back out (If you ask me, he must just walk out the front door).

Not only does Santa need to eat a healthier diet, he also needs to start thinking about the environment and all the trash that is created from simply wrapping all those gifts. According to the Use Less Stuff Report, the annual trash in the U.S from gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons. Yowsers. That is a crap load of extra trash just to give some gifts.

Before you roll your eyes, call me scrooge, and click the back button on your browser, just hear me out. There are a variety of wrapping options that are both festive and sustainable – you will just have to get a little creative. The best thing is to try to use what you already have.

6 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas:

  1. Most people receive junk mail, I know I do (and wish I didn’t). There is newspaper, magazines, old maps, calendars, old books, or even office paper normally heading for the recycling bin that can all be used to decorate and wrap up your gifts.
  2. How about wrapping up your gifts in items that can be used after the unveiling of the gift like napkins, facecloths, dishtowels, scarves, socks or even mittens. Don’t you think a nice bottle of wine stuffed in a sock would be an interesting conversation starter? You can call it the “wine sock”.
  3. Have a t-shirt or blouse lying around the house that you don’t want or use anymore? Why not get your craft on and turn it into some lovely wrapping “paper” or, for the more talented, a festive bag. Or even cut off a long sleeve shirt, and use that as a small bag.
  4. Reuse jars and tins which can make for one beautiful gift. Add a fabric ribbon or bow and voila simple and pretty.
  5. Mother nature. Nice and simple. Decorate with pinecones, leaves, branches etc. Can’t get more natural and eco-friendly than that.
  6. Reuse old gifts bags. Instead of throwing away those holiday bags, keep them and use them another year.

Now that you have chosen your “wrap” of choice, let’s move on to the ways we can “stick” it all together. How about we make that extra leap of eco-friendliness and forgo the plastic ribbons, plastic name tags, plastic tape and/or conventional glue.

  1. Cut up an old shirt or cloth that you may have and make some pretty ribbons. Might not be exactly like the plastic stuff, but the receiver will know that you put some extra thought into wrapping up their gift. And, everyone likes knowing that extra effort was made.
  2. Many of us have odd shoelaces, random pieces of string or even yarn around the house which can all be used as ribbons or bows.
  3. Attempt to make your own bows without tape from newspaper or junk mail. Andrea from The Greenbacks Gal gives a wonderful step by step guide. Just so you know, they look pretty fancy.
  4. Instead of plastic tape try to wrap a present without it. The lovely Beth Terry from My Plastic-Free Life explains how in “Wrapping gifts without tap or glue.”
  5. If that method seems too complicated, make your own sticky glue from flour and water.
  6. We want to make sure the right person receives the gift, so a tag might be a good idea. Micaela Mindful Momma suggests to reuse old cereal boxes or paper from the recycling bin as a name tag.

WIth all these very green, eco-friendly, almost waste-less gift wrapping, decorating and tagging ideas, Santa should be able to minimize his carbon sleight track, wouldn’t you say?

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MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: The information included on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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15 Responses to 6 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

  1. Andrea @ The Greenbacks Gal December 20, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    Thanks for linking to my bow! I love the idea of cutting up an old t-shirt for a fabric bow. I’ve never seen that suggested – it would be darling!

  2. Lori Popkewitz Alper @Groovy Green Livin December 20, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    So many creative ideas. I like the suggestion to reuse old cereal boxes or paper from the recycling bin as a name tag. We go through cereal like crazy here. It would be nice to have another use for all those empty boxes.

    • Good Girl Gone Green December 20, 2011 at 10:09 am #

      Thanks, Lori! I have to admit the cereal box idea was Micaela’s. I hadn’t linked back to her by the time you read it….:)

  3. Stephanie December 20, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    I’m all for a creative, green wrapping idea! These are great – thanks for sharing!

    • Good Girl Gone Green December 20, 2011 at 10:10 am #

      Thanks, Steph! I appreciate the feedback. Hope its ok, I called you Steph everyone calls me that! :)

  4. Micaela @MindfulMomma December 20, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Thanks for linking to my gift tag post! Have fun wrapping with all these creative ideas! My kids are complaining there are no presents under the tree yet – so I need to get busy! :)

  5. Sarah at Julia's Child December 20, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    I’ve got the wrapping paper under control–using fully recyclable things and fabrics–but my ribbon is still plasticky. I think wool yarn may be the answer.

  6. Susan F December 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Once again you have inspired me. I know that our wrapping will be as much recycled stuff as we can manage! Thank you for making me a better hippie than I was yesterday!
    Peace,
    Susan
    http://75percenthippie.blogspot.com
    http://happyhippieheart.blogspot.com

  7. Sarah December 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Love these suggestions. I’m making homemade gifts this year, and wrapping them up seems like defeating my purpose. I’m going to use whatever supplies I can find in our recycling bin- packaging supplies, newspaper, junk mail, etc. It’s just going to be ripped off anways.

    • Good Girl Gone Green December 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

      That’s great, Sarah!! I find that gifts wrapped in junk mail look so pretty! :)

  8. Miss Paige December 20, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    Hey there, I see that this post is from a couple of years ago, but thought I would chime in anyways. This year I wrapped a few gifts in the ‘funnies’ section from the newspaper. Obviously the Sunday version is a little more fun with colors (especially when they have Xmas themed cartoons), but even the weekly b&w wrapped some DVDs nicely! Just make it festive with some ribbon and a bow, and you are good to go! My aunt has done this since I was a kid and Ive always thought it was a cute idea!

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I'm Stephanie, the Good Girl Gone Green, and I'm excited to share my own experiences with learning to live a greener, healthier life!

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