Going Green With Your Gift Wrapping This Season

Going Green With Your Gift Wrapping This Season

Most people aren’t aware how much pollution and waste ends up in garbage dumps because of gift wrapping. Every year, tons of this paper ends up being thrown away, which is why environmentalists are asking people to take another look at how much they spend on this each year, and to try and opt for alternatives. If you are in the process of collecting your wrapping for this season’s gifts, you might want to consider opting for something a bit more environmentally conscious, and there are a variety of ways to go about this.

Cloth Sacks

One of the best ways to go about wrapping up your gifts is to avoid the wrapping paper and to start using cloth sacks, which are easy to use and much more environmentally friendly. As the contributors of Blog South West point out;

These soft little bags are perfect for smaller gifts and can be made from scraps of fabric. If you’re not an expert with a needle and thread, many local stores sell these bags for only a few dollars and they’ll last much longer than a roll of colored wrapping.

The best thing about these options is that they can be reused over and over again, or utilized for other purposes, such as shopping bags, among other uses.

Tins and Jars

Tins and jars make for great gift containers, and the best thing about them is that you can get very creative decorating them and putting your own personal touch on your gifts as long as you are willing to get your hands dirty. Ribbons make for great decorative pieces, but if you really want to get creative, you can bring out the paints and have some fun with it.

Reused Bags

Not everyone throws away their gift bags when they receive them; quite often, they store them away somewhere, only to forget about them afterwards. A great way to ensure that your bags aren’t going to land up on a garbage dump any time soon is to reuse them as much as possible. If you make the decision to stick to gift bags, instead of using wrapping, you can continue making them go further for much longer and save a lot of garbage from being thrown away.

Grocery Bags

Grocery bags make for great wrapping alternatives and when you get creative with them, you can make them very appealing. Jaymi Heimbuch has some ideas about how to go about this;

Decorate paper grocery bags with markers and crayons, or decoupage them with magazine cut-outs. Use it as wrapping paper or a gift sack. Put on the finishing touch with scrap ribbon from previous projects.

Since you will most likely have these lying around the house after you shop, unless you make use of eco-friendly shopping bags, this saves you having to run out to purchase some more.


Cloth is a great wrapping option because it is versatile and available in a wide range of colors. Instead of using paper, wrap everything in cloth, and if you want to take it one step further, opt for cloth from old pieces of clothing. If you want to try your hand at making your own cloth bags, you can pull out your sewing kit and make an afternoon of it; get the entire family involved and you have the perfect bonding opportunity on your hands.


English: Recycle logo

Going Green With Your Gift Wrapping This Season (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the holiday season, garbage throughout the western world increases at an enormous rate, and a lot of this is simply because of the wrapping that is disposed of by households throughout the world. In order to combat this, residents should ensure that they recycle as much as possible during this time.

Wrap Your Gifts in Other Gifts

A very exciting way to hand over a present is to wrap it in another gift, and this is just another opportunity to get creative with your gift buying. If you happen to get someone a scarf and a pair of shoes, for instance, you can always wrap the second gift with the first. The options are endless when you are willing to think outside of the box.


Furoshiki is a very unique way of folding cloth (like the cloth version of origami) and this is a way for you to ensure your gifts stand out without increasing the garbage in your household this season. Get a book on the art of furoskiki and find some easy options to start out with before moving onto some of the trickier designs. By having a spare piece of cloth handy, you can practice until you have a certain design down before making the decision to wrap everyone’s presents up.

Put Maps To Use

Maps become obsolete over time, particularly as roads begin to expand or road names change, and when this happens, you don’t have to throw them out; just reuse them as wrapping paper. Maps tend to be very visually appealing, which means that they make for the perfect wrapping paper alternatives.

As Brian Clark Howard puts it;

The trick is to prepare by having a box or bag ready, so when everyone starts tearing through their presents under the tree in an ecstatic frenzy, you can easily divert the scraps into one convenient location.

It is generally better to save as much as possible so that you can use it later on, but if this isn’t possible then recycling is the next best option. Keep in mind that you can reuse everything from a piece of ribbon to a tag, so nothing needs to go to waste if you are creative with your gift wrapping.

Wrapping paper doesn’t have to contribute to so much of the world’s waste every year; not when people make the concerted effort to look for alternatives wherever possible. Before you put your wrapping station together, you might want to consider a few of these options before you go out and spend good money on various wrapping papers and the accessories that come along with them.


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