Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.
It is a little unsettling to see all those mounds of plastics and ribbons thrown away after the Christmas holiday. During the holiday season, Americans dispose of trash that’s 25% more waste than usual, with gift wrap topping the list. When it comes to wrapping gifts, here are tips on how to reuse materials and reduce waste.
In This Post:
1. Reusable Fabric Wrap
There’s much that fabric can do for you when wrapping a gift. Think of a scarf, tea towel, handkerchief, or large napkin, all of which can make an excellent bonus gift. When you don't have the patience to decorate or want to keep it simple, furoshiki, which is a Japanese wrapping cloth, is a great option. It is simple, and you just need nice fabric with a festive pattern.
2. Glass Jars
Apart from wrapping paper, a glass jar is another adorable gift-wrapping idea. All you need to do is to add a personal touch, like fun stickers, or decorate it with candy canes, cinnamon sticks, or carved wooden decors. You can also use leftover furoshiki to wrap and tie it with twine around the top of the jar.
If you are looking for gift ideas that fit in a jar, consider homemade gifts such as jam, eggnog, or a DIY kit.
Though newspapers are outdated and not often used, they are great for wrapping gifts because of their beautiful vintage look. Avoid taking away attention from the newspaper by tying it with basic twine and clear tape. The monochrome print contrasts nicely with red ribbon and gold twine, so you won't have to fight through the crowds at the last minute.
There are also different ways of turning a newspaper wrap into something meaningful. You can pick out an exciting or funny article from your stack of newspapers that complements the gift, or you can write your holiday greetings on an unsolved crossword puzzle.
4. Kraft Paper
In most cases, it is not possible to recycle wrapping papers. Any glossy, glittery, or metallic-looking paper mixed with recyclable paper will contaminate the whole batch when you dispose of trash. The good thing about kraft paper is that it is recyclable and biodegradable when it comes to trash removal.
For creative people who like to draw and customize their wrapping paper, or enhance the rustic look of the paper, use natural elements like dried plants or pinecones to decorate the gift.
5. Used Gift Bags
Instead of wrapping your gifts, pass them along in a recycled gift bag because you get to keep the element of surprise and reduce the amount of ripped-up paper. Besides keeping your gift a surprise, you can help them reduce their use of plastic bags while shopping. So, instead of the gift bags gathering dust under the sink, use them as gift wrap.
6. Shipping Boxes
It's easy to make eco-friendly gift-wrapping swaps by using your shipping boxes instead of store-bought boxes. Shipping boxes are perfectly sized, making it easy to wrap small gifts. There is no need for scissors or tape, and it is quick to do. Simply fold both ends, and you’re good to go. You can spice it up with twigs from the pine tree and leftover ribbons. It will be hard to tell if it's a shipping box.
The Bottom Line
It can be wasteful to use paper to wrap gifts. Instead, try these eco-friendly wrapping paper ideas that will help you protect the environment. Save all the gift bags, glass jars, newspapers, and gift bags to avoid waste. However, you should choose a reusable or recyclable gift bag if you must buy one.