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6 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Options

December 18, 2013

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Wrapping presents is always my favorite part of the holidays. I love coming up with new and creative ways to package my gifts, which usually involves an excess amount of glitter and brown packaging paper!

The downside of beautiful wrapping is that it only lasts long enough for the recipient to tear into the gift and discard the paper. This year, I’m trying to take a more eco-friendly approach to wrapping. With a little creativity, these techniques can create beautiful gifts with less wasted paper on Christmas morning. 

Invest in reusable boxes.

Many companies make cute and festive reusable boxes that are perfect for the holidays. Wrap your gifts in these boxes and be sure to remind the recipient to save the packaging because it can be stored away with the Christmas decorations and used again next year. It might even be fun to turn reusable gift wrap into a new family tradition!

Double up the gift with fabric or a scarf.

I have a box in my apartment filled to the brim with pieces of fabric from various crafting projects. A great way to use up these otherwise forgotten scraps is to use them to wrap up your holiday gifts! Or, if you live in a big city, pick up a few pashminas from a street vendor (they run about $5 per scarf) and use them to wrap gifts for all of your girlfriends. It’s like two gifts in one!

Don’t throw it out! Use recycled gift wrap.

Just like reusable boxes, saving wrapping paper, bags, and ribbon from the year before is a great way to save money and paper. It’s also a fun challenge to take paper from last year and restyle it with different ribbon. If you have a tendency to tear into gifts without thinking about saving the paper (it happens to the best of us) a few companies sell recycled paper. I love this company, which makes 100% recycled paper with soy-based ink.

Get crafty with newspaper or kraft paper.

Last year, I bought a giant roll of brown kraft paper from the hardware store for just $4 and painted red sparkly polka dots on a couple sheets to use as wrapping paper. I still have so much of it left that I won’t need to buy new wrapping paper this year! Another resourceful and inexpensive idea is to use old newspaper. Make it look trendy by painting on glitter and tying it with twine or pretty ribbon. 

Wrap it up in a pretty basket or clay pot.

Sometimes the gift is so pretty it doesn’t need to be wrapped! Instead, stick it in a basket or a clay garden pot and tie it up with some ribbon. Now the recipient can save the packaging and repurpose it throughout the year.

Buying gift cards? Go digital.

If you’re giving a gift card, consider buying a digital version instead of one at the store. Many companies like Starbucks have apps for your smart phone that act as a refillable gift card. Just enter the recipients’ information on the company’s website, and they will receive an email notifying them of your gift.

Do you have any eco-friendly holiday gift wrapping ideas that you are using this year?