The idea of someone tearing open pretty wrapping paper (then hastily chucking the gorgeous stuff into the trash) kinda hurts my heart a little, especially when a more sustainable approach isn’t that hard. It’s very possible to be sustainable (and even waste-free) during the holiday season, and still have beautifully wrapped presents.
Beautiful & Fun Sustainable Gift Wrapping Ideas
The best part? Sustainable gift wrapping is incredibly easy. You don’t have to be skilled in thinking up eco-friendly alternatives nor do you have to go out and buy a bunch of recycled wrapping paper and compostable ribbon (although both of those are linked below — just in case). You probably have the majority of the things you’ll need already in your house lying somewhere unseen —so, kudos to you already.
Sustainable Wrapping Idea 1: Brown Paper Bags
This one’s just so easy. All you need are some brown paper bags (recycled from your grocery trips, probably), scissors, and some tape. Really. Then it’s just a matter of cutting off the handles, wrapping your gift, and adding some sort of decorative, personal touch (a bunch of ideas to take your gifts to the next level are listed down below).
Sustainable Wrapping Idea 2: Newspaper
Picking out a relevant page in the newspaper for your gift recipient could be so fun (but maybe keep your eye out for the obituary page so you know to skip that one). A personal favorite of mine is the comics or “funnies” page, for obvious reasons. This method of wrapping is just so.. vintage? It has such a classic, old-timey feel that I love.
Sustainable Wrapping Idea 3: Fabric
This one is truly eco-friendly, and frankly, way too easy. Just grab some old fabric lying around (even old flannels/t- shirts/tablecloths/pretty much anything that you’re willing to give up) and wrap up whatever you’ve got. The recipient of your gift can then use the same wrapping for someone else’s gift, and so on. It can basically be used.. forever(?). Or at least until it wears down and starts unraveling, which is when I’d say it’s probably time for a new one.
Make Something Pretty To Top It Off…
This is the really fun part — for all ages. Pretty much anything goes when it comes to these special little finishing touches since the base wrapping basically acts as a blank canvas. (It doesn’t get more blank than a plain brown paper bag, haha.) You can customize each and every gift to be super in-tune to its recipient, and little ones can personalize their gifts with their own creative spin. It’s really all up to you (or your kids) and the possibilities are sorta… endless. Here are a few of my favorite gift toppers:
- Decorate with markers or paint pens in some sweet drawings or designs
- Write a poem or love note
- Tie on a tiny arrangement of pine sprigs and holly
- Cover with twine/yarn/ribbon, and tie on little pinecones or painted branches – anything you can pick up on a walk to the park
- Tie on some dried oranges (just slice thin and bake at 250° for 2-4 hours – just keep an eye on them) for a really pretty touch
- Make your own gift tags from pretty card stock or leftover paper, etc.,
- Fasten on some candy canes or their favorite chocolate bar
…Or Keep a Stash of Pretty Toppers On Hand
Just In Case…Shop Recycled or Reusable Paper