6 Green Ways to Wrap Gifts Without Wrecking a Forest

holiday giftsI admit it. I'm one of those people who refuses bags if all a store has to offer is plastic. I BYOB on most grocery trips, and I'm not talking about a bottle of wine. And it drives me nuts when I get leftovers wrapped up in Styrofoam. (Don't even get me started on coffee cups made of the stuff, ugh!) 

That's me. But even if you don't necessarily consider yourself "green," you gotta admit that it seems like such a waste to see beautiful, sometimes pricey wrapping paper ripped up and thrown away year after year. It just makes sense to try to figure out eco-friendly (and on-the-cheap!) ways to wrap gifts. Here, six great bets that help you save money and the world while stealing a loved one's heart with that perfect present.

  1. Green Scotch tape - And I don't mean the tape itself is festive green-colored or even that it comes in a nifty green case. Those people over at Scotch have finally come out with an eco-friendly version of their go-to product. It's actually made with 75 percent recycled or plant-based material, and people who have used it say it works and looks the exact same as the regular stuff. Sweet!
  2. Earth-friendly scissors - A tool that's just as important as tape when gift-wrapping, so if you can't track yours down or want to invest in new ones, you could try eco-friendly ones that are made from 70 percent recycled plastic and 30 percent post-consumer material. 
  3. Boxes - All year long, I save any kind of box I get that seems remotely useful, either for shipping or ... gifting something! Sure, it may sound like a pack-ratty thing to do, but think of it this way ... if you slap the right bow on a nice box, it looks so elegant, no one's going to miss the wrapping paper.
  4. Fabric - Giving a gift wrapped in fabric can be like giving the recipient two gifts! The fabric could always double as a scarf, a napkin, a tablecloth (if it's big enough), etc. It's also a great excuse to get creative with old garments, pillow cases, what have you. But there are also companies that make fabric wrapping that's ready to go, reusable, and ridiculously pretty.
  5. Reusable gift bags - Again, sure, you could get a recycled paper option here, but why take the risk that those will rip or get thrown out? With a reusable fabric bag, you can be sure the "wrapping" is built to multitask and last.
  6. Plantable paper - I absolutely love the idea of biodegradable wrapping that actually makes it so your favorite green thumb can plant their wrapping paper! Just go for the kind that's embedded with wildflower seeds. Too cool!

How do you plan to wrap your gifts?


Image via torbakhopper/Flickr

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