6 Green Ways to Wrap Gifts Without Wrecking a Forest

Home & Garden 24

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

christmasdecorating, creative reuse, green guide


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Eques... EquestrianMom

We are cheap, which usually makes us green too! LOL! We do handmade wrapping paper, as in, my son and I paint, draw, and collage our gift wrap. We usually do one nice picture, tape it with a border (construction paper) to the front of a saved box, and then gift! Makes a picture that can be removed and hung up for every family member we give gifts to. Ok, our boxes aren't always pretty, but hey, I'm not martha stewart, and it's the thought that counts :P And for those not in my family I give gifts to (who may not appreciate a personalized stick figure of them and my son or something similar!) we buy or save christmas/decorative tins, and fill with handmade gifts, cookies, ect. Then the recievers can keep or re gift as needed! 


I detinitely reuse a lot of bags and boxes, but thanks for the reminders and extra ideas to keep it as green as possible. :)

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Junk mail can be a good source of wrapping paper. I've had a few people send me sheets of wrapping paper in charity solicitations this year. I also use the maps from people like doctors without borders. They send one every month or two. My son uses a few for crafts and projects but I save the rest for wrapping presents. Way more interesting than your standard paper and free.

slw123 slw123

We re-use gift bags for as long as we can get away with it.  Hubby and I were laughing about it last night when I handed him a pile of gift bags to use for my gifts that already say to me from him.

Momma... MommaGreenhalge

I am one of those people that LOVES wrapping gifts.  It is an art form to me, and I love making packages look beautiful and unique.  But I do kind of hate the waste of money and resources that occurs when I see my beautiful handiwork torn to shreds every time I wrap a gift.  This year, I've made it my goal to only wrap re-useably.  My MIL is getting a gift in a canvas bag that I painted with a fluer de lis and decorated with a feather hair clip.  SIL and the foster daughter have gifts wrapped in tulle and animal print ribbon.  I'm really excited to see all of the different things I can do with fabric and other assorted containers.

sweet... sweettigeress

I reuse shirt boxes and gift bags. Never wrapping paper.

Zamaria Zamaria

We save the comics pages from our newspaper and use them for wrapping. Ours are in black and white, so the kids use them for coloring pages every week. It's better than buying coloring books and it makes really cute, colorful wrapping paper.

lalas... lalasmama2007

I reuse bags and gift boxes.

allie... alliesmom112

I do reusable bags especially for my nieces and nephews. Toys r us has some really great ones for kids. I also save boxes and even gift bags we have been given through out the year and use them when wrapping presents

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