With a bit of creativity and pre-planning, those holiday gifts you bought for everyone can be wrapped both beautifully AND in an environmentally conscious way. Here are 10 eco-friendly tips to try when it’s time to wrap things up!
Embrace one of the “buzziest” trends in gift wrapping: furoshiki, a Japanese method that uses fabric to sustainably make any item present-worthy. Napkins, tea towels or scarves work well for wrapping smaller gifts. If you have a larger present to wrap, head to the fabric store to pick up the size of fabric needed in a holiday print. Or, you can recycle an old sheet by cutting it into appropriately sized furoshiki cloth. The cloth can be reused over and over again to wrap presents in the years to come.
Got an old T-shirt or flannel shirt headed for the rag pile? Instead, cut the shirt into ribbon-width strips to use to tie around your package. Or, tie an old tie into a package bow.
Another way to decorate your package: use natural elements like evergreen or thyme sprigs, cinnamon sticks, dried flowers or dried citrus peel. Tie them on your packages with twine or recycled ribbon from last year. These decorations can be added to the compost pile after the gift is unwrapped.
Elevate your gifts with snazzy package tie-ons like thrift shop costume jewelry, Christmas tree ornaments or jingle bells.
Old maps, colorful pages torn from old magazines, and yesterday’s newspaper can all be used as gift wrapping. Or, use some of your kids’ artwork as gift wrap. (This is a perfect idea when wrapping gifts for the grandparents!)
Colorful washi tape not only gives packages an artistic flair; the tape is biodegradable and thus environmentally friendly.
Glass mason jars are a cute, trendy and recyclable container for small gifts and, of course, food items. The jars can be decorated with washi tape and the aforementioned package tie-ons.
Turn an empty potato chip bag inside out and wipe the greasy residue clean with a towel. Voila! You now have a silver gift bag that no one would guess once held munchies.
Turn old postcards and the fronts of old Christmas cards into gift tags. You can also cut festive shapes out of corrugated cardboard shipping boxes and use those as gift tags. Try attaching the gift tags with clothespins.
A pillowcase can be used as a gift bag that can actually be utilized for its original purpose once the holidays are over. Even novice sewers can make pillowcases from festive seasonal fabric in just minutes. They’d look just as good on a bed as they would stuffed with goodies under the Christmas tree.