Greening Your Gift Wrap

One of the most difficult things about gift giving to green up can be the gift wrap. So much wrapping paper ends up in the trash every year. Wrapping paper is potentially recycleable, but many people don’t bother, and some of the papers can be challenging to recycle.

wrapping paper

So how do you make your gifts look beautiful without wasting so much?

  1. Buy recycled
    Gift wrap made from post consumer waste is out there.
  2. Reuse
    Any gift wrap that isn’t too badly torn can probably be saved for next year. With young children a lot will be pretty badly torn, but think as you unwrap your own gifts and save what you can.
  3. Make your own
    This is especially fun if you have kids. Get some butcher paper, brown bags, newspaper, etc., and get creative. Draw on it, stamp it, just have fun with it.
  4. Use a basket
    A good basket can be a lovely way to present a gift. Try to skip the plastic wrap like you see in the stores.
  5. Reuse gift bags
    Just like gift wrap, gift bags can be used over and over. In my family these can go back and forth for years.
  6. Make the wrap a part of the gift
    Get a cloth shopping bag and put the rest of the gift in it. Put gardening supplies in a garden bucket or watering can. Get creative.

Best of all, many of these ideas, including sometimes wrapping paper and gift bags, can be found at secondhand shops like Goodwill. People often don’t finish and sometimes don’t even start rolls. You don’t have to buy new if you shop early enough.

4 replies on “Greening Your Gift Wrap”

  1. Oh, such good ideas. This year, I plan to use reusable organic cotton grocery product bags (you can get them at – I’ve written about them I believe in them that much!). And I like that it is two gifts in one – the gift itself and the bag. Bonus!


  2. these are great ideas. we usually use the comics section of the newspaper that we save from thanksgiving on. I like the idea about the bag though. here in san francisco they have outlawed the plastic bags so this would go over huge in this area; and thinking that a smart marketing person could really take advantage of that opportunity.

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