Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas
There are so many aspects in our day-to-day lives where we produce waste or use plastic too often and in harmful ways. Gift wrapping is one of these cases that we can easily pay attention to. Every action we can do to reduce waste and save resources, no matter how small, can get us closer to a better future. Especially when it involves some fun.
Over the years of becoming more environmentally conscious, I have found a few ways to reduce waste while gift wrapping, and there are different options to make your gifts presented in a fun and pleasing way to the eye. Of course, a big part of the gifting is seeing whoever gets the gift from us unwrap the presents with a sense of discovery and the element of surprise. I would not give up the wrapping part, but I do it unconventionally. After some trial and error (no worries, no gift receiver was hurt in the process), I have found a few exciting and low-cost alternatives instead of using plastic bags and new paper wrappings that were just going to end up in landfills.
Sustainable Shopping Made Simple
One way is to save paper wrappings from gifts someone gifted you. I have a bunch in a designated spot in my utility closet. These are totally reusable paper wrappings. All I do is cut off the leftover tape or visible rips. Next, I reuse it as if it was a new paper wrapping. I do the same with used bags.
Another way to wrap is to use old fabric scraps. These are really easy to use. I either fold the fabric around the gift edges as if it was paper wrapping, Or I lay the fabric flat, put the gift on top, gather all the ends into a bundle, like a bouquet, and use a string or another piece of fabric to tie them together.
Another accessible option is to use a newspaper. It gives the gift a neat, vintage look. And If you don’t have a newspaper at home, it is easy to find one around your neighborhood that would otherwise be tossed.
Reusing Amazon boxes or other delivery boxes is another excellent choice. What I do is find the seem, gently release the glued side, and flip the whole box inside out, reassembling it with a clean look, now with the advertisement on the inside of the box. This is one of the easiest, most delightful ways to reuse. To make it original, you can add a cute pattern with some paint, a marker, or even homemade stamps to make it more festive and colorful (heads up for sustainable craft project ideas in my next post).
For ribbon, you can repurpose old t-shirts into strings and use them to tie around the wrappings or bind the presents with compostable twine. And in terms of tape, if you really need some, try out washi tape or biodegradable paper tape, which is made of wood fibers or bark and natural adhesives.
Lastly, if you want to purchase something to wrap with and not use what you have, there are sustainable possibilities, depending on the size of the gift. These function as packaging and are a part of the gift. For example, you can use a cloth bag like TOPDesign5 Cotton Tote Bags, for smaller gifts you can find Organic Cotton Bags by Leafico, glass jars like Ball Mason Jars and support a small business along the way. You can use Scarfs, shawls, colorful reusable cloth wrappers like Furoshiki Maeda Japanese Wrapping Cloth or Marley’s Monsters Reusable Gift Wrap, and even handkerchiefs. All of this help to cut down on holiday waste.
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Inbar Shiryon is an artist and an educator. She draws inspiration from her everyday life and surroundings. Inbar also works with children in art and languages. She aspires to cultivate a sustainable way of living and to bring awareness of conscious choices to others by sharing information and leading by example.