Sustainable Gift Wrapping Ideas for Eco-Friendly Gifting

By Sher Warkentin in Thinking Sustainably

Sustainable gift wrapping offers a unique way to show someone you care. After all, supporting a healthier planet is a gift for everyone. And while paper is often recyclable, that's not always the case when it comes to gift wrapping. Gift wrap is frequently mixed with other materials, such as foil or glitter, making it impossible to recycle. So, instead of adding more waste to landfills, why not try alternative gift-wrapping ideas that are both beautiful and better for the planet?

8 Sustainable Gift Wrapping Ideas

From cloth to toilet paper tubes, there are many sustainable ways to wrap gifts. Next time you're giving a present, try one of these ideas.

1. Cloth Wrapping

The art of cloth gift wrapping is known as "furoshiki" in Japanese. To try it yourself, place your present on a square cloth, wrap it as you would with traditional gift paper, and neatly knot the corners together on top. Tie a bow with the excess fabric and skip the tape and ribbon. You can purchase cloth wrapping in various sizes and patterns or repurpose fabric you already have at home, like old sheets or clothes that no longer fit. You can also use a decorative tea towel that can serve as an extra gift when unwrapped.

Cloth bag used to wrap a gift.

2. Cloth Gift Bags

Cloth bags are an excellent alternative to paper gift bags. Pack your gifts into a tote bag your loved one can easily reuse for groceries, shopping, or strolling around town. If you have some basic sewing skills, you can upcycle old T-shirts, worn sheets, or tablecloths into a small bag.

3. Paper Bags

Repurpose your paper grocery bags into gift wrap. Cut the bags open along the seams to create one large sheet of brown paper and cut it down to size to fit the items you're wrapping. If the bag is covered with a logo or writing, simply flip the paper inside out so it's hidden inside. If you're feeling creative, make your own design on the plain side using markers, crayons, paint, stamps, or anything else you can think of.

4. Newspaper

Like paper bags, you can easily repurpose newspapers or magazine pages into gift wrap. Give it a personal touch by featuring articles, photos, or pages that reflect the recipient, such as a crossword page or their favorite Sunday cartoon strip.

5. Toilet Paper Tube Boxes

Empty toilet paper tubes make great gift boxes for small items. Fold the ends of the tube inward to close them off and write a message or draw a design on the outside.

A toilet paper tube used as a small gift wrap box.

6. Glass Jars

Use jars to package smaller gift items, homemade baked goods, DIY essential oils, or potpourri.

7. Baskets

Pack your gifts into a woven basket your loved one can reuse to store personal items, toys, or laundry.

8. Cloth Ribbon

To avoid using tape when securing a gift wrapped in a newspaper or paper bag or to add a decorative touch to a basket or glass jar, cut fabric into long strips to make sustainable ribbons and bows for your gifts.

Finding Sustainable Alternatives at Home

In addition to being better for the environment, sustainable gift wrapping also saves money. From wrapping paper to ribbon to gift bags, gift wrapping materials can add up quickly. Keep an eye out for alternative wrapping options at home. Anything from cardboard shipping boxes to old pillowcases can do the trick without costing you a dime.

When you receive gifts in wrapping paper or gift bags, save them to reuse later to ensure they get more than a single use.

At the end of the day, minimizing waste is the gift that keeps on giving. To learn more about gifting sustainably, check out this guide to a no-gift holiday season.

Image Sources: Unsplash| Sher Warkentin

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.

Why It's Good

Using sustainable gift wrapping is a great way to show your friends and family you care while also caring for the planet by minimizing waste.