Before you grab yet another roll of half-priced wrapping paper from the end of the grocery aisle this Christmas, consider how you might wrap those hand-picked gifts with a more personal, sustainable touch. Here are some creative ways you can show your love to family and friends and the planet, too.
Paper Bag and Newsprint Packaging
Every package looks unique when wrapped in newspaper, or go for the simple, yet classic look of paper grocery bags. Both can be tossed right into the recycling on Christmas morning.
Wrap with Unique Antique or Thrift Store Finds
Thrift store shopping turns every project into a treasure hunt for creative ways you could wrap gifts and reuse someone else’s discarded goods. Scarves, kitchen towels, old maps and posters, cookie jars, glass jars, decorative brooches, and more can turn the exterior of your gift into its own unique treasure chest. You are only limited by your imagination!
Make the Wrapping Part of the Present
Think about all of the stuff you can wrap a present in that is also a functional gift – winter hats, gloves filled with treats, socks, a blanket bundling another gift, or a mixing bowl of kitchen delights tied with a bow make excellent gifts all on their own, but become a two-for-one when used as packaging.
Decorate with Compostables
Retire the store-bought bows and “spruce” up your packages with fresh-cut greens, pine cones, dried oranges, cranberries, or white birch cuttings. This look is especially lovely with newsprint or brown paper bags.
New Tags from Last Year’s Cards
I like to hang onto the greeting cards we received from last Christmas. The cards are beautiful, and it’s a double dose of affection to flip through the photos and notes we received. The non-photo cards also make excellent gift tags for this year’s presents.
Simply cut out highlights of the design, punch a hole in the new tag, and string with natural cotton twine.
Collect and Reuse throughout the Year
Don’t toss the gift bags, tissue, ribbons, boxes, twine, and bows you receive this Christmas and throughout the year. Keep them to reuse next Christmas. Jewelry boxes and other boxes packages come in throughout the year are perfect for wrapping those oddly shaped, small gifts, too.
Buy Reusable Gift Bags
Reusable cloth gift bags add a special touch to your present, eliminate the need for scissors and tape, and can be passed around for years before they wear out!
Gift a Tote Bag
Use one of the many reusable shopping bags or tote bags you own to wrap your present and reduce your stockpile of bags.
Choose Recyclable Paper
If you just can’t help yourself and must have the cute, old fashioned Santa wrapping paper on sale at the end of the aisle, check to make sure it’s recyclable. Most regular and glossy wrapping paper these days can be recycled, unless it has any non-paper additives on it, like metallic flakes, glitter, or plastic. Specialty papers that are made of foil, metallic, or heavily laminated are not recyclable, so avoid those varieties if you can.