Gift-giving season is here! Unfortunately, all that bright and cheery wrapping paper contributes to a 25% increase in waste between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. Being creative with gift wrapping can be as much fun as unwrapping them so here are some eco-friendly wrapping ideas for you to avoid the unnecessary waste that usually comes with giving gifts:
1. Your old clothes
Wrap the gift with an old t-shirt or fabric you no longer use! Cut them into a square shape and try the Japanese Furoshiki wrapping techniques. We found a nice tutorial for you here. Furoshiki usually has an elegant, decorative design and has become increasingly popular around the world as it has transformed the art of gift-wrapping.
2. Any paper laying around your house
Give your holiday gift wrapping a little vintage and hand-crafted personal touch. Head to the vintage store or reuse the old papers you have in hand to avoid buying new wrapping paper. Newspaper, magazines, old maps, sheet music or tissue paper from past purchases are all good materials to reuse as wrapping paper. Using twine, string or yarn to tie up the gift wrapping is also a good idea to avoid using tape and go plastic-free for the holiday gift wrapping. If you want to go total zero waste, try this origami wrapping technique that doesn’t need either tape or ribbon!
3. The shopping bags you got from the store.
The paper bags from stores usually have a nice design so you can cut them open and turn them into the perfect zero waste wrapping paper!
If you have blank brown paper bags from the grocery store, you can also customize them with stamps or by drawing your own motif on them. Better yet, get creative with paint! You can do a splash paint effect, or simply draw brush stroke patterns. You can also practice your calligraphy skills and create a unique paper design that is personalized and made with love.
4. Wooden or tin boxes
We all love to keep the cute wooden and tin boxes we got from buying cookies and other products as they are good storage options — why not make the box itself part of your gift this year? You can also put twigs, pine cones, cinnamon, or evergreen conifer in the box to add a bundle of greenery and make your gift-giving charming and rustic!
5. Reuse old wrapping paper or gift bags
Another way to have zero waste packaging material is simply to reuse the wrapping paper or gift bags from previous years. Open the gift carefully and don’t throw away the wrapping paper or the gift bag that comes with it. By giving them a second life you are actively promoting that practice with your loved ones and normalizing it for the years to come!