5 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas
Did you know that each year we throw away around 365,000 kms of wrapping paper at Christmas time? That’s equivalent to approximately 50,000 trees. This Christmas I want you to embrace the three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle.
I have created a selection of sustainable alternatives for you to use instead of wrapping paper. Try these environmentally, sustainable, eco-friendly Christmas gift wrapping ideas. They are perfect examples of simple ways to reduce waste.
If you are also interested in eco-friendly gifts, check out our Eco-Friendly Christmas Guide. We have hand selected 30+ amazing companies that are giving back to the Earth and helping you consciously reduce your environmental impact this Christmas.
1. Furoshiki Wrap
What is Furoshiki? It is the art of Japanese fabric wrapping and knot tying. As a bonus, the receiver of the gift also gets a piece of fabric they can reuse. It’s a win-win scenario. Being reusable, a furoshiki wrap is a sustainable alternative to traditional wrapping paper. Plastic-coated gift bags and boxes either end up in landfill (and not decomposing), or even if recyclable, they use up valuable energy. A fabric furoshiki wrap is flexible and will conform to many different shapes easily.
How to Wrap Furoshiki Style
- Place the object diagonally in the center of the cloth.
- If the object is rectangular, then draw up the corners of the fabric on either side of the longest edges of the item. Make sure the fabric is tight and tie the two opposite corners together once.
- Next, do the same with the other two corners but tie it twice so it knots. If the object being wrapped is square, then it doesn’t matter which opposite corners are tied together first.
Fabric totes bags can be made from burlap, flannel, cotton or linen and can be transformed into a gift bag with just a few seconds of sewing. Although if you are like me and not very handy with a sewing machine, I just purchased a pre-made variety from and eco-friendly supplier.
Decorate your tote bags with twine, pine cones, salt dough decorations and herb cuttings.
TIP: An incredibly simple way to reduce the amount of waste each year is to reduce the number of gifts given and focus on a couple high-quality gifts rather than many gifts for each person.
3. Brown Kraft Paper
Wrap your presents in brown kraft paper for that rustic, homely look. All you need is some cello tape, paper and some creativity, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful yet simple arrangement of gifts.
Another paper option is to raid the paper recycling bin for great materials of gift wrap. Magazine pages, maps, newspapers, calendars and notes from a class, all could become ideal wrapping material for a package with personality.
Twine, cinnamon sticks, dried citrus ornaments, succulent cuttings and pine cones, can be employed to jazz up the final product.
TIP: Use the 5-Gift Rule Something they want, Something they need, Something to wear, Something to read, Something to share.
4. Bamboo Boxes
One great way to make a gift extra special is to wrap it in another gift. By using our handmade, eco-friendly bamboo boxes you are also supporting local Indonesian artisans. Plus your recipient will be able to organize in style with a beautiful hand-woven hideaway.
Then decorate the boxes with pine cones, ribbon, and holly to really make your gifts stand out!
TIP: To check whether wrapping paper is recyclable, just scrunch it up – if it stays in a ball it can be thrown into the recycling bin. Just make sure tape, ribbon and bows are removed.
5. Brown Kraft Paper Gift Bags
Gift Bags have long been preferred among earth-loving gift givers because they involve no tape or folding and they are easily reused. The best thing is you don’t have to spend a fortune on them and the possibilities are endless for how you can decorate them. The sustainable part is that it will get used over and over for probably years before it finally falls apart.
Add a custom tag to make your gift look special. You can also add some small Christmas wooden ornaments along with it. Tie them with some twine thread, attach them to the gift and voila you’re finished!
Eco-friendly, green gift wrap could mean lots of things, but for me, this means reusing and recycling as much as possible. When you use unconventional materials for gift wrap, it’s easy to get carried away. Just keep wrapped gifts simple. A little bow, a picture, or hand-written message on a brown box goes a long way.
What is your favorite creative way to wrap gifts? Feel free to share below.
If you could be so kind as to give me feedback in the comments on your favorites, that will help other readers with their wrapping adventures as well!