Green Holiday Wrapping Ideas

Presents, bows, ribbon, and scissors sitting atop brown paper.

Does it frustrate you as much as it frustrates us that wrapping paper is such a one-and-done wasteful item? It’s pretty to have glitzy wrapped packages under the tree, but once the holiday season is over and all the wrapping is torn, it just gets tossed away – along with the money you spent on it. To make matters worse, most wrapping papers aren’t even recyclable! Here are some great green alternatives to buying wrapping paper:

Gift Bags

If you’re like us, you may save your gift bags, and if you don’t… Why not? Stash them in a safe spot and use them for the next occasion! Gift bags, as long as they’re not damaged, can be used multiple times and save you money. Plus, gift bags are way more accessible to those who have difficulties opening wrapping paper.

Newspaper, Newsprint, & Brown Paper

If you’re like us, you probably get newspapers in the mail that you don’t even read. Black and white newspaper wrapping paper on a gift can be quite handsome with a little dressing up (try a cloth bow!). The same goes for brown paper you may find in Amazon or Chewy boxes. Plus, you can write directly on top of the paper to label who it’s going to!

Reusable Boxes

Gift boxes with the decorations printed right on them are fantastic, beautiful boxes no one will ever want to throw away. They’re sturdy so they can undergo all kinds of jostling, and many of them have all of the glitz and then some of wrapping paper and bows. Reusable boxes will typically cost you more, but if reused multiple times will end up costing you less in the long run – and also help reduce environmental waste.

Tissue Paper

You may have a variety of tissue paper sitting around waiting to be used, but you can wrap with this as well. You will have to use a few layers to cover the box if it has writing on it, but in a pinch, tissue paper can look soft and glamorous on any box.

Actual, Literal Trash…

No, hear us out! This sounds very strange but we’ve seen people flipping chip (crisps for those of you in the UK) bags inside out to use the shiny silver interior! You will want to clean the oily residue off of it first, of course, but it’s a great way to recycle an otherwise unrecycle-able item.


Last but not least, you can wrap many gifts in handkerchiefs, cloth sections, or just plain old cloth ribbon. These can look quite beautiful and unique, and the cloth can be part of the gift! Look for scarves, handkerchiefs, cloth scraps, bandanas, and other swaths of cloth in second-hand stories if you don’t have any on hand to use.

How are you making your gift wrapping green this year? Let us know in the comments!

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