8 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas for a Zero-Waste Festive Season

The holiday season is undoubtedly one of the most joyous times of the year, but unfortunately it's also notorious for being one of the most wasteful. One area in particular that most of us are incredibly wasteful in is our gift wrapping choices.

We can't deny that we love receiving and opening gifts. But once we've teared through the wrapping, it all just gets pushed to the side and never seen/used again. Shiny and glitter-encrusted papers are particularly bad because they are essentially just microplastics that cannot be recycled and often just end up in the ocean. Switching to more eco-friendly wrapping is one of the most simple ways we can reduce our waste during the festive season and feel less guilty. 

Below, we look at eight easy and lovely gift wrap ideas that are kinder to the environment and still look festive.

8 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Ideas for a Zero-Waste Festive Season

1. Fabric wrapping

Wrapping gifts in cloth is a common practice in Japan called 'Furoshiki'. Square-shaped decorative fabrics that offer a sustainable alternative to paper gift wrapping are used to wrap presents. Not only does using fabric create a unique and beautiful look, you can also use fabric time and time again. We recommend using either our linen napkins or placemats as they will also double as a much-loved gift.

2. Kraft paper

Most types of wrapping paper can’t be recycled. Opting for kraft paper, which is biodegradable and can be recycled, is a great alternative to shiny, laminated, or any kind of glossy paper. It will also give your gifts a lovely rustic look. Add some twine and a pine tree sprig for an extra festive touch. Keep in mind that butchers paper also isn't recyclable because it's waxed. 

3. Bed Threads linen sacks

A practical linen sack makes for a stylish and practical gift wrap option. If you've ever bought from us, you'll know each and every linen order from us comes packaged in a 100% linen sack. While there are many ways to re-use our linen sacks, they are a great way to gift wrap your Christmas presents, too. The best bit? No scissors or sticky tape needed! 

3. Old packaging

If you're a little bit more conscious/thrifty, you will likely have some already used wrapping paper or packaging tucked into a drawer at home. Christmas is the ideal time to get this out!

While the idea of swathing presents in toilet paper wrapping might not sound like the most glamorous option, the geniuses at 100% recycled toilet paper company Who Gives a Crap have designed their wrappers to be as beautiful as possible so that you can and will want to reuse them. 

4. Magazines/newspapers

If you have a pile of old magazines or newspapers lying around that you haven't gotten around to throwing out, now is your chance to give them another use! If you have neither of these at home, buying a newspaper is still a great alternative as it's affordable, recyclable, and creates a vintage Christmas look.

5. Baskets/boxes

This is the perfect time for you to re-use any boxes or baskets you might have sitting around e.g. cardboard delivery boxes from all those quarantine shopping purchases. If they are looking particularly shabby you can wrap them in kraft paper. Don't forget to keep any of the boxes you receive in the lead up to Christmas!

7. Dust bags 

Many of us often have zero clue what to do with the dust bags we collect over the years and they typically just end up just getting thrown away. Now's your chance to get them out of the cupboard and fill them with gifts for friends and family.

8. Natural decorative elements

Rather than using ribbons or stickers to decorate your gifts, opt for dried citrus fruit or sprigs of thyme/leaves instead. This is a fantastic and guilt-free way to elevate your gift's aesthetic and they can be easily composted or put in the garden after use.  

Enjoyed this? Here are 12 Sustainability Terms to Understand for a More Environmentally Conscious Lifestyle


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