With the holidays around the corner it’s time to start thinking about holiday shopping and of course, wrapping presents. Want to make your gift wrapping more eco-conscious this year? We’ve pulled together 7 gift wrapping alternatives to help you take your gift wrapping to the next eco-friendly level.
1. Upcycle catalogs and flyers. Did you know that glittery and metallic wrapping paper can’t be recycled? Same with ribbons or bows. Rather than purchasing those items, you can turn to paper that you already have at home! We all get catalogs and flyers in the mail and rather than beelining for the recycle bin, you can re-use this colorful and easy to use material as wrapping paper. Once the gift is unwrapped then the paper can go into the recycle bin.
2. Look to your donation pile. Reimagine one of the pieces pf clothing you’re tossing as gift wrap! This would work especially well with any garment that’s silky, sequined, or has some other colorful or fun flare. The recipient may be excited to receive a bonus gift if it’s something you think they could use, or you can offer to take it back to your pile once unwrapped–and donate it.
3. Upcycle your delivery boxes. If you plan to ship most of your gifts, you can use pretty color markers to address the box and get creative with some drawing. Even if you’re not an artist, the recipient will appreciate the effort and individuality–that the gift, and its wrapping, is only from you, and only to them! Also, think about sprucing up the inside with tissue paper which can easily be composted. Remember that while cardboard boxes are recyclable, bubble wrap, foam peanuts, and some plastics are not. So using an alternative material to cushion the item within the box is the most eco-conscious choice.
4. Reuse shopping bags. Nowadays, plastic bags are accepted in many municipalities as recycling! That being said, the opaque plastic bags you get at the local grocer without much print are ripe to be filled with a gift. You can look up ways to tie bows or create flare using the plastic handles. Brown paper bags can be turned inside out and as gift wrap, give a minimalist, rustic vibe. Tote bags circulating among friends and family can become not just another way to wrap a gift sustainability, but a fun storytelling piece to add to your collection.
5. Make the wrapping part of the gift. Even paper wrapping that is recyclable could be contaminated with tape. How about this: Buying your mom a cookbook? Wrap it in an apron. Gifting your husband a BBQ? Wrap it in a BBQ cover. A baby gift? Wrap it in a burp cloth. Getting creative with the delivery of your present can become your holiday signature!
6. Create an experience. No matter which holiday you celebrate, stuffed stockings are a great way to skip wasteful wrapping! Kids don’t care about wrapping, and they’re not the type to delicately unwrap so the wrapping can be used again. Why not skip the wrapping, and have a scavenger hunt to find the present somewhere around your home? It will be extra fun if the hiding place has something to do with the gift so you can give clues–like hiding a toy truck in the garage, new sand toys in the yard, or clothes in the closet.
7. E-gift cards Not all gifts need to be wrapped. E-gift cards are extremely environmentally friendly, and easy for the recipient to keep track of. You can use TaskRabbit to hire a chef to teach a private cooking lesson or music class, deliver a specialty item from a particular store or bakery, or assemble new furniture so the gift recipient doesn’t have to.
And that’s a wrap. 🎁