Did you know that wrapping paper is not recyclable? Most people don’t meticulously unwrap their presents and fold up the gift wrap to reuse next year, in which case your gift-giving is adding to the landfill. Did you know that tissue paper, ribbon, bows, and gift bags are also not recyclable? It’s unfortunate but true. There are so many other beautiful options, though, so don’t worry. Below are some easy sustainable gift-wrapping options.
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- Fabric is an excellent reusable material to wrap presents in. It is also really customizable. You could pick a specific holiday print or go with something neutral and spice it up with some string and dried oranges, a fresh sprig off an evergreen tree, pinecones, or even a cinnamon stick.
- Cloth bags make for a super easy (and cute) sustainable gift wrap option. You can buy them in all different sizes, small enough for a pair of earrings and large enough to fit a book or even some clothing. In addition, they come in plain muslin, burlap, or colorful prints.
- Another great option for gift wrapping is kraft paper. Do you know that brown paper that comes on big rolls? This is what I’m talking about. (You could also buy it in white if you like, but due to the use of bleach, it is a bit less eco-friendly than the brown kraft paper. The great thing about using kraft paper as a sustainable wrapping paper option is that you can buy a roll (18″ wide by 100′ long) for just twelve dollars. That same amount of regular old wrapping paper would be hundreds of dollars. To jazz it up, you could use a beautiful cloth ribbon on it or have your kiddos draw some pictures on the paper. Kraft paper can go in the recycling bin once the present is opened.
- Kraft paper gift bags are also a great option. Personally, I always keep gift bags and reuse them for when someone’s birthday comes along. However, they do wear out eventually, and they can’t be recycled. That being said, kraft gift bags can be reused several times and recycled afterward, so they make for a great eco-friendly gift wrap option. Tissue paper is also not recyclable, so instead, using cloth, newspaper, or paper from your paper shredder are all great options.
- Newspaper is an eco-friendly option for wrapping gifts. You would be giving the newspaper a second life before it is recycled, which is awesome! You can either pick a random page as your sustainable gift wrap, or you can choose a page that you think the receiver will like. For kids, you use the comics section, and for your mom, you could use the crossword page, so she gets an eco-friendly wrapped gift as well as an activity.
- Another sustainable wrapping paper option is clothing. This one makes part of the gift more obvious, but that’s ok. Maybe you are gifting someone a book, and a shirt. You can wrap the book in the shirt; it’s as easy as that.
- Will the gift fit in a jar or an aesthetically pleasing reusable box? If so, this is an excellent option for utilizing an item that can be reused afterward by the gift receiver. They can use the jar in the kitchen for food storage or the box in their office to organize those pesky office supplies.
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