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10 Sustainable and Eco Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

The environment needs some serious help to reverse the damage done to the planet to date, so we need to look at ways to reduce our carbon footprint and some of the smallest efforts can make a big impact.

The festive period generates some of the highest wastage across 3 months of celebrations than any other time of the year, with an extra 30% of rubbish being thrown away through unwanted gifts, food waste and of course wrapping paper and packaging.

To help you make smart choices, we’ve listed a whole group of sustainable gift-wrapping ideas that will help to reduce wastage and make your gifts look beautiful.

Use material for wrapping presents

Whether it’s beautiful fabric from unloved clothes or off-cuts of spare fabric, using material to wrap your presents is a great way to save on paper as well as creating a gift that looks amazing. A lot of Christmas wrapping paper isn’t recyclable, which adds to the landfill at this time of year. By using material that may otherwise be destined for landfill, you’re actually helping the environment by diverting from landfill in two ways.


Personalise brown paper

There has been a surge in the sale of brown paper for present wrapping the past few years due to its versatility and rustic look being part of its appeal. Another benefit is the ability to personalise the paper, so why not get your craft box out and make your packages pop with some painted stencils or keep it simple with a gorgeous gift tag.


Reuse delivery boxes

Online deliveries spike at this time of year, which gives an abundance of boxes that are perfect for present giving. Why not save on the costs of rolls of paper and opt to upcycle the number of boxes that you get through the post? Remove address labels and blank out any other personal information before giving and use creative ways to make these look pretty.


Tape-free wrapping techniques

One of the biggest polluters when it comes to presents is sticky tape due to the plastic components that can’t be recycled. There are some incredible videos out there on ways to wrap different shaped gifts without the need for tape using clever folding techniques, making it a great way to reduce your plastic usage at this time of year.


Ditch the bows and decorate with foliage

Plastic bows look beautiful but offer nothing more than adding to landfill after Xmas is all done and dusted. Christmas is the perfect time of year for sourcing beautiful natural decorations for your presents. From holly leaves to cinnamon sticks, there are so many ways to adorn your gifts with some gorgeous foliage and make them look even more festive than a traditional bow.


Tie with string instead of tape

As well as tape free wrapping, why not wrap your presents the old-fashioned way by tying with string? Twine is easier to recycle and can also be used time and time again if saved from the presents. You don’t also have to have traditional coloured string, many stationers now have string in different colours so you can make your presents unique and festive.


Try old newspapers and decorate to make festive

Newspapers are easily recyclable but make for interesting wrapping paper. Using old magazines or newspapers for your present wrapping can be a great way to utilise current paper already out there that would have otherwise ended up in the bin. Just remember, if you’re wrapping gifts that need to be protected from newspaper ink, that you pre-wrap with plain packaging first, or save the newspaper for those gifts that are more resistant.


Choose to use a gift bag

Whether it’s a tote bag, paper gift bag or even a rucksack as part of the present, giving a gift bag means it can be reused time and time again. Reusing is often better than recycling so giving a wrapping solution that can be passed on for other gift exchanges saves new items being bought and helps divert rubbish from landfill.


Alternative options for gift tags

A unique and cute gift tag idea is to get a photo of the person you’re gifting to and write a personalised message on the back and they can keep the photo as a reminder of their lovely gift. If using brown paper simple write on the gift itself with a gorgeous gold marker pen or a festive green and red. Another idea is to create a gift tag that can then be hung on the Xmas tree each year afterwards. Use saltdough to create their initial, a star or something even more inventive if you fancy getting creative.


Reusable tins for presents

People love a gift that is practical so why not look at giving your presents in a tin or usable box? Not just used for food storage, tins are perfect for keeping things neat and tidy in any room of the home. Look into local companies for some truly unique designs or go to your local stores and see what they have on offer; you may find they’re more affordable than rolls of wrapping paper!


These are just some of our ideas for sustainable wrapping ideas, but we’d love to hear if you have any others. Let us know on social and don’t forget to send us some pictures of your favourite wrapping ideas.