Everyone knows the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year! But you know what’s not so wonderful? All the paper waste that goes into gift wrapping each season. According to some really smart people at Stanford University, if each family in the United States wrapped just THREE gifts in recycled/reusable materials, we would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields!
So this year, you can be as green as the Grinch (after his heart grows three sizes bigger) and still have the most beautifully wrapped presents under the tree. Here are three of my favorite eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas to try this holiday season.
Newsprint Gift Wrap
Wrapping gifts in newspaper is an oldie but goodie. One of my favorite holiday memories is of my grandparents (who grew up during the Depression and were green before Kermit made it cool) wrapping all of our gifts in the Sunday funny papers. When I was older, I started collecting newspapers and cool magazines from my apartment building’s recycling bin as an eco-friendly (and cost effective!) wrapping option. You don’t have to limit yourself to newsprint, though. Small gifts can be wrapped in the pages of an old book, or even last year’s calendar!
Wrap a Gift IN a Gift
I know, I know. I just blew your mind with this eco-friendly gift wrapping idea. This is where you really get the chance to let your gift-giving creativity shine. For example, if you’re giving your bff a cozy scarf and a few other items, you use the scarf to wrap her other gifts. Or, if your boss is a coffee fiend, get them one of those reusable hot/cold tumblers, and fill it with coffee samples to keep in the office. Once you’ve found the perfect gifts for everyone, you can make them a little more festive by crafting gift tags out of recycled holiday cards from last year.
Fabric Gift Wrap
The last method is I like to use is furoshiki, or the Japanese art of wrapping items in fabric. You can get creative with the fabric you use. I like to go thrifting for cloth napkins and pillowcases in fun patterns, but you can also splurge on holiday-print fabrics if you want. Here’s an illustrated guide to get you started with the basics of fabric-wrapping a variety of shapes. The best part of this eco-friendly gift wrapping idea is that after the gifts are opened, you can simply fold up the fabric and reuse it again next year!
Armed with these eco-friendly wrapping options, you can sit back and smugly sip your sustainably sourced hot cocoa with glee. Just getting started? Here are nine more tips for a sustainable holiday season!