Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap:
Ideas for Wrapping Gifts the Earth-Friendly Way

This year, make an effort to wrap your gifts beautifully without adding more waste to the earth. Here are some easy and inexpensive ideas to try, which just might spur an earth-friendly trend with your friends and family:

1. Use gift bags instead of paper. While this isn't a practical solution for all gifts, if you can place something in a bag with a bit of tissue paper, it's a great alternative. Both the bag and the tissue paper are easy to reuse for the next gift giving occasion - or throughout the year for any other purpose.

2. Use recyclable cloth gift bags for family presents. These are really gaining in popularity, and kids love to see their personal gift bags (especially if they are customized with their names.) You can use them year after year, and they will soon become an important part of your holiday tradition. You can purchase the bags or make your own from velour or another fabric with a luxurious holiday feel. You'll want to buy them or make them in small, medium, and large sizes.

Try this:
"Plantable" wrapping paper embedded with wildflower seeds
Plant this biodegradable wrapping paper and watch the wildflower seeds grow into a bright and cheery garden.


Here are some ecofriendly gift wrap alternatives from Gaiam.com:

   • ChicoBag Reusable Shopping Bags

   • Recycled Gift Bags

   • Rice Tote Bag

   • Thirsty Yoga Towel

   • Convertible Mat Bags

   • Organic Cotton Towels

3. If you already have wrapping paper on hand, make the most possible use from the paper. Save the paper after everyone unwaps their gifts to reuse it next year. Store in a dry, flat place and you may be able to use the same wrap for several gift-giving occasions.

4. Look for eco-friendly, recycled wrapping papers in your local store or online.

5. Keep your eye out for other kinds of paper that can double as gift wrap, such as newsprint, magazine pages, and catalog pages. Kids love gifts wrapped in the comics.  Coordinate magazine or catalog pages with your presents. If you're giving a book, wrap the present in a picture of bookcases from a home store catalog. Or find the Christmas tree or Christmas decoration pages in home décor catalogs and use these as wrapping.

6. Create your own recycled patterned paper. Find a supplier of rolls of recycled brown paper, such as the kind used for mailing packages. Roll out sections of the paper and use paint, stamps and other craft tools to decorate the pages. You can custom decorate each package or do the whole roll in the same pattern. Kids love this project, too. And it's fun and economical, too.

More Creative Gift Wrap Ideas