The holidays are creeping up on us again and even with an eco-friendly mindset, it's hard to resist the urge to consume and be frivolously wasteful. Did you know that Americans generate approximately 5 tons of waste during this festive season? It’s estimated that 4 out of these 5 tons are the result of gift wrap. This year, instead of buying oodles of wrapping paper that will eventually end up in the garbage, why not give Mother Nature a present by trying one of these 5 fun, eco-friendly alternatives?


Image courtesy of John Boak

1. Make Wrap Art. Artist John Boak is the man who coined "Wrap Art:" the process of taking random bits of paper and other materials from around your house and creating artsy gift wrap from them. While eco-friendly, the only thing to worry about is that your gift wrap might look so good that your recipient won’t want to open it! But never fear, if you follow the pointers in his book or on his website, you can create Wrap Art that survives the opening process.

mottainai furoshiki_rs
2. Mottainai Furoshiki is an environmentally sustainable form of Japanese cloth wrapping used as a substitute for disposable bags or to wrap gifts. Mottaianai is a Japanese word that means “it's a shame for something to go to waste without having made use of its potential in full,” while furoshiki is a traditional Japanese cloth used for wrapping and carrying things. Mottainai Furoshiki incorporates the idea of mottainai with the centuries old furoshiki cloth, using it to wrap gifts in a beautiful, origami-like fashion.


3. Use newspaper. Instead of discarding your old newspapers, recycle them by using them as giftwrap. Use the comic section for kid’s gifts and article pages for a bohemian feel. You can even paint or make a collage out of the newspaper to create custom giftwrap. But don’t forget to make sure the newspaper ends up in the recycling bin after unwrapping!



Image courtesy of Philip Friedman/Studio D

4. A long sleeve shirt is a great for wrapping gifts and can even be used as another present! Simply insert the gift inside the torso portion of the shirt or fold it around the gift. Then, neatly wrap the arms around the gift to secure it. It only takes a minute and you can even jazz it up by tying the sleeves into a bow or adding a broach for decoration and a third gift!


Image courtesy of AJ’s Trash2Treasure Blog

5. Coffee cans or oatmeal containers make neat packages for smaller gifts. You can decorate them by wrapping them in ribbons or decoupage them using old magazines, books or newspapers. After the gift is unwrapped, it can be reused again as a neat storage container, doubling as a second gift!

Optimized-Of The Earth Wrapping Paper

Image courtesy of Of The Earth

6. Of The Earth handmade paper is a beautiful, yet environmentally sound product to wrap your gifts. Handmade from natural cotton fiber, Of The Earth's handmade paper is made with no chemicals and with the least amount of water possible. It's tree-free and looks elegant. What's not to love?

Optimized-Botanical Paperworks Box

Image courtesy of Botanical Paperworks

7. Botanical Paperworks Seed Paper is a gift within a gift! Seed paper can be used to wrap smaller presents and after the present is open, the paper can be planted and grown. From wildflowers to carrots and from handmade paper to gift boxes, seed paper products are a great eco-friendly wrapping paper alternative!

Optimized-Nashville Wraps Bags

Image courtesy of Nashville Wraps

8. Nashville Wraps offers a variety of gift bags and other packaging made from 100% recycled paper. With so many options to choose from in the Green Way® collection, there's an eco-conscious gift bag for every holiday or occasion.

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