You may have already figured out how you’ll be giving more mindful and eco-friendly gifts this holiday season, but what about the wrapping? Millions of tons of waste is generated at this time of year just with traditional wrapping paper, not to mention the microplastics found in many of the glittery and shiny coatings.
Instead of generating more waste that can’t be recycled or composted (spoiler alert: it will just end up in the landfill and / or oceans), look for ways to wrap gifts with more sustainable materials — it’s a prime opportunity to get creative!
Reuse Wrapping You Already Have
One of the most sustainable solutions is also the simplest: reusing wrapping that has been gifted to you. Remember when grandma used to save every bag and bow from presents? You can do the same and reuse them for gifting going forward. That includes tissue and wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbons, and even peanuts or bubble wrap.
Think outside the (gift) box! What else do you have lying around your house that can be used as wrapping paper alternatives? Upcycle things like tote bags or shoe boxes and decorate them for fun wrapping.
Try Furoshiki Wrapping
Why not combine your gift and wrapping all in one? The Japanese Furoshiki approach of artfully wrapping your gift in a lovely cloth gives your loved one something that can be enjoyed for years to come.
The cloth for this fabric wrapping technique can be anything from a lovely napkin or dish towel to a bandana, silk scarf, or whatever fabric you can get your hands on. Just be sure to wrap it in a thoughtful way to show off the beauty — who knows, the recipient may want to pass it on as a gift in the future. Learn more about Furoshiki wrapping here.
Wrap it in Newspaper or Magazine Pages
Raise your hand if you still read good-old-fashioned newspapers. Guess what? They make great wrapping paper! To spruce up gifts, use twine (which is generally compostable) and add a flower, a sprig of fresh rosemary, or anything seasonal and decorative for a festive holiday spin. Some ideas include a pinecone, cinnamon sticks, or dried orange slices.
If you don’t have any newspaper, you can still upcycle leftover papers like old maps, magazine pages, craft paper, and even pages of old books! These all make fun and interesting zero waste gift wrapping.
Pro tip: 💡Be conscious of what’s printed on the paper you’re using. Avoid bad news or negative imagery — focus on colorful, cheerful, bright imagery and words.
Gift in a Stasher
Stasher bags and bowls are obviously great gifts themselves, so it’s a no-brainer to combine ‘em with another gift. Not only is it zero waste gift wrap, but your loved one will be hooked on having reusables!
Get even more creative with it by using a non-toxic chalk marker to write to / from on the Stasher and share your favorite recipes or ways to use it in the card you include. For more ideas about gifts “wrapped” in a Stasher reusable, check out 11 Sustainable Gift Ideas, All Wrapped in a Stasher.
Give Digital Gifts, Donations or Experiences
Let’s be real: The most zero waste gift wrapping is no wrapping at all. With so many online resources, you can easily gift a loved one something digital like online classes, ebooks, or memberships to fitness or meditation apps. Or, a digital gift card.
Even better — ask your friends and family what causes they’re passionate about and make a donation to a charity of that kind in their name. You can also gift an experience like a vacation, tickets to a play, or something else you can enjoy with them.
However you choose to wrap your gift, make sure it’s mindful for the recipient and the environment. Use this as an opportunity to share about your low waste lifestyle, including your favorite tactics and products – like Stasher reusables — for reducing waste! By starting the conversation, you may inspire others to be more mindful, too.