Low Waste Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas

While giving mindful, eco-friendly, and useful gifts is one key element in sustainable gifting, another essential element is how you choose to wrap the gift. Think about it… wrapping paper is wasteful on many levels — you spend money on wrapping paper, most of which can’t be recycled or composted, just to rip it up and toss it in the trash. Gift wrapping is a prime opportunity to reduce waste, add creative fun to your gifts, and help Save What Matters®. Let's get you started with these ideas...

Stasher bag with Furoshiki wrapping

Embrace Furoshiki

You’ll love the Furoshiki approach of artfully wrapping your gift in a lovely cloth that can be enjoyed as a gift itself! The cloth can be anything from a lovely napkin or dish towel to a bandana, silk scarf, or whatever fabric you can get your hands on, wrapped up in a specific and thoughtful way. The recipient can then enjoy the wrapping, or use it to pass on as a gift in the future.

Learn more about furoshiki here.

Wrap it in Newspaper or Magazine Pages

If you still read good-old-fashioned newspapers, don’t toss them — they make great wrapping paper! To spruce it up, 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. Cinnamon sticks, dried orange slices, or tree clippings are all lovely, too. Don't read physical newspapers? No problem! Get creative with any paper items you no longer need — old maps, magazine pages, craft paper, even pages of old books!

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.

Gifts wrapped in Stasher bags

Wrap it in a Stasher Bag

Stasher bags are obviously great gifts themselves, so why not wrap your gift in a Stasher? It’s a practical way to give, and your recipient will be hooked on the bag itself in addition to the gift you put inside. You can even share some of your favorite recipes or ways to use the bag in the card or on a note you put into the bag so they can get inspiration on how to use it (though I don't think they will have trouble). Plus, you can save on a gift tag by writing on the bag using a non-toxic chalk marker! For more ideas about gifts wrapped in a Stasher bag, check out 8 DIY Gifts Wrapped in Stasher Bags. Plus, you get the added benefit of knowing Stasher is the gift that gives back — with 1% of all sales going to nonprofits working to protect the planet.

Reuse What You Have

Save nice bags and boxes that you receive with gifts and reuse them for gifting forward! That way you keep the bag out of the trash, instead using it a second time around — and sometimes the recipient will pass it along to someone else! You can also wrap gifts in items you have around the house, like reusable tote bags or shoe boxes, which are fun to decorate with repurposed paper (see above).

Give Digital Gifts, Donations or Experiences

The most sustainable wrapping is no wrapping at all! If you give a donation to a charitable cause or buy someone a virtual gift, no gift wrap is necessary. Consider gifting online courses, ebooks, memberships to fitness or meditation apps, or digital gift cards for a zero waste gift altogether. Or you can gift an experience like a vacation, tickets to a play, or something else you can enjoy with the recipient.

However you choose to wrap your gift, make sure it’s mindful for the recipient and the environment. Use your low waste gift wrapping creativity as an opportunity to share about your low waste lifestyle, including your favorite tactics and products for reducing waste! By starting the conversation and leading by example, you may inspire others to be more mindful about their lifestyle.

This post was written by Sara Weinreb. She is the host of the Medium Well podcast, founder of The M List, contributor at Forbes, and shares it all on IG @saraweinreb


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