Tis the season for…dumpsters full of glossy, expensive, majorly wasteful gift wrap. We spend days, weeks, maybe months hunting down all of the most perfect gifts for our loved ones, minutes wrapping them up in mystery, and seconds tearing it all down to toss in the landfill.
This year—and every year moving forward—we aim to go about it a little more wisely.
As long as the gifts are thoughtfully concealed, no one really cares if it’s wrapped in shiny, thick, fancy paper—right? Polyurethane ribbon, plastic coated paper, toxic dyes and inks are out. Reusable, biodegradable, recycled materials are in.
Here are some ideas we’re going with this year:
Instead of rolls of wrapping paper, try these:
– Paper grocery bags – Turn them inside out and leave blank, or you can draw, paint, or stamp on them for a customized look that shows you care.
– Recycled craft paper
– Newspaper – The crossword puzzle section is fun to fill in yourself or the comics section is always cute! Finding pages related to the gift or the recipient is a cool way to get more engaged and give the gift an extra personal layer. You can also use magazine pages for smaller items.
– Brown filler paper from packaging
– Old road maps – Maybe your parents have an old collection or you can find them at thrift shops or save from roadside stops on your next road trip. They are visually engaging and give your package a little edge.
– Beeswax wrap – It’s environmentally friendly, and your recipient can reuse it. Two gifts in one!
– Utilize vintage items like scarves, tea towels, etc. We like to think of how special the Japanese fabric wrapping method known as furoshiki looks and feels to receive.
Don’t buy ribbon. String your packages up in a bow with these:
– A biodegradable ribbon—like the Cream City ribbon we used in our holiday mailer this year—is totally compostable.
– Biodegradable twine is an easy way to make packages look rustic chic.
– Raffia ribbon is made of palm tree fibers and has a really nice toothy, textural look for a little added dimension.
Other ways to save items from the landfill:
– Skip the tag and write the name directly on the wrap with a silver pen or a simple black marker.
– Say no to ribbon all together. Sometimes less is more, and not everything needs to be tied up in a perfect bow.
– Use found items like flower stems, seasonal yard clippings, or holiday tree trimmings, and secure them to the package with jute or raffia for a little sculptural feel.
– Reuse a nice box and skip the wrapping all together. If you bought our holiday mailer bundle, there are some incredible reusable boxes that need nothing on them to feel special and sincere.
– Reusable bags or baskets house a gift just fine.
– Dissolvable filler—like the FunPak we used in our mailers—is a cool way to mix things up. They come in all shapes and sizes, but we love the hearts and stars.
– Reuse shipping boxes to wrap your gifts in. If you weren’t already doing this…
– Biodegradable paper tape like washi tape doesn’t add any sneaky plastic to the equation.
– Try the no-tape method, which is all about strategic folding. It definitely takes some practice, but the results are chic.
– Try tying ornaments onto the packaging that people will want to keep. It’s such a cute and thoughtful detail!
We’d love to see what you do for your sustainable wrapping this year. Tag us in your photos and share more ideas!
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