By Kelly Baron

It’s estimated that Americans throw out 25% more trash during the holidays. If you’re as tired as we are of making so much waste, join us in lessening our environmental impact this holiday season by trying some of these sustainable gift wrapping ideas.

1) Tablecloths & Linens - Delivering that gift personally? Try wrapping it in a spare tablecloth or bedsheet. You can take it right back home with you once the party comes to an end.

2) Paper Grocery Bags - Not many of us have newspaper lying around anymore, but we do have a few of these stashed away! Try cutting them so they lay flat, flip so that the non-printed side faces out, and use them to wrap your smaller presents.

3) Furoshiki Wrapping - Not a tablecloth person? Support U.S. Etsy store owners by shopping sustainable linen Furoshiki gift wraps. Many are made from 100% Oeko-Tex Certified linen, come in an array of colors, and can be repurposed as napkins or placemats. Just make sure the seller is based in the U.S. (to keep carbon emissions low).

4) Eco-Friendly Wrapping Paper - If you’re craving that rip-open effect of real paper, try Wrappily’s eco-friendly paper. It’s printed on recycled SFI certified newsprint and is 100% recyclable and compostable (and adorable!). Finish with biodegradable paper tape. Or even better…

5) Tape-Free Folding - Try your hand at this amazing, tape-free Japanese wrapping technique.  Excuse us while we start practicing now…

6) Cardboard Boxes - So this is what we’ve been saving those packages for… get the kids involved to decorate old boxes and make them one-of-a-kind! Just keep in mind: if you plan to recycle afterwards, limit the decorations to chalk. Painted cardboard can’t be recycled.

7) Jute Ribbon - We love the rustic look of jute ribbon. It’s spun from organic fibers, making it strong and biodegradable.

8) Tote Bags - Give new life to that cute cotton tote hanging on your doorknob by tucking a gift inside. You can even fold the handles underneath and finish with…

9) Homemade Ribbons - Use old clothes or vintage finds to make your own ribbons! Simply cut out a strip long enough to wrap around your gift, and get tying. The edges may fray, but the planet will thank you.

10) Your Backyard - For a decorative flourish, tuck small twigs or herbs into your jute ribbon. Rosemary has a particularly Christmas-y look and scent.

Being an eco-conscious consumer often means doing just one small thing differently. Trying even one of these wrapping tips this holiday means the planet will be that much cleaner, and you will have taken a step toward celebrating sustainably!


Photo credit: Wrappliy.