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Five Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Alternatives
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Five Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Alternatives

Dec 10th, 2015

Store-bought wrapping paper can be beautiful, and is popular for a reason. Unfortunately, elegant and shiny holiday wrapping paper tends to be neither the most affordable nor eco-friendly option.

If you have a lot of wrapping paper on hand or see colors and patterns so irresistible you have to have them, wrap away as usual. but if you’re trying to be sustainable this holiday season, here are some eco-friendly gift wrapping alternatives to consider.

Fabric Gift Cloth

Are you inspired by Japanese culture or design? If so, take a hint out of the Japanese gift-wrapping playbook by using fabric to conceal the identity of gifts. This art is known as furoshiki. You can buy fabric at a craft store or use pillows, sheets, tablecloths, or drapes you have on hand. Hold the fabric together by pinning it, tying a knot, or using festive ribbon.

Reusable Gift Bags

Reusable gift bags made from cotton, flannel, and burlap; canvas shopping bags; and decorative boxes are practical gift wrapping options that can be used again and again. Gift bags can be folded up once they are opened and stored until the next holiday season rolls around. Bags used for gifts you drop off or send to friends and family may be used by recipients when giving gifts in the future.


Newspaper as a gift wrapping material is appreciated by some, but is not the best eco-friendly alternative for all situations. There are, however, several similar options that may be appropriate when newspaper isn’t. Magazine images, used calendar pages, and comics are a few additional forms of paper you can repurpose as gift wrap. To score extra points and give meaning to what you use, choose cover art from a favorite publication or photos of a film advertisement or celebrity the recipient loves.


Public transit maps and those produced by cultural organizations and institutions are updated on a regular basis. Outdated maps are a great form of eco-friendly gift wrapping. They are visually stimulating and distracting enough to keep someone from guessing what’s inside the wrapping paper.

Flower Pots

Clay flower pots are a form of “gift wrap” that keeps on giving. Other examples include mugs, buckets, mixing bowls, and cooking pots. Often, these containers need no additional wrapping. If a container is transparent or doesn’t look elegant enough on its own, wrap it in fabric.

If eco-friendly gift wrapping alternatives are what you’re after, we hope these ideas give you something to work with. However you choose to wrap your gifts, we hope you have a joyous holiday season with some of your nearest and dearest.

For additional green living tips and holiday preparation advice, explore the other posts on our blog.

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