Eco Friendly Gift Wrap Alternatives to be Merry About

For many of you, the hard part of holiday shopping for loved ones is finally over. You braved the cold (and traffic). You picked out the perfect assortment of gifts and are now ready to pack everything up. Pretty bows and shiny gift bags with glitter and string are holiday staples virtually no one can resist. Have you ever stopped to think about where it all ends up after the gift exchange ends? Sadly, the answer is… the landfill. You might be thinking, “Wait, isn’t gift wrap recyclable?” You might be surprised to know that in many places around the U.S. wrapping paper isn’t recycleable. According to earth911, “A common mistake many people make around the holidays is loading their recycling bins with wrapping paper, tissue, ribbons and more. Unfortunately, the shiny, laminated paper is actually not recyclable. Including it in the bin with other paper products can make an entire load un-recyclable.”

Does this come as a shock? Just think back on years past when you put all that sparkly, shiny stuff in the recycling bin with good intentions, only to make your entire recycling bin a bust. Every year, Americans use at least 40 million tons of paper products for gift wrapping purposes each year. That’s two pounds of gift wrap per person annually! Ouch.

So what can you do? Well, for starters don’t even think about that cheap roll of 99¢ coated wrapping paper and let’s discuss eco friendly gift wrap options to make your holiday gifts pretty! We scoured the internet to bring you some ideas on how you can repurpose everyday household items into beautiful and unique eco friendly gift wrap for your holiday presents. You’ll save some serious cash too!

They come in white, classic brown and an assortment of other colors. The important thing is that Kraft paper is made from recycled materials! But that’s not all. The best part is that Kraft paper is not coated with shiny plastics; making it recyclable after use too! Kraft paper is a completely neutral palette which makes it great not just for the holiday season, but for birthdays, anniversaries and other gift giving events. You can customize your wrappings to suit the occasion and you’ll always end up with a one of a kind finish. The best part is that you’ll no longer have 100 different wrapping paper rolls lying around. Just get yourself a jumbo roll of Kraft paper and your holidays are set! This is one option that will find it’s way to the recycling bin for sure!

Have tons of old newspapers lying around and have no idea what to do with it all? You can use it to make beautiful eco friendly gift wrap! Newspaper has a rustic feel when used as gift wrap, so play on this theme. Add burlap or vintage bows, real flowers, leaves, twigs, cinnamon sticks or even ginger bread cookies as gift toppers. Newspaper is easily recyclable and a great way to save some cash on gift wrap.

Road maps, subway maps, theme park maps, they’re all fair game for the holidays. If you have some out of date maps lying around then this is a good time to make better use of them. Use old maps to give your holiday gifts a world traveler feel. Typically, maps are printed using either a pastel color palette or an earth tone color palette. Make pastels pop using fresh flowers and bright bows. Earth tones benefit from natural fibers like twine, raffia and burlap. You can even make bows out of map paper which makes for a colorful and eco friendly gift wrap option. The sky’s the limit!

Fabric is probably the best way to green your gift wrapping because you can use it again and again. With a couple of strategic knots, it’s super easy to wrap up your gifts, requires no tapes or adhesives and the prints and patterns are pretty much endless! If you’er crafty, you can also make reusable gift bags too. Try using old sweaters, shirts, denim, blankets and even baby clothes to make creative gift wrappings. You can add buttons, flowers and ribbons to dress it up. Adding this little hand made touch makes your gift memorable and special.