Green Up Your Gift Wrap!

If you’re interested in keeping your holiday waste to a minimum, there are several ways to go green when it comes to choosing your gift wrap. Instead of buying new wrapping paper this year, check out the options below that can help you recycle, reduce and reuse. They can be more creative and fun for the recipient.

Re-purpose Your Sunday Paper

Here’s some news you can use: Cut down on newsprint waste by reusing last week’s newspapers. By some estimates, one-third of all newsprint goes straight to landfills, trashing the equivalent of about 40 million trees. If you have lots of old newsprint lying around the house, put it to use wrapping your holiday goodies.

Try adding brightly-colored stamps to plain black-and-white newsprint for a charming, homemade gift. Simply add a matching bow or ribbon to give it a finished look. Newspaper gift wrapping can actually look rather sleek and sophisticated if executed correctly.

If using the gift wrapping for children’s gift, you may consider using the colorful comics to make the present look more animated.  Similar ideas include using pages from your children’s old picture books and sheet music as gift wrapping options.

Warning: When you use about any kind of printed wrapping paper: the inks and foils used in wrapping paper may contain chemicals that become toxic when burned. If you can’t reuse the paper, don’t burn it: recycle it

Go rustic with butcher paper

Plain, brown, butcher paper may not seem too exciting, but it is biodegradable, which puts it head and shoulders above most wrapping paper.  Plus, it is ridiculously easy to decorate.  Use woodsy stamps, some twine, and a pinecone or two on top to give it a bit of texture, pattern, and color.  And lucky for you, the old-timey, homey look is in fashion (as is protecting our planet from pollution).

Brown Paper Bags

You may have very well already converted to fabric, reusable tote bags to do all of your grocery shopping and thus may not have brown paper bags in your home, but if you have not quite made the transition yet, large brown paper grocery bags can serve as some great “classic looking” gift wrapping.

Granted you want to cover the store’s logo and spruce it up a little—adding some outdoor elements like twigs, flowers and shells can make it look extra special. You can even tie some hemp or natural twine and create a bow. Another good idea is to simply let your children draw or paint on it to give it more of a personal touch.

Old Road Maps

If you have a friend who particularly likes to travel, using old road maps as gift wrapping is a fun, creative way to gift wrap a present, not to mention it’s educational too —it can teach the recipient about cities, roads, landmarks or areas of historical interest located within their state, perfect for a small child.

It can even be extremely sentimental as well—perhaps you and the recipient went on a road trip somewhere or the portion of the map shows the city where the recipient grew up. Then again, it doesn’t have to be personal at all, it can just be a really cool-looking map.

Kitchen towels

Ideally, made from organic cotton, but anything reusable is a good choice


Rather than wrap an entire box, tie a decorative scarf around the box and attach a tag made from a recycled gift card

Because not everything can be gift wrapped, don’t forget about using old mason jars, tins or baskets to place oddly shaped gifts in. Again, with a little decorative touch, these old items can make fabulous packaging. So that the recipient is still surprised of the contents inside, you can still cover the Mason jar in some fabric for example.

What are your ideas for green wrapping? Share them with our readers in the comment section below.

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