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Sustainable Gift Wrapping (That Doesn't Look Like Garbage)

Sustainable Gift Wrapping (That Doesn't Look Like Garbage)

Wrapping presents is one of my favorite parts of the holidays because a beautiful wrap job can take a gift from drab to fab. But sadly, all that pretty paper most likely ends up in the landfill. When I learned that anything with glitter or metallic can’t be recycled, I decided to start the hunt for alternatives that would make Mother Earth proud and still look totally adorable.

Helpful tips to get you started:

    1. Use what you have.
      The best way to be sustainable is to use what you already have. Look around your house and I bet you’ll find plenty of supplies ready to go. 
    2. Less is more.
      Sustainable gift wrap naturally takes on a beautiful minimalistic vibe so no need to plaster bows everywhere. 
    3. Buy sustainable.
      If you need some wrapping materials, try buying things that can either be reused or recycled.

Ideas for sustainable gift wrapping:

zero waste gift wrap


This is so much easier than paper for those hard to wrap gifts! And if you think it’s going to look funny, rest assured it’s going to be gorgeous. The Japanese have been doing this for centuries and they have a keen eye for aesthetics. 

    • Tea towels (and it’s a gift in itself)
    • Fabric scraps
    • Vintage scarves
    • Old clothing you don’t wear

zero waste gift wrap


If you look around your house, most likely you’ll find some piles of paper. Now, before you go grabbing a stack of old bills, here are some better ideas to get you started.

    • Newspaper (one of my personal favorites)
    • Old magazines
    • Paper grocery bags (looking at your holiday bags, Trader Joe’s)
    • Kids artwork - perfect for grandparents 

zero waste gift wrap

Reusable Containers

Mamas never have enough storage. Consider using something that can be repurposed! 

    • Thrifted baskets
    • Glass jars
    • Bins or tubs
    • Reusable grocery bags

zero waste gift wrap


Now, here’s where you can make it pretty! If you have little girls like mine, you probably have tons to work with laying all over your house. 

    • Greenery clippings from your yard
    • Fabric scraps
    • Twine
    • Washi tape
    • Ornaments
    • Beads/gems from broken jewelry
    • Dried flowers
    • Cinnamon sticks

Whatever you use, have fun with it! There are plenty of options out there to keep your gifts looking glam while keeping Mother Earth (and your wallet) looking green. Happy gift wrapping, mamas!


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