Low Waste Gift Wrap

I’m excited to welcome back Celia, who writes the blog litterless. Celia’s first contribution at the beauty in simple was her post on How to Get Started on Going Zero Waste. She inspires me with her ability to bring beauty to sustainability. Now, I have a few gifts to wrap, but before you get started with your gift wrapping, read on. 

Gift wrapping with an eye toward sustainability goes down much like anything else in the realm of zero waste – use a heaping dose of common sense, restraint, and recycled / compostable materials. I like the challenge of making beautiful packages with unusual ingredients, and the added bonus is that they fit my design sensibility better than conventional (garish) gift wrap anyway.

A few of my favorite tips for low-waste gift wrapping:

  1. Use upcycled materials from around your home as the wrapping material, focusing on ones that won’t go to the landfill after being unwrapped. Think tissue paper or brown kraft paper carefully saved from a purchase, or newspaper or pretty catalog paper if you still receive those. I hoard brown paper + tissue paper in a box all year round just for this moment.
  2. Decorate your gift with natural materials. A spring of holly, eucalyptus, fir, or a beautiful branch or twig from your garden can do the job of gussying up your package in lieu of a plastic bow. Either take them home with you to compost after the present has been opened, or let your recipient know how she can take care of it!
  3. Wrap in something that can be reused + is a gift in and of itself. A square of fabric quickly hemmed into a handkerchief, napkin, or furoshiki can be used again and again. I also like the idea of giving in cotton bento bags, drawstring bulk bags, or especially in glass jars.
  4. Skip it entirely. Pull the present out of your purse or tote or jacket pocket and hand it straight to the recipient. (When I do this, I like to hype it up a bit first: “Okay, I have your present! Are you ready?!).

What are your ways to reduce gift wrapping waste? I’d love to hear, and especially to see photographs of your beautifully wrapped, low-waste gifts. Happy holidays, and thanks so much for having me, Julie!

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