Resourceful Gift Wrap Alternatives

Conscious Living Tips v December 17, 2015

No matter how great your gift is, the receiver will always see the wrapping first. However, with all the extra packaging, plastic and paper that come with shopping, it seems almost laughable to buy wrapping paper (that is also, of course, wrapped in plastic). There are countless alternatives for wrapping gifts this holiday season that leave almost no waste behind. Almost anything with a flat surface works – so get creative! Read on for our favorites ☺



What’s black and white with ribbon all over? Newspaper is a wonderful alternative for wrapping paper because it is super thin; therefore, super easy for your giftees to open! Opt for magazine pages (or covers!) for a more visually appealing treat. This method works best for books and boxed gifts.  


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Mason jar

For small or untraditionally shaped presents, try gifting them in a large (clean!) mason jar. Place a ribbon around the neck and voila! As most mason jars are clear glass, it is up to you if you want to cover the object inside or leave it open.



The Furoshiki method is a traditional Japanese technique, extending far beyond holiday gift-wrapping. In addition to a beautifully wrapped gift, Furoshiki is another great opportunity to use an actual present as your wrapping material. Before you send off that bag of clothes to Goodwill this season, look through it once for patterned, festive or fun-colored fabric! Check out the step-by-step technique below.



Reusable bag

Some of the best gifting happens when the wrapping is a gift in itself! Canvas or drawstring bags are perfect for this technique; they don’t distract from the gift inside, but the receiver will be grateful they get to keep it. If it doesn’t look “gifty” enough for your style, add ribbons, bows and gift-tags as much as you please!



If plain newspaper or magazines still seem boring to you, throw some stamps in the mix. This time, use old printer paper, old bills – seriously, any scrap paper you have lying around. Cover the pages in fun, festive (or not) stamps and wrap the present as you would with regular wrapping paper.


Aluminum foil

This has to be one of my person favorites. It is simple, fun, festive, recyclable – and you probably already have it in your home!



Natural accents

If you want to go all out on the eco-friendly wrapping, you are probably wondering what to use instead of ribbons. No matter what method you’re using from above, elements from nature are a great way to further decorate your gifts. Flowers, pinecone, twigs, leaves, tree bark – anything that doesn’t smell funky will look lovely atop eco-friendly wrapped gifts.



phoebe-gillan-photoPhoebe is from San Francisco, California and has lived in Manhattan for a year. She is studying Strategic Design & Management at Parsons School of Design, in her second year of their Bachelor of Business Administration program. When she’s not working on EcoHabitude’s blog or social media platforms, she loves to explore New York City rooftops, upcycle her clothes and learn new languages.


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