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How to Wrap Gifts – The Green Way: Eco-friendly Ways of Wrapping Presents

A beautifully packaged gift is always a pleasure to give and receive. However many store bought packaging is not recyclable so use these simple eco friendly ways of creatively wrapping presents for any occasion. The best materials for wrapping presents are found at home. Have a box to keep pretty items such as ribbons, papers, old fabrics and broken jewellery that can be used when decorating gifts. It is also useful to make templates of any gift boxes received so new boxes can be made. Make it fun and more personal by spending a day at home with any children finding unique ways of wrapping presents.

Wrapping Paper Alternatives

Shiny gift wrap is not very green as it doesn’t biodegrade well. Create a unique wrapping paper by using a roll of 100% recycled paper and then decorating with a carved potato stamp and non-toxic poster paints. Holiday shapes can be used or things can be written with a paintbrush. Fun effects can be created by splattering paint on paper with a paintbrush. You can reuse old maps, comic book pages, leftover wallpaper and anything that has some colour. Ditch sellotape when wrapping gifts by folding and creasing carefully. A drop of candle wax can be used to stick paper together, or ribbon/ string can keep the gift looking tidy.

Alternatives to wrapping paper are:

  • Fabric (useful for bottles and unusual gift shapes)
  • Coffee Jars
  • Reusable baskets
  • Handmade gift boxes or bags made from recycled material

This Printable Box Template is useful if you are making your own boxes. Bags are easy to make and can be made to the size of the gift.

Alternatives to wrapping paper

Alternatives to wrapping paper

Plastic Ribbon Alternatives

The widely available curling plastic ribbon is not recyclable. Eco friendly alternatives include raffia, string, yarn, wool, reclaimed fabric trims, an elastic beaded necklace or even reused plastic coated telephone wires. These can end up making a very eye-catching decoration!

Coffee jars can be decorated beautifully and means a green present can be gifted such as hand-baked cookies. Bow alternatives Instead of using a plastic bow to finish off a wrapped gift, a pretty decoration such as a brooch, buttons, feathers or eye catching gift tag can be used. Pretty eco friendly gift tags can be made using scraps of fabric stitched together and attached to recycled card. They can be made to match the wrapped gift.

Wrapping gifts is fun, and finding eco-friendly ways helps to save both money and the environment. Reduce, reuse and recycle when finding green methods to wrap presents.

Tim Wildes
Insightful articles on the environment, pollution, energy, recycling, green living, climate change and much more
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