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Sustainable Christmas gift wrapping ideas

Woman wrapping Christmas present with recycled paper

How good a present-wrapper are you? We all love the surprise element of giving

gifts and watching our friend or family member reveal their present for the first time

under perfectly chosen stylish or fun gift wrap.

But, for some people, wrapping presents can be just as stressful as shopping for them in the first place. In fact, I know some family members who only buy boxed items because they are easier to wrap – you can forget anything odd-shaped, no matter how suitable it is for the recipient! And the other factor causing stress is, should we really be spending money and resources on paper that is just

going to go to waste?

Here are some more sustainable ideas to reduce your stress over Christmas present


1. Use cheap brown paper from a sustainable source. Brighten up the package with

coloured strips of cloth or ribbons from recycled fabrics – or create your own patterns with paint and felt pens, dried or fresh flowers, last-year’s cards, or other items you’ve been storing in that drawer in the kitchen!

2. Use calico or cheesecloth and tie up with string – all products that can be recycled at a later date.

3. Make your own edible gifts and put them in glass containers. Make your own gift tags from recycled cardboard and string.

4. Recycle your subscription magazines and newspapers into a clever collage on butcher’s paper or recycled wrapping paper.

5. If you’ve kept delivery boxes, shoe boxes and gift boxes throughout the year, you can repurpose them at Christmas time for an instant container. No need to wrap – simply brighten up with hand-made stars, Christmas trees and other motifs, snipped out from fabric, magazines or other recyclable paper and card.

6. Buy local – If you purchase locally produced goods, chances are that their creative makers will already gift wrap and box the item for you using their ethically and sustainably sourced suppliers.

7. Give plants! There’s no need to wrap a lime tree or orchid plant. They are beautiful just as they are. And you can make your own gift cards, decorated with dried orange slices or flowers.

8. Avoid wrapping altogether – go digital! Gift your friends and family with charitable donations, theatre tickets, online or print subscriptions, or gift cards. No need to get all messy printing off email receipts – simply make your own gift vouchers for the items using good old-fashioned cardboard and felt pen. Combine with a homemade cupcake or cookie and you’ll still achieve the surprise factor without the leftover litter!

Wishing you a very happy holiday season, and we're looking forward to sharing more sustainable ideas in the new year!


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