We love a beautiful gifting experience as much as the next person, but did you know that almost 5 million pounds of wrapping paper is produced in the US each year and over 2 million pounds of it ends up in landfills? Crazy, right?! So, let’s talk low-waste wrapping alternatives, because we’ve got options! AND hopefully you can gather some inspo to create a beautiful gifting experience with these low-waste wrapping alternatives.
Reuse and repurpose as much as you can.
Take inventory of what you already have. Repurpose shipping boxes and cut old greeting cards to make cute gift tags. Go on a hunt around your house for cute embellishments. The old-school mom tactic of saving gift bags, tissue paper and ribbons is finally going to pay off!
Create your own embellishments.
Speaking of embellishments, drying citrus can make a huge statement and it’s pretty easy. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees, slice your citrus into 1 cm + pat dry, stick them in the oven for about 4 hours, flipping every 30 minutes. Then, let them dry on a drying rack overnight and voila - a beautiful and fragrant embellishment. If you don’t use all that you make, put them outside in your birdfeeder for an extra special treat for your birdie friends. Other natural embellishment ideas include: dried greens, dried florals, clippings from an evergreen tree and dried berries.
Gift within a gift.
Another sustainable gift wrap option includes wrapping your gift within a gift. What the heck is that you ask? Use a cute tea towel to wrap your gift, or package your gift inside another useful vessel like a Stasher bag, produce bag or Talking Out Of Turn Tote Bag that your giftee can use again and again!
Decorative wrapping paper is still okay!
If you still prefer to purchase wrapping paper (no judgement here!), brown kraft paper makes amazing gift wrap - it’s sturdy, recyclable + compostable. It’s also easy to embellish into a simple, yet beautiful package. There are also a lot of great decorative wrapping paper options that are still recyclable. Try not to purchase any paper with glitter, and look for uncoated/matte papers. Some companies make wrapping paper out of recycled content and is FSC certified - this means the materials are sustainably forested. We sell some great options in each of our Koko locations.
Lastly, here are some more sustainable wrapping ideas we sourced from our amazing Koko community last year:
- Repurposing newspaper as wrapping
- Buying wrapping paper at thrift stores and estate sales
- Making gift tags from old magazines
- Using seed paper as gift tags
- Using the shiny inside of chip bags as wrapping
- Wrapping items with grocery paper bags and embellishing with markers and paint
- Using ads/mailers/junk mail as tissue paper
- Wrapping with fabric or sewing fabric bags that can be reused
- Foregoing gift tags by writing directly on packages with a chalk marker
Happy wrapping, friends!