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Sustainable Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas

Perhaps it is from my time working in the wedding industry but I absolutely love wrapping presents and getting all creative with boxes and gift wrap but it is something that can be quite wasteful, especially if you’re using non-recyclable waste.  Its estimated that 2.3million pounds worth of plastic wrapping paper ends up in landfill every year.  However, there are ways of making sure you reduce the impact of what you leave behind whilst also having beautifully wrapped presents.  

My first port of call is always to reuse! I have a draw full of gift bags, boxes, ribbon and wrapping paper that has been passed between us and our loved ones over the years.  Each Christmas I love raiding the drawer to see what’s in there and reusing it- it’s become a bit of a household tradition!

Wrapping papers a bit more difficult to reuse unless you're one of those people who very carefully prises their presents open and successfully manages to protect the paper!  However, there are environmentally friendly options when it comes to gift wrap. If a wrapping paper has glitter or foil in it then it is not recyclable (the same counts for cards and gift bags) so try and avoid it. Likewise, if it is full of cellotape then it will also not be recyclable so switch the cellotape to kraft paper tape (and yes it is just as sticky!).  Kraft wrapping paper is also much better option for wrapping your presents as its natural, unbleached and compostable after use. You can generally pick up a large roll cheap enough.

Alternatively, consider using recycled wrapping paper. Our range of Re-Wrapped wrapping paper is designer led, produced using 100% recycled paper and available on our website now. Just make sure you recycle it again after use!

We also stock reusable cotton gift wraps from FabRap on the website. Made from 100% organic cotton fabric, which is soft yet durable to stand the test of time when handing from recipient to recipient for years to come.  When the time comes that its use is completely exhausted, cut it up into smaller pieces and pop it on the compost heap.

Another option is to reuse old newspapers as wrapping paper- practical and gives presents a real traditional feel.

A great craft activity for the kids is to reuse old cards and cut out your own gift tags from them.  A fun family activity and your presents will look super cute! When it comes to ribbons be careful not to choose ones made from polyester, nylon or polypropylene as these are all plastics that are derived from oil. Instead stick to more natural materials like jute, twine or cotton. 

Photo from www.foreverymom.com


There’s a few options when it comes to cards. Lots of people choose to donate to charity instead of purchasing cards and others may send e-cards.  If you’re sending Christmas cards then choose ones that are printed using vegetable based inks on either recycled cards or FSC certified card.

Using a lot of these methods, will also save you money in what can be an expensive time of year.  Ultimately its all about reusing, thinking creatively and avoid anything that will take years to degrade down. Happy wrapping!

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