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12 Green Alternatives to Gift Wrapping Paper

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12 Green Alternatives to Gift Wrapping Paper

As you’ve probably noticed, trashcans overflow after winter holiday festivities. Wrapping paper, bows, ribbons and boxes fill up a big portion of that too-stuffed trash bin. Ease the load going to the landfill by wrapping your gifts in repurposed items and reusable containers. Here are 12 great ideas to get your imagination rolling for preparing your presents and ensuring they’re something the recipient will never forget.

  • Reused Gift Bags
    Most of us have a stash of gift bags saved from presents we’ve received. Put them to good use and commit to using only gift bags instead of wrapping. Also, if you feel a gift bag isn’t finished without a filler like tissue paper, use a greener option–the shreds from your paper shredder!
  • Paper Grocery Bags
    You can create beautiful gift bags from materials found around the house. Decorate paper grocery bags with markers and crayons, or decoupage them with magazine cut-outs. Use it as wrapping paper or a gift sack. Put on the finishing touch with scrap ribbon from previous projects.
  • Reusable Cloth Bags
    Do you have scrap fabric lying around? Or maybe some old shirts you never wear but that have lovely patterns. Try your hand at some easy-sew cloth bags. Since you’re making them by hand, you can sew them to suit your needs. You can also design them to be practical for the recipient as a shopping bag. Your imagination is the limit.
  • Clay Pots
    Clay pots can make a present look extra interesting, and are a reusable item for the recipient. Place your gift in the pot, and use the drainage dish as the lid to hide the present from view. Tie it together with a reused ribbon, or strips of scrap fabric. You can also decorate the pot to personalize it using ceramic markers available at craft stores.
  • A Gift in a Gift
    One great way to make a gift extra special is to wrap it in another gift. A hand-knit scarf, a beautiful table cloth or runner, and hand-made purse or similar items are all great things to use for wrapping a gift within a gift.
  • Furoshiki
    This idea might be well combined with the “gift in a gift” suggestion. Furoshiki is a method of folding cloth into beautiful packages. Using a piece of beautifully printed cloth and a few knots in interesting places will create an eye-catching package.
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Read more: Christmas, Conscious Consumer, Crafts & Design, Green Gifts, Hanukkah, Holidays, Life, , , , , ,

By Jaymi Heimbuch, Planet Green

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Megan, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, and, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.


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3:20AM PDT on May 4, 2014

Thank you for sharing!

2:50AM PDT on May 4, 2014

Thank you for sharing idea

10:22PM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

Nice ideas! I use newspaper+magazine pages a lot. Thanks

1:42AM PST on Dec 23, 2013

Thank you :)

10:21AM PST on Dec 4, 2013

some great ideas! thanks

11:00AM PDT on Aug 19, 2013

Thank you.

10:46AM PDT on Jun 16, 2013

I have to agree with the cloth or gift within a gift idea. Sounds good. I think next Christmas I will give that a try.

4:00AM PDT on May 18, 2013

Gift Packing classes | Gift Wrapping courses |Trousseau Packing Classe

CSDO institute expertise in gift packing and gift wrapping courses in commendable and hence provides gift packing classes and courses in Delhi to help mankind

8:07AM PST on Feb 28, 2013


9:44PM PST on Jan 28, 2013

I love the idea of wrapping a gift with another gift...a tea towel or hand towel is an inexpensive good one! Recycling incoming wrap by shredding is a good idea as well. Thanks for the tips!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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