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Eco Friendly Gift Wrapping

Trash Talkin’ Eco Wrapping Options

Here’s some figurative coal for your stocking: It’s estimated that between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Americans produce 25 million tons of garbage – about one million extra tons per week. This includes things like food waste, but gift-wrapping and packaging are also major culprits for the excess. So while holiday shopping sprees are pretty much a foregone conclusion, the resulting waste doesn’t need to be.  

Instead of wallowing in snowflake-printed tissue paper, we’re sharing some of our favorite eco-friendly wrapping options.

 

NEWSPAPERS

Ok, eye roll. You knew we’d do this one. But seriously, thanks to their sturdy composition and ready availability, newspapers make wonderful wrapping paper.

With that said, nobody wants to receive a gift with a depressing piece of news or their least-favorite politician grinning back at them, so be sure to select your ‘papes wisely. I love wrapping presents using themed sections as my guide: The Food section for a knife set or the Sunday Book Review for a new hardback.

(Pro tip: If you’re wrapping unboxed clothing in newspapers, skip this tip. The ink will rub off on the fabric and could ruin it. Do not fear, better choices are ahead.)

 

OLD FABRIC

Anything goes with this one, although I prefer to go one of two routes. One, I opt for quality decorative textiles in interesting materials, such as an old lace hankie or a discarded linen tablecloth. This is particularly nice for delicate items, such as a silk shirt or ceramics.

Two, I go quirky, using funny t-shirts as part of the gifting experience. Need an example? A couple of years ago I wrapped a box set of Animal House for my dad in a “COLLEGE” t-shirt. He just loved it.

 

MASON JARS OR OTHER OLD GLASSWEAR

Mason jars are fantastic eco gift-wrap options, particularly with items like jewelry. I like the shallow, wide-mouthed ones (like these) for that purpose, because the person can then use it to store the item moving forward. I also think old jam jars are a great option here – plus, then you get to eat a bunch of jam. Mmmm.

 

HOLLOWED OUT CANDLE JARS

If you’re giving someone makeup – or makeup brushes – this is for you. A hollowed out candle is a fantastic way to store those items and it makes a beautiful package as well. Pro tip: To clean the candle jar, use a spoon to dig out any remaining wax and then pop it into the dishwasher (or if dishwasher-free, soak in really, really hot water and then quickly wash with soap).

 

LEFTOVER WALLPAPER

So, I don’t have wallpaper because I rent my apartment and that’s just that. BUT I found this suggestion online and I had to share it. I think there’s something really sophisticated about a gift that’s been wrapped in wallpaper; it adds this weightiness to the item and just seems like such an adult power-move.  

…Hence why I don’t have any wallpaper.

Jokes aside, from what I understand everyone ends up buying too much wallpaper – and has scraps leftover – so this is a pretty neat solution. Hats off to grown-ups!  

 

CANVAS BAGS

What’s better than receiving a gift? A gift that comes in a bag that you can use, duh! I’m talking about good old-fashioned cotton canvas bags, which you can pick up just about anywhere. If you want to get a little more fancy, this option from Everlane – roomy, with a zip pocket – is a gift in itself. Buying something smaller (like an S.W. Basics Salve)? Consider gifting it in our Libby Vanderploeg Cosmetics Bag.

 

Wait. I want this.

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