Every year my family reuses all of our gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons and bows that we received from the previous Christmas. As good as we are at reusing our gifts bags, we usually have to buy a handful of new bags because we tend to fall a few short. Last year, I decided that I wanted to wrap my presents with recycled materials. My family ordered a lot of gifts from Amazon and many of the packages came in boxes stuffed with butcher paper. I saved all of that butcher paper to wrap my gifts (yes, my family thinks that I’m a bit crazy sometimes). I also wrapped by gifts using the blank side of brown paper bags and small cloth bags. I like to doodle, so I decorated the gifts by hand and labeled the gifts directly on the paper to avoid having to use gift tags. It was awesome that I was able to use recycled materials to package my Christmas gifts last year, but this year I plan to expand my sustainable gift wrapping techniques. Check out my suggestions below!
- Last night I came across the coolest eco-friendly gift wrapping alternative ever, plantable wrapping paper! The paper is compostable and full of wildflower seeds.
- Make your gift bag part of the present. Put the gift in a tote which can later be used as a reusable shopping bag.
- Use cloth gift bags. These are usually much more durable than paper gift bags so they can be used over and over again!
- Wrap your present using recycled goods. Save everything from newspapers, boxes, packing paper, to paper bags. They’re great for storing and wrapping presents.
- Reuse gift bags, ribbons, bows, boxes and string that you were previously given. If you see that someone is throwing away their gift bags, offer to take if off their hands yourself. It hurts my heart when people throw away brand new gift bags after they’re done opening their presents.
- Wrap gifts using cloth. You can use scarves, shirts or any other nice material that you have. Here is a video that shows you how to wrap with cloth. (No tape needed!)
- Use ceramic or wood gift tags. If you take a look at the image above, you’ll see small ceramic tags. Assign a different symbol to each person in your family and tie the corresponding tag onto their present. Be sure to save the tags and use them again for the years to come!
- Create gift tags out of recycled materials. The past few years, my mom and I have cut up holiday themed scrapbook paper I bought when I was into scrapbooking 13 years ago, and created our own gift tags. This year, my grandma gave me a stack of National Geographic magazine. After I finish reading them, I’m going to cut up some of the pages with natural backgrounds into gift tags!
- Accessorize your gifts with natural materials. You can arrange pinecones, flowers, leaves, and sticks in pretty ways!
Stocking Stuffer Ideas
If you are giving a gift to someone who is new to green living or is not fond of making lifestyle changes, eco-friendly stocking stuffers are great way to encourage sustainable living. A small sustainable stocking stuffer, such as a collapsable straw or bar soap, may just be the kick start that they need! Below are a few stocking stuffer ideas:
- Fair Trade Candy
- Fair Trade Chocolates
- Shower Steaming Tablets ($3.50 each or 4 for $12)
- Lush Bath Bombs (starting at $5)
- Refillable Dental Floss ($8)
- Reusable K-Cups
- Bar Soap ($10)
- Lush Shampoo Bar (starting at $11)
- Collapsable Straw ($11)
- Bamboo Toothbrush ($11 for 4)
- To Go Ware Bamboo Utensil Set ($12)
- Reusable Facial Rounds ($14 for 16)
- Organic Plastic-Free Hair Ties ($15)
- PACT socks ($15 for 3 pairs)
- Ethique Hair, Body or Face Sampler ($16 to $19)
- Freedom Deodorant Trio Set ( $17 and you get to pick your scents)
- Plantable Pencils ($17 for 8 pencils)
- Nectar Bubble Scoops ($20 for 3)
- Biodegradable Phone Case (prices vary)