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Furoshiki gift wrap

Eco-friendly Wrapping Paper Alternatives

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If you are a parent or you’ve hosted family for the holiday, you know that the season of giving doesn’t end when the last gift is unwrapped. It ends when the last pieces of plastic, cardboard, and paper are out at the curb.

In the UK alone, consumers use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year.

Are you interested in giving less to the landfills this year? Here are some ideas for eco-friendly wrapping paper alternatives.


All of those stockings hung by the chimney with care are excellent eco-friendly gift wrap options. You don’t need wrapping paper for presents that fit in stockings, so to reduce waste make sure not to double up. 

On the topic of stockings, socks can be great wrapping options for small items like jewelry. Choose a cozy, holiday-themed pair for a useful, waste-free gift wrap.


You might be tempted to purchase gift cards and place them in holiday cards. But for an eco-friendly wrapping paper alternative, digitize them instead. 

Most stores have electronic gift cards or certificates that don’t use paper or plastic (and are harder to misplace). “Wrap” them up in an email and the recipient still gets to “open” them.


Furoshiki are traditional Japanese fabric wrapping cloths. They are reusable, versatile, and creative. Once you’ve tried this gift-wrapping art, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to wrap even the most oddly shaped present. 

Learn more about how to tie Furoshiki here, and all the gifts you give this year will be eco-friendly and beautiful.

Old papers

Do you get a newspaper delivered to your home? Are there unused road maps in your car? How many coloring book pages are on your refrigerator? 

Think of how fun and environmentally friendly it would be for a gift recipient to have a present wrapped in the Sunday comics, a map of a famous city, or a crayon drawing of a dinosaur.


If you think about the gift you’re giving, you might be able to come up with a corresponding “container,” like a box or jar, to put it in. They are incredibly versatile, which means the recipient of your gift is likely to reuse the container it’s “wrapped” in instead of throwing it away.

A few ideas might be candies or cookies in a tin or mason jar, books in a fabric tote bag, or spa items, wrapped in a towel, in a basket.

Just a bow (or no wrapping at all)

Potted plants, bottles of alcohol, or candles would look lovely with a simple ribbon or no wrapping. And while it might seem unconventional, according to AP News, “nearly two-thirds [of U.S. respondents] said they would happily receive gifts without wrapping.” 

If you want to be creative with just bows, here are 25 Ways to Wrap Ribbon and Bows on Gifts.

No matter which method you choose, we hope you and the recipients of your gifts are happier with these environmentally friendly options for gift wrap.

Happy gifting!

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