When you order something online or it comes pre-packaged that can be wasteful enough, but add in any wrapping and the holiday season turns into piles of trash ready for the landfill. No one wants to ruin the surprise so consider these less wasteful options to the traditional wrapping.
This is the first year I have invested in gift sacks. They come in all sizes and are colorfully decorated for the season. They can be reused over and over again and are super easy to use. I have to give my mom credit on this one, she has been using them for a couple years now, she found all the wrapping was too time consuming and painful for her so even if you are not on a waste-less journey consider this for the ease and cost savings.
Gift bags are a common wrapping item amongst traditional wrapping. If you use gift bags be sure to reuse them, they can be used over and over again and I find most people think to reuse these items. I find my family and friends will actually keep them so they can reuse them. A better option to the traditional wrapping.
Another great method is fabric wrapping. This can be done with any kind of fabric and you can find a variety of videos on YouTube like this one shown above that will show you how to fold and tie the fabric into a pretty package.
If you find comfort in the wrapping process you can use old newspapers to wrap your gifts. Just be sure to use paper tape when wrapping since paper tape can be recycled. Have a bag ready to collect the paper to recycle yourself if away from home or confirm your friends or family have a recycle bin you can move it to so it doesn’t accidentally get put in the trash.
Decorative Boxes or Tins
There is no reason you would need to wrap a box that is already decorated, so stock up on a couple different sizes and use these for items like clothing. Skip the tape, simple and reusable!
I found many great tins at second-hand stores that need a good wash and are ready for the next use. And they are not limited to food items, if your gift fits, use it.
Bows, Ribbon and Gift Tags
Most bows and ribbon are not recyclable. If you are looking to buy something new, try natural twine instead of ribbon. Just be sure it is natural fibers or it could include plastic. Try fabric in place of a plastic bow. If you still have plastic bows around, reuse them. They can be re-taped to new packages to be used over and over again. Another accent item you can use in place of a bow is leaves and other plant stems.
If you can get paper gift tags instead of the stickers this is a better solution, you can tie these to packages with twine or use paper tape to tape them on. The best thing you can do is understand what materials you are working with and if they have a better end of life.