Repackaging the Holidays, Low-Waste Gift Wrapping Tips

Happy Holidays everyone! Tis the season for gift giving, but sadly it is also the season for hard-to-recycle wrapping paper to fill up the landfills. So we at Rust and Fray have compiled a quick list of zero-waste and low-waste wrapping ideas that’ll be a perfect way to package any gift this season. Enjoy!

Wrapping Alternatives

Eco-Friendly Wrapping Paper - Brands like Wrappily and Green Field Paper will do the work for you for sustainable wrapping

Non-Shiny Wrapping Paper - The issue with wrapping paper that makes it hard to recycle is most of the shiny things, such as glitter, aluminum foil. Check out this quick recycling test thanks to Recycle Now!

Reuse Old Newspaper - If you still get newspapers in the digital age, it’s fantastic wrapping paper

Reuse Paper Bags - If you don’t have canvas bags and went paper over plastic, get an extra use out of it by cutting it into wrapping paper

Reuse Bags as is with Tissue Paper - Lots of gifts come in bags anyway, and tissue paper is easily Recyclable

Old Phonebooks and Maps - In general just check your junk drawers for outdated bits of paper.

Fabric - Go completely zero-waste by upcycling and old patterned piece of clothing into a reusable wrapper.

The Box It Comes It - Many Gifts, especially clothes, often come in a box already. Why wrap the already boxed item? Just cover the label with decorations if need be?

Tins - What can be more holiday that a beautiful and reusable tin?

Mason Jars - The WD-40 and duct tape of the zero-waste world.

Decorations and Tape Alternatives

Reusable Ribbons - Cloth ribbons are gorgeous and can be used year after year. And if you don’t already have them, upcycle an old piece of clothes

Twine - Obviously how to properly dispose twine will depend what the material of your twine is made out of, and twine can be dangerous to animals if just thrown out, but a nice natural twine still makes for a gorgeous and reusable decoration if you don’t tie it too tightly.

Origami Skills - If you’ve a bit of origami skills you can gift wrap with paper without needing any tape!

Pine Tree Twigs, Holly Berries, and Other Natural Decorations - A backyard or a walk in the park is all you need to find holiday themed decorations on your presents. Just be sure to make sure they’re not poisonous if you have small children or four legged housemates.

Little Bells - They’re lovely and vintage.

Gift Alternatives

Donate in their Name - I’m particularly fond of Oxfam’s gift donation program. Instead of donating just for a cause, your donation buys a specific farm animal or piece of equipment for someone to build independent income, build up infrastructure, or aid in education instead of a simple handout. And plus it’s super cute to say you bought someone a goat.

Go Electronic - E-books, music downloads, digital movies, digital programs, there are plenty of gifts to wow someone that don’t need to be wrapped.

Classes or Services - Similarly, those fancy yoga classes, that sweet foot massage, or concert tickets are all still fantastic gifts that don’t come in a box.


Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article and want to keep up with more, follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Journal Page. Happy Holidays!


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