Eco-friendly gift wrap is an important way to make the winter holidays much greener. The wasted resources and piles of trash produced by traditional paper wrapping can sometimes make me feel like a Grinch, but I’m always jolly using eco-friendly gift wrap options. Reusable gift wrap is my favorite, but sometimes when time is short, I just look to the recycling bin for some eco-friendly disposable gift wrap.
Newspapers and Sunday comics are a classic choice for recycled gift wrap. They actually have a cute vintage feel all on their own, but twine, ribbon, and bows can all add a festive holiday flourish. You can even make a very nice bow out of the newspaper its self. News print paper tears nicely into strips because it has a grain. Armed with a stack of newspaper strips and a stapler, all shapes and sizes of decorative bows are possible. These newspaper bows top off eco friendly gift wrap perfectly.
Paper grocery bags are a good choice for recycled paper to wrap gifts as well. Their Kraft brown color and very sturdy weight makes them a perfect choice for eco friendly gift wrap. I recommend cutting them apart and using them like traditional wrapping paper, with the printing to the inside, for the most classic look. On the other hand, my older brother has been known to just put the gift in the bag, and then duct tape the flap down. This works too, if it’s the look you’re going for!
Cereal boxes and other cardboard packaging might seem like a tacky choice, but it’s downright classy looking if you take the box apart and turn the plain brown side to the outside. I like to make a pouch or envelope from cereal boxes by removing the top and bottom flaps, turning the box to the wrong side, and flattening it. Then I sew the open ends closed with my sewing machine. To sew through the thick cardboard appropriately, a denim needle, long stitch length, and thick cotton thread are required. The natural brown of the packaging paired with the rustic looking stitching makes homey and beautiful recycled gift wrap.
Empty food containers, like peanut butter jars or the trays from frozen meals are a very nice way to present food gifts. Of course, for sanitary reasons, these should be washed out and saved before they’re thrown into the recycling bin. I like to use the small trays from frozen foods to hold cookies or fudge, then slide the whole thing into a cute cellophane bag. This is neat and professional looking recycled gift wrap, both of which should be the goal when wrapping food gifts. Glass jars, like those from Smuckers Peanut Butter, are a very good choice for recipes of gifts in a jar, like cookies and soups. These recycled jars are just right for eco friendly gift wrap of food gifts.
Paper towel and toilet paper tubes may seem like unlikely candidates for gift wrap, but they are useful for small items and can be transformed a few different ways to give recycled gift wrap an unexpected twist. Toilet paper tubes filled with candy and wrapped in colorful recycled paper looks like a giant version of the candy inside. Small toys can be stacked into a paper towel tube, and both short and long cardboard tubes are cute with the ends flattened and sewn shut to give them a new shape for eco friendly gift wrap.
Calendar pages, magazine pages, and catalog pages are all good choices when it comes to recycled gift wrap. Calendar pages usually come closest to approximating traditional paper gift wrap because they don’t have printing to interfere with the pretty pictures, so saving used calendars makes wrapping gifts in paper eco-friendly. Magazine and catalog pages shouldn’t be overlooked as a good source of recycled gift wrap, though. It is especially cute to wrap a gift in the magazine review or catalog advertisement for the item its self. This is a fun and subtle hint to the recipient of what’s inside the package.
There are many ways for recycled eco friendly gift wrap to look classy and take very little time to prepare as well. Let the recycling bin be the first stop for gift wrap materials.