Green Christmas: Sustainable Wrapping Ideas
Zero Waste Christmas
Christmas wrapping paper and all the ribbons, bows and glitter that come with it, can be a pretty wasteful affair. It’s been estimated that 277,000 miles of wrapping paper will go to waste over the Christmas holidays (Biffa Dec 2018). In many areas, wrapping paper can’t be recycled and therefore mountains of waste is being created each year that is destined for landfill. Many families are looking to have a more eco-friendly and green Christmas, and a simple switch to recyclable wrapping paper and paper tape is a great place to start.
There are so many alternative ways in which you can wrap gifts. You certainly don’t need to compromise on style, and there are plenty of options that are perfect for people on a tighter budget.
Some of our Babipur team and friends have shared their favourite ways to be more sustainable with gift wrapping this Christmas…
Kristina – Cloths & brown paper
This year I’m wrapping some of our gifts in cotton cloths, which will be turned into beeswax wraps after. No tape, nothing to be recycled, so totally zero waste! Some of our other gifts will be wrapped in brown paper and decorated with nature’s treasures in the form of pinecones, twigs and the odd stalk of rosemary, the kids have also made clay decorations which will go on the Christmas tree when their duty of decorating gifts is over. Again, no tape, only string and paper, and organic decorations.
Hannah – Brown paper and recycled christmas card tags
We like to have a simple, green Christmas, with as little waste as possible. I like to use simple brown paper that can be recycled and save ribbons for wrapping each year. I use pinking shears to cut out tags from old Christmas cards, and attach them with raffia and some natural decorations like pine cones, fir, or dried grasses.
Amy – Make your own
We decided to make our own wrapping paper his year as it was a great way to use what we already have at home. It’s a lovely activity to do with the kids and I know they will love seeing the wrapping paper under the tree. It’s adds such a lovely personal touch to people’s gifts too.
Jo – Brown paper packages tied up with…wool!
This year I’m keeping things simple for my gift wrap for Christmas. I’ve been saving all my packing paper from deliveries and all I’ve bought is some recycled string (available from your local yarn or hardware store) to tie them securely. Finally I’ve added some handmade leaves, crocheted from recycled cotton for a festive finishing touch!
Siobhan – For the less organised out there!
Okay, eco wrapping. The idea may seem wonderful, and you might really want to jump on board, but you might also be one of those super disorganised people who have a wonderful hypothetical list of magnificent things to do…that you never quite get around to.
I’m one of those people.
However, eco wrapping is actually a friend to us scatterbrained folk. How many times have you lost the tape (or forgot to buy it entirely)? ‘Oops! I’ve only got birthday wrapping paper. This won’t cut it for Christmas’ – sound familiar? Here’s my top tips…
Some white paper from the boys’ craft cupboard (no glitter or foil like a lot of wrapping papers so it can be recycled…or even find its way back in to the crafts cupboard). No need to use tape, just a longer scrap of random material to hold the paper folds in place and a ribbon to secure it all properly.
More random fabric that was knocking about around the house. I didn’t have a large enough piece to cover the full bottle so I added a second piece and tucked the first bit in to it. I think it actually looks fancier that way!
Lastly, this is my favourite lazy trick for eco wrapping – CLOTHES!
The big gift here is actually wrapped using an old Christmas jumper I found in the back of my wardrobe and the square box is a Grapat box wrapped in a scarf and tied with string.
These are best for gifts given within the household so clothes can easily find their way back to the cupboard after they’ve been opened, but this is a god send at 2am in Christmas morning when you suddenly realise you’ve run out of wrapping paper (not that I’ve ever experienced such an even, of course *cough*).
Heather – Furoshiki (fabric wrapping)
I’ve been pretty much exclusively using fabric to wrap for the last three years. I do have some cotton ‘christmassy’ themed fabric which I’ve hemmed in different sized squares, and is now on it’s third year. I also love trawling charity shops looking for pretty scarfs and fabric to use for wrapping.
Honestly – it’s the easiest wrapping you will ever do! Awkward shapes and sizes are a worry of the past, everything looks beautiful when wrapped in fabric. My friends and family all know my love for fabric wrapping, and so just hand it back to me once the gift has been opened. Worried that your kids will miss out on tearing the paper wrap from a gift? Fear not! My kids absolutely love untying the fabric to see what awaits.
You can also find some pretty gorgeous double sided fabric wraps out there, which I can assure you will be met with lots of “Oooo and Ahhhhs” when you present your gifts to friends and family.
Fabric wrapping – simple, sustainable and oh so pretty.
Gemma – Socks and muslins
In my house we love finding new uses for things. Socks makes the perfect wrap for a shiny new Klean Kanteen and muslins are perfect for wrapping awkwardly shaped gifts! It is lovely knowing that the wrapping can be part of the gift and be useful afterwards.
If you planning to gift people some home made treats, Keep Leaf sandwich bags are the perfect wrap and can make up part of the gift, it’s an all round winner.
We would love to hear your ideas for having a green Christmas and reducing waste in the festive season! xx