4 Eco friendly gift wrapping ideas

Eco friendly living Gift ideas

If you’re looking for ways to ‘go green’ and reduce your impact on the environment, your gift wrapping is a great place to start.

Three wrapped gifts with text overlay

In the Christmas season here in the UK, we collectively throw away around 226,800 miles of wrapping paper each year, which is enough to stretch nine times around the world…


Unfortunately the wrapping paper that you can buy from the supermarket is very rarely recyclable as it is lined with a thin layer of plastic. Whilst you may put it into the recycling bin, it is doomed to end up in land fill eventually.

But don’t despair…

There are plenty of easy swaps to ensure your gift wrap is plastic-free, fully recyclable or even zero waste!

Read on for four simple eco friendly ideas to ensure your gift wrap is not going to end up in landfill.

1. Use recyclable wrapping

Gift wrapped in parcel paper with rosmary leaves

There are plenty of alternatives to the unrecyclable wrapping paper you buy in the supermarket, and you probably already have a lot of them lying around at home.

Here are some ideas for recyclable wrapping paper:

- Newspaper or brown parcel paper. If you have newspapers delivered, or even if you just buy one every now and again, newspaper makes great gift wrap as does recycled parcel paper.

Both can look very sophisticated paired with some natural twine and a sprig of rosemary!

- Scrap fabric. If you’re anything like me, stashed away in a cupboard upstairs you’ll have a big bag full of scrap pieces of fabric that you are saving up for a future project.

Pieces of fabric can make excellent gift wrap, especially if you follow the Japanese furoshiki method. The gift below has been wrapped using this method. Wrapping your gifts in this way is an art form in itself and can look really stunning. The fabric can then be reused by the recipient for gift wrap or for another project.

Gift wrapped with furoshiki fabric

2. Reuse what you already have

gift bag with peg and card

- Reusing wrapping paper you’ve saved from gifts you have received also counts as eco-friendly! By reusing it, you are reducing the need to use up new resources. If you don’t want to give up the beautiful gift wrapped look, make sure you save all the paper from your birthday gifts.

Also don’t forget to save the gift bags. These are great for wrapping a number of smaller gifts together so you don’t need copious amounts of paper and tape to wrap each gift individually.

3. Use washi tape instead of Sellotape

 washi tape rolls on notebooks

If you’re not acquainted with the joys of washi tape you need to get some and start having some fun with it! There are many uses for washi tape, but one of its huge benefits is that it is 100% biodegradable and can be recycled along with paper.

The Sellotape we are accustomed to use to wrap gifts is made of plastic and therefore cannot be recycled.

Washi tape comes in all sorts of patterns and colours and can be used to secure your wrapping if you are using recycled paper or newspaper. It can also be used as a decoration in itself.

4. Decorate your gifts with leaves and flowers.

Kraft gift boxes with purple flowers and twine

The traditional decorations we use such as ribbons and bows tend to be made from plastic and are not recyclable.

It’s very easy to make your gift wrapping beautiful by using simple flowers and leaves.

A simple collection of wild flowers from the garden, a sprig of rosemary, or a frond of lavender can be secured to your gift with some natural twine for a beautiful eco look.

Kraft gift with flowers and gift tag

Older Post Newer Post

  • The Lettering Tree on

    Lynne – I totally agree! It can look so sophisticated – and much cheaper too :)

  • Lynne on

    Love these ideas!! Brown paper is the way forward!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published