Gift Wrapping The Sustainable Way

by Suzan Ferreira
Wrap It Up! Gift Wrapping The Sustainable Way beautifully wrapped package with natural emblishments

Gift wrapping sustainably with these creative, green, eco-friendly idea’s will have you well on your way to a zero waste approach to the holiday’s.


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Tis’ the season for decking the halls to the sound of Bing Crosby’s “I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas”.  But as we begin the process of wrapping those thoughtful gifts, know that there are greener, more sustainable alternatives to wrap them in.  

Giving gifts wrapped in eco-friendly, alternative ways, brings the joy of giving to a whole other level for me.  It has always disturbed me seeing the amount of waste created each holiday season.  In researching alternative methods, it came to my attention that approximately 1/2 of paper consumed in the U.S. goes to gift wrapping and decoration.  This equals to about 5 million tons of waste each year according to Rubicon!  

There are many methods and ways to wrap your gifts more sustainably.  Here are just a few.


First and foremost, recycle any wrappings you receive.  If you can crinkle it up in a ball, it should go in the recycle bin.  Save your wrappings from gifts you receive to re-use!  You could call me somewhat of a wrapping hoarder (much to my husband’s dismay).  I save every bag that we receive to re-purpose.  If the wrapping is large enough and in relatively good shape, that is saved as well.  It’s a win-win as you save money, time and the environment.

Sharing Is Caring & I Thank You For It ❤️

Wrap It Up! Gift Wrapping The Sustainable Way pin for Pinterest


What do I mean?  Let the present be the wrapping.  For instance, fold clothing, shirts, t-shirts, robes, and pajamas, in unique ways and tie with raffia or twine, and add a tag.


Use clothing no longer needed.  Think men’s button-down shirts, pajamas, and t-shirts, cut to size and wrap, fold, or tie.  Scarves, shawls, and wraps can make a wonderful additional gift.

Wrap It Up! Textile

As an alternative, you can use the Japanese method of wrapping, Furoshiki.  Take brightly colored fabrics and simply tie the gift in unique and beautiful ways.  The Ministry of The Environment, Government of Japan has graciously shared this method with us all.  Visit their site and download a free PDF to have on hand.

Wrap It Up! Furoshiki Method Of Wrapping

Kitchen towels, tea towels, cloth napkins, and pretty dishcloths all make for usable and beautiful wrapping.

Wrap It Up! Tea Towels


Personalize the wrapping by selecting the medium most like the recipient’s likes, hobbies, and interests.

Use brown paper bags from the grocery store and tie with twine or string, especially nice for those who favor the farmhouse or rustic look.

Wrap It Up! Brown Paper Wrapping

Newspaper print can make a unique brightly colored wrap or a monotone colored one for the daily news readers in your life.

Wrap It Up! Newsprint

Old maps or atlas pages make an appropriate wrap for the wanderers and travelers you know.

Wrap It Up! Maps

Pages from magazines, un-wanted old books, and music pages are all wonderful alternatives to traditional wrap that can be an added as a personalized touch.

Wrap It Up! Book Pages


Who doesn’t love a wonderful basket?  They make the most beautiful presentation when gifting.  Fill with just about anything. Food, wine, kitchen wares, bath supplies, crafting supplies, and tools.  The list could go on.  Add a handmade bow and your set to go.

Wrap It Up! Baskets

These are just a few alternatives and sustainable gift wrapping ideas that are eco-friendly.  Creating beautifully wrapped packages from any of these methods will surely earn you a big thank you from the recipient, and from the environment as well.

Have additional ideas for wrapping that you’ve used?  Love to hear about them!  Share with us by commenting below.  

Which sustainable gift wrapping options will you be using this holiday season?

Love, Light, & Laughter ~

Signature of Suzan from It's My Sustainable Life

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Lisa, Casey, Barrett Dog December 5, 2022 - 6:36 pm

Thank you for sharing the different ways of gift wrapping. We did not even think about fabric!

Suzan Ferreira December 8, 2022 - 12:11 pm

My pleasure Lisa! I’m always looking for unique ways to wrap gifts in a sustainable way.

Cindy Moore December 5, 2022 - 3:53 am

I love these eco friendly gift wrapping ideas! Using fabric is such a nice touch.

Missy December 4, 2022 - 9:26 pm

I love that you provided the downloadable pdf to help with ideas on how to gift wrap in a sustainable way. I also enjoy reusing baskets to place gifts in.

Stacey Billingsley December 2, 2022 - 1:31 am

These are great! I am definitely into the rustic and natural looks for the holidays. I also like the maps and pages look. This has inspired me to be more creative in my gift-wrapping!

Lisa Manderino December 1, 2022 - 4:41 pm

Thanks! Great ideas for sustainable gift wrapping.

Barbara December 1, 2022 - 3:54 am

These are really creative, smart ideas! We do try to be conscious of these choices too! GIFT WRAPPING THE SUSTAINABLE WAY makes great sense.

Megan November 30, 2022 - 12:33 am

Not only are these sustainable ways to wrap gifts, but they are SO cute! I love the idea of wrapping things in an old map. That totally fits my style…AND I think I have some old maps laying around from past trips!

Sandi November 29, 2022 - 12:33 pm

I love the idea of using kitchen towels for gift wrapping sustainably. It is also thoughtfuly for the chef.

Lisa Lombardo December 30, 2019 - 6:04 pm

Great ideas, Suzan! Thank you for sharing with us on Farm Fresh Tuesdays! Happy New Year!

Carol@BlueskyatHome December 23, 2019 - 5:24 pm

Susan, thank you for sharing these great gift wrapping ideas at Happiness is Homemade LInk Party. I’m sharing as one of my weekly features on my Monday Memo newsletter. Merry Christmas.

Suzan Ferreira December 23, 2019 - 6:30 pm

Thank you so much, Carol! I appreciate the feature & for you taking the time to stop by!

Karren Haller December 19, 2019 - 4:43 pm

I have some baskets I was going to donate and now seeing your idea I will use one of them to create a present. I love the other sustainable wrapping ideas as well. Thanks for sharing on #ohmyheartsiegirls #omhgff last week which gives me the opportunity to feature your post! Be sure to stop by and share again!
Merry Christmas!

Suzan Ferreira December 19, 2019 - 8:34 pm

Thank you for reading Karren & for featuring the article. Love to hear when something resonates with a reader 🙂

Ann @ Live The Old Way December 18, 2019 - 2:35 pm

Thank you for sharing this with us at the Homestead Blog Hop. I’m just stopping by to let you know it has been chosen as one of our features this week! Happy wrapping! 🙂

Amy December 17, 2019 - 10:14 pm

What a great idea! Will use!

Marilyn Lesniak December 16, 2019 - 4:33 pm

Thank you for sharing at #ThursdayFavoriteThings. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Happy Holiday!

Rebecca Hastings December 13, 2019 - 11:59 am

Such fun ideas! I love that there are so many ways to wrap up a gift and offer another at the same time!

Tracy Foster December 7, 2018 - 2:02 am

Great post, love your ideas. I’d seen some, but some were new to me which I love!!

Suzan Ferreira December 7, 2018 - 12:26 pm

Thank you, Tracy! Hope you can try out some that are new to you.


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