1. Reusable Gift Bags
- Many companies are now offering reusable bags or sacks to be used instead of wrapping paper.
- WrapSacks adds something special, by including a tracking number allowing you to see where the bag has been and where it goes.
- Patagonia also has great gift bags made from leftover fabric but you’ll have to call them to get them.
- Make your own out of fabric scraps or old flannel sheets.
- Now that reusable shopping bags are everywhere, choose a nice one from your favorite store and gift it.
2. Recycled Aluminum as Wrapping Paper
- It’s shinny, recycled, and after the package is opened, you could use it to bbq.
3. Outdated or Surplus Maps
- My mom has a drawer full of old maps from family trips taken when I was young. With the advent of GPS, paper maps are becoming less necessary so I wouldn’t feel too bad turning these into gift wrap and show someone where you’ve been!
4. The Wrap is a Gift
- Giving a scarf, blanket or towel? Use it to wrap another gift and tie with a piece of hemp or twine.
5. Brown Paper Bags
- Turned inside out, a paper bag makes a great wrapping material.
6. Newspaper / Funnies
- Ever since I can remember, my grandma has used the comics to wrap our presents!
7. Green Package Padding
- Our friends recently bought a paper shredder which is perfect for creating padding for packages from junk mail. I wouldn’t recommend buying one for this purpose alone, but chances are you know someone with one or have one at work.
8. Re-Purposed Gift Bags
- The bags that new sheets come in, burlap sacks from rice, or the plastic ones from citrus - find a new use for what otherwise might be thrown away.
9. Eco Gift Paper
If you must abide by tradition and use gift paper, here are some green choices
- Banana fiber paper made from wasted bark from banana production.
- Recycled Wrapping Paper printed using soy-based inks.
- Flower Seed Holiday Wrapping paper from Real Goods - biodegradable and ready to plant.