Guest Post: Go Green with These 4 Gift-Wrapping Tips

I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.

Handmade gift wrap

Source: Handmade gift wrap by erika g., on Flickr” href=””


As the holiday season gears up into full swing, now is the time to start making your gift giving plans. Your task is twofold. Of course, it’s important to focus on the gift itself, but the manner in which you wrap your gift can make a big difference, too. Show your attention to conserving the environment with these gift wrapping tips.

Encourage Reuse

Statistics from RecycleWorks, a recycling program in San Mateo County California, note that Americans tend to be more wasteful in the weeks that span from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. In addition to all the discarded food from holiday parties, they mention that Americans throw away about four million tons of gift wrap and shopping bags throughout the year, and add about one million tons per week to landfills, just during the holiday season.

You can help make a dent in these statistics by wrapping your gifts in ways that will encourage recipients to reuse the wrapping material, instead of just throwing it away. For example, many retailers offer gift boxes that can match the gift inside. Cute color schemes, matching tissue paper and a bow to top everything off makes your recipient pay closer attention to the gift’s presentation and will hopefully cause them to want to open it carefully so that they can reuse the materials later.

Go Electronic

Holiday cards are a hugely popular way to signal the start of winter festivities. Instead of purchasing a physical gift for a friend this year, why not give them an electronic voucher that they can use to purchase an item of choice without the gift wrap?

Some websites simply allow people to purchase gift codes that get sent directly to a recipient’s inbox. This is convenient, but be careful about sending them to people who have strict spam settings in their mail service.

Shop Online

You can also be kinder to the environment by shopping online instead of wasting gas while driving around town. If you’re having trouble prying yourself away from your favorite social media site to get started on your holiday shopping, there are now ways to use them to discover the best gifts for your friends.

Many websites filter through your list of friends and give you recommendations about what to buy based on their interests. Sometimes, you can even use the service to secretly ask some of their friends if a proposed gift would be a smart bet.

Get Creative

As the holiday season approaches, many retailers get into the spirit by transitioning into new decorating themes in their stores and through their retail shopping bags. If you receive a bag that’s not quite appropriate for gift wrapping purposes, you might at least be able to use parts of it to make your holiday packages shine with a unique flair.

For example, seasonal phrases, movie quotes and holiday themed graphics are common parts of shopping bags that are distributed in the winter months. Embrace your crafty side by honing in on the most eye-catching parts of the bags, and repurposing them.

Although most people have an extra amount of stress placed on them because of the holiday season, try to temporarily remove yourself from the endless array of social obligations, shopping trips and hours of decorating and see how easy it is to put an environmentally-mindful spin on your gift wrapping efforts this year.

Nora Lanfield writes for craft blogs. If you have stacks of retail bags, read more about making Gift Boxes From Retail Packaging.

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