Try These Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas For the Holidays

Anonymous Person Holding One of Many Gift Boxes on a Green Background


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Gift box

Wrap Battle

Exchanging presents is one of the best parts of the holidays, and finding the perfect wrapping paper is important. Unfortunately, almost all the glittery ribbons and shiny, metallic papers bought at shops contain plastics that are not recyclable. Each year, approximately 4.6 million pounds of wrapping paper is made in the U.S., and about 2.3 million pounds of it ends up in landfills, according to Earth911. If you're thinking, "yikes," and looking for sustainable (but still attractive) options to wrap gifts in, here are 10 creative and eco-friendly ideas to consider. 

Prices and availability are subject to change. 

Related: Gifts for $50 or Less

Hallmark Gift-Wrapping Paper

Hallmark's Recyclable Christmas Wrapping Paper

$13 for three rolls

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Hallmark's recyclable sheets are made of paper from well-managed forests in the U.S. and Europe. They still have the company's signature marked lines on the reverse side to help cut perfectly straight lines every time. The three rolls amount to a total of 90 feet. 

Related: Gifts Under $25 for Food Lovers

Brown Kraft Gift-Wrapping Paper

100% Recycled Brown Kraft Paper Roll

$16 for 150 feet

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Ideal for those with an artsy side or looking for more personal gift-giving, this is 150 feet of brown paper made with 100% recycled material you can customize to your heart's content. Try using only pens and markers to decorate; plastic ribbons and bows are not recyclable. 

Reusable Beeswax Food Wrappers

Reusable Beeswax Wraps

$19 for a pack of three

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Ditch single-use plastic for these cute wraps — usually used for keeping food fresh — made of beeswax. Ideal for gifting desserts or casseroles, the wraps are worth some experimenting. They're environmentally friendly and stay flexible after many uses as long as you follow the wash instructions closely. 

Pre-Seeded Gift Wrap Kit

Seed-Embedded Wrapping Paper

$11 for four gift wraps

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Ideal for aspiring gardeners or anyone with a green thumb, this wrapping paper is made of wildflower seeds that can actually be planted in soil to produce beautiful flowers. Though online reviews note that the material is stiffer than traditional wrapping paper, it's a good eco-friendly and affordable option. 

Boao Burlap Gift Sacks

Reusable Burlap Gift Bags

$13 for 35 bags

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These small drawstring bags are durable, washable, and reusable — with 35 bags per set, you'll have plenty for a big giving list or holidays to come. Designed with festive patterns such as reindeers, snowflakes, and stars, these cute burlap sacks can also be used as a shopping bag so you can cut back on single-use plastic. 

Water Leaf Co. Dissolvable Wrapping Paper
Water Leaf Paper Co.

Dissolvable Wrapping Paper

Starting at $15 

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Made from plant fibers and water-based inks, Water Leaf Paper's products are fully compostable and biodegradable. After being discarded, they break down and return to their natural form, like "a leaf that falls off a tree." The paper itself is sturdy, and can be made to custom measurements.

Furoshiki Gift Wraps from Wrappr

Reusable Fabric Gift Bags from Wrappr

$15 to $95 for one furoshiki gift bag

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Inspired by Japanese cloths known as furoshiki, Wrappr works with artists from all over the world to design and produce elegant and sustainable gift wraps. Though on the pricier end, they're unique in design and made from recycled materials such as organic cotton and polyester satin.

Fabric Gift Wraps from The Fab Wrap
The Fab Wrap

Fabric Gift Wraps from The Fab Wrap

$6 to $12 for one wrap

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The Fab Wrap, made of nontoxic paint and recyclable fibers, comes from a mother-daughter duo in Holland, Michigan, who also make eco-friendly ornaments such as mini Douglas fir trees and cloth ribbons. All gifts are shipped from their Etsy store using plastic-free, recyclable cardboard.

The Little Market gift boxes
The Little Market

Reusable Gift Bags from The Little Market

$4 to $18

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Using sustainably sourced materials, The Little Market employs marginalized communities from around the world to handcraft colorful and fun products such as candles and totes. Their gift boxes are handmade from repurposed cotton by women in India and Bangladesh. There are also fabric wraps.

Recycled present

Make Your Own Gift Wrap Using Newspaper or Paper Bags

If you're looking to save on gift wrapping but still want to prioritize the environment, make your own wrapping out of newspaper or paper bags. This DIY option is minimalist, stylish, and easy to do: Use sticky tape and plastic-free garden twine or parcel string to hold gifts in place. Add a few sprigs of rosemary or eucalyptus for an extra decorative touch and scent.