Sustainable Christmas

Alternative Wrapping Ideas

The season of giving and receiving is just around the corner, and most of us are already panicking more or less about the pressure that comes with the holidays. All the stress of wrapping the gifts and preparing the whole magical day is well worth it, but one thing we need to be mindful of is the amount of plastic and wasted materials we produce over the course of the Christmas period.

UK consumers alone use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year (Telegraph, 2011).

Most of our wrapping materials are designed for single use, despite the possibility that it can often be use two or three times. Also, as a happy owner of ‘butterfingers’, the idea of wrapping is almost like a mission impossible, however, there are alternatives to single use wrapping.

  • Instead of using the traditional non-recyclable paper, use decomposable, zero-waste wrapping papers or brown paper which can be recycled (as a plus, this method looks stylish or can be embellished with string, stamped designs and more – children love decorating the paper too!)
  • Reusing an old shoe box, cardboard box or wooden box can be a lovely way to gift give. Boxes and be personalised or decorated and reused many times.
  • Using reusable/resealable gift bags as an alternative to buying disposable wrapping paper. These will last much longer, while still being fashionable and festive!
  • Many people have turned to Furoshiki – the Japanese art of gift wrapping using fabrics.

Not only are these options better for the environment but will also save you money in the long term by not having to repurchase paper, decorations, tags, and boxes every year!

What to give to one who has everything?

There are so many gift ideas that don’t include traditional materialism. For example, giving an experience gift card that resonates the receiver’s personality would be great idea. Also, the experience could anything from rock climbing to cooking class, only the sky is limit.

  • For coffee lovers, you could gift them reusable coffee cups, Fairtrade coffee grounds, or even a personalised coffee mug painted by local artists!
Coffee grounds
  • There are also dozens of amazing organisations like The Red Cross which provide various gift ideas where some or even all the profits from the products go to charity. Therefore, you won’t even feel bad about spending!
  • Along with supporting charities and giving back this Christmas, you could also support local small businesses where you can find truly unique gifts, such as art/prints, handmade clothing, pottery, and home decorations that cannot be found anywhere else.

We hope this provides you with a bit of inspiration for helping you achieve a more eco-friendly, sustainable Christmas.

Happy Holidays!


Ross, T. (2011) “How Britain bins 227,000 miles of Christmas paper” Telegraph