Sustainable Gift Packaging

By making sustainable holiday choices when you are shopping, traveling, sending cards, decorating, and choosing gifts, you’re making a big impact today on tomorrow. For many of us, our priority during the holidays is time spent with family and friends. But the holidays can also be a time when we spend too much and create too much waste.

Consider the Environmental Cost of Gift Wrap

  • Americans throw away about 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
  • If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
  • About 35% of Americans have an unused Christmas present collecting dust in their closets. – CDC

“The best thing that you can possibly do is buy wrapping paper that doesn’t have foil in it, doesn’t have glitter and is recyclable. And then that’s what is going to be created next year and the year after that and the year after that,” says Mackenzie Jeans, president of Allport Editions, a Portland-publisher of eco-friendly greeting cards. – East Bay Times


4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Packaging Gifts

  1. Is it Recycled?
  2. Is it Recyclable?
  3. Is it Compostable?
  4. Is it Reusable?

Sustainable Packaging Ideas


  • Save paper shopping bags from stores
  • Ask for plain brown paper bags at stores
  • Save interesting newspaper, magazine pages, and newspapers
  • Save children’s artwork
  • Save plain white paper you’d otherwise recycle



  • Gently-used scarves, t-shirts, thin towels, and washcloths are great for wrapping oddly-shaped gifts
  • Use new tea towels and make them part of your gift


  • Reusable bottles and tins are great for packaging edible gifts
  • Small baby food containers are great for jewelry
  • Clay flower pots
  • Reusable gift bags

Keep these on hand for decorating wrapped gifts:

  • Crayons (great for drawing on gift wrap)
  • Dried flowers or herbs are great options
  • Small wooden ornaments
  • Little pieces of artwork or used maps/calendars  (to cut and glue to gift wrap) -The Art of Simple
​Each of the packaging alternatives listed above are easy to find and don’t tug on the holiday purse strings a whole lot. When you save energy and resources, you protect the environment and safeguard health both now and for the future.
We can still use the resources above to create beautiful, personalized gift wrapping that save trees and reduce waste.  Your love ones will appreciate the time and thought you put into your gifts that much more when they see how unique your packaging is. Hopefully it will inspire others to do the same.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a World of Well-Being!


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