Ditch the Paper: Sustainable alternatives for wrapping gifts

December 4, 2017

When I was little, there was nothing I loved more than not being able to see the carpet surrounding me because wrapping paper was scattered everywhere. My least favorite part was, of course, throwing it into the trash bags after. Now that I have hopped onboard the eco train I have been thinking a lot about the waste during the holiday season. We wrap so many gifts with paper that usually can’t even be recycled, or we don’t know it can be. So, if you are brave enough, I have been doing some research on wrapping paper alternatives. Honestly, for some reason, this is hard for me to wrap (get it ;)) my head around because wrapping paper is so damn PRETTY, but I am going to give it a try this December, I will keep you updated with how I do in making my Christmas more green.

1. Fabric

Pic from Pinterest

Fabric is an excellent alternative to paper because I love that I can still have pretty colors and prints. I have seen gifts wrapped in handkerchiefs as well as actual fabric either from scraps you have around the house or through buying a yard or two. What’s great about the material is that it can be reused for gifts next year.

2. Maps and Newspapers

Pic from Pinterest

Ok still paper but slightly better, I know at my school they always have the New York Times lying around. At home, if I dig a little bit through junk bins I am sure I will find a plethora of old road maps. While this is still paper and you need to use tape, the great thing is that these are old papers and maps that no longer have a use. You can also recycle them after which is a plus!

3. Patagonia?

Ok, so I heard a rumor. But honestly, didn’t do my research on this, so don’t shoot the messenger if this is wrong. But I read an article saying that Patagonia makes gifts bags from leftover fabric. The caveat is that you have to call them to get these magical bags. I don’t know if they are free, and I don’t know how you get them, but if anyone is interested, I thought I’d add this option. I might call just out of curiosity because I have a feeling the quality will be fabulous. If you beat me to it, comment below and share your findings with us!

4. Last resort- recycled paper

Ok. If the other three options don’t interest you or you love traditions, keep the paper but make sure it is as sustainable as possible. Fishlips is a fabric and paper company that has 100% recycled paper. It is also made in the US and printed with non-toxic soy-based inks. While this is still not great because it is paper that is being wasted, this is your best option if you want to stay on the naughty list with mother nature.


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