Toward a More Sustainable Holiday Season

Andrea Lewis - Wednesday, October 12, 2022

When the holiday season approaches, it's time to think about gifts. How about presents and wrapping that don’t end up as landfill? One answer is to buy Amazon or Visa gift cards. Yet it’s often more rewarding to find something more personalized.

Consider giving experiences such as theater tickets, restaurant or massage gift certificates. Sometimes a card that includes an invitation to come to a home cooked dinner, go to a restaurant, take a hike, attend a crafts class or other activity together is much appreciated.


Choice of wrapping is another opportunity for less waste and added creativity. Since much holiday wrapping paper has foil or a plastic coating, it is usually not compostable or recyclable. Huge amounts end up in the trash each December. It’s fun to come up with alternate solutions and its likely your recipients will appreciate and learn from your efforts. Invite your friends to a wrapping party to trade ideas and supplies.

Sometimes you don't need to buy anything to create an appealing gift wrap. There are many ways you can reuse items to wrap gifts as long as they are still in good shape. Consider gift bags, tote bags, jars, tins, baskets and boxes. Wrapping can be newspaper, maps, brown bags, cloth or scarves and can include decorations such as cloth ribbons and ornaments.

You can give second hand store items a second life. Look for holiday ornaments, brooches, scarves, silk flowers, wooden boxes, baskets and other items to dress up your gifts. In fact, you may even find gifts at these shops as well. Sometimes the wrapping can be part of the gift, as in the case of a scarf, apron or tea towel.

Many of us have brown kraft or tissue paper in the house. Using either as wrapping along with some twine or yarn is a good way to go. Be sure to avoid plastic tapes. You can add fir twigs, herbs, pine cones or dried flowers to dress it up. Plain tissue paper is compostable as long as there is no foil or glitter. Recyclable wrapping papers are also available online, along with wrapping cloths and fabric bags.

As you can see, there are many creative, fun options to avoid wrapping paper that ends up in the trash the next day.

Visit the links below for more ideas.

Least & Most Sustainable Wrapping

Etsy Cloth Wrapper

Wrappily Sustainable Products

# # #

↑ top