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Eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas

by Millicent Hofung |

The holidays are a joyful time to spend giving presents to your loved ones. Perhaps it may not be the most joyful  time for the environment though - an endless sea of wrapping paper, holiday cards and festive bows will end up as holiday waste. The good news is that holiday cheer doesn’t end when choosing not to wrap your gifts with the conventional options; here are some more sustainable ways to decorate your gifts this holiday season: 
 
The Artful Option: Fabric Wrapping
Furoshiki, an ancient Japanese practice has been used for centuries to transport gifts, clothes and other items. It’s highly versatile and can be wrapped to suit the specific shape of your intended item. Plus, it’s the gift that keeps on giving - the wrapping fabric being a gift too and can be reused again! 
 
Image: Japanese Department of Environment
 
The Minimalist Option: Brown kraft paper 
A basic but truly a classic. Brown kraft paper is perfect on its own or there are an endless number of ways to spruce it up. Get creative with markers, pens or even crayons by doodling, writing their favorite song lyrics or even calligraphy a holiday greeting! 
 
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Image: Pinterest
 
The Vegan Option: Make decorative stamps with vegetables 
 
Get creative with kraft paper and turn it into a one-of-a-kind design. Cut designs into potatoes or simply cut an apple in half - dip in ink and imprint onto the paper! 
 
The Practical Option: Reusable tote bags as gift bags 
Extend the life of the bag that holds your gift - reusable totes are perfect for carrying just about anything and convenient to have on hand. It’s a two-for-one - holding your gift and a gift in itself. 
 
Image: Society19
 
The Literary Option: Old newspapers, maps and magazines 
Give new life to things you already own and repurpose them to wrap your gifts. 
 
The Earth Option: Borrow from nature
Plastic bows and pompoms are cute for a moment until they end up indefinitely in the landfill. Explore nature’s backyard for items to decorate your gifts with: pine cones, pine twigs, small branches and twigs, dried flowers and leaves will add a beautiful and natural touch to your gift. 
 
Photo: P.F. Candle Co.
 
The Compostable Option: Use compostable tape 
Replace single-use plastic tape with compostable paper tape or washi tape. They’re made from natural materials like wood and bamboo that will return back to the earth. Plain old brown is pretty popular but there are also tons of fun and colourful options! 
 
Or skip the tape completely and use compostable twine 
Choose a twine, string or ribbon that are made from organic cotton, hemp or other natural fibres that can either be reused or will decompose back into the earth. 
 
The DIY Option: Naturally-dyed paper 
We’re obsessed with the fun ways that botanical dyes can be used for (including with our holiday collection)! If you’ve got a DIY-bone in your body, try naturally dyeing your own wrapping paper with avocado (pink) or pomegranate skins (yellow). We’re loving this tutorial from Rebecca Desnos that teaches you all the steps to playing around with botanical dyes and paper. 
 
Image: Rebecca Desnos
 
Feature Image: Pinterest