eco friendly wrapping ideas

Eco-friendly alternatives to wrapping paper

While wrapping gifts is part of getting into the Christmas spirit, wrapping paper can thwart our efforts towards a sustainable Christmas. Wrapping paper often has layers of foil or glitter added to it (or just lots of sticky tape!) which means unfortunately it cannot be recycled.

We have put together five eco-friendly gift wrapping suggestions that you could try as an alternative to wrapping paper this year, and remember – scraps of twine and ribbon can make a nice addition to each.


Furoshiki is a Japanese traditional way to wrap clothes, food or other gifts. It is a great way to have fun and get creative with fabrics and there are various techniques that you could use to tie your item(s) that will make it look well presented.

This article explains more about Furoshiki and shares instructions for eight different ways to try at home. To avoid buying brand new fabric, why not have a look in your local charity shop, or make use of a nice scarf that you have outgrown? For a festive look, you could tuck in some foraged sprigs of evergreen or pinecones to the knot of the fabric too. Sometimes you can even make the fabric part of the gift too.


Tins and jars

Tins, jam jars and mason jars are great alternatives for packaging gifts (especially food) and can be reused afterwards too.

The 'no wrapping' method

Have you ever thought about making the person you’ve brought the gift for work for their gift?! No, not manual labour but how about a scavenger hunt with clues around the house? As well as being eco-friendly, it is thoughtful and will certainly prolong the excitement.


Whether you are creating a hamper for a new parent and baby or creating a festive gift for someone else, choosing a basket that fits the size of your gift is a great alternative to wrapping paper.

Brown paper / newspaper

Reusing brown paper or newspaper as gift wrap can give a rustic yet effective look. A great alternative to wrapping paper, using these can help to save you money and can also be more easily recycled afterwards. There are lots of ideas and inspiration online, including ideas for how to transform plain brown paper with ribbon or festive ‘potato printing’.

For more eco-friendly ideas to wrapping paper, Treehugger has seven more sustainable tips to help you.