Zero Waste Gift Wrapping Tips

zero waste gift wrapping

Zero Waste Gift Wrapping

It’s that time of year! I absolutely love the holiday season. I love baking Christmas cookies, decorating the house, and listening to Christmas music! However, I know this season is notorious for being wasteful.  According to the EPA, “between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, American household waste increases by more than 25 percent. Trash cans full of holiday food waste, shopping bags, bows and ribbons, packaging, and wrapping paper contribute an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills.”

The stats are depressing I know, but there ARE ways to enjoy this holiday season eco-consciously. I chose to gift mostly experience gifts to my family this year, but there are lots of options for zero waste gift giving.

So you’ve chosen the most perfect sustainable gifts for you friends and family, but what about wrapping these thoughtfully purchased gifts?? I’ve whipped up this handy little blog post to help you with all your zero waste gift wrapping needs!


I think one of the easiest zero waste gift wrapping options is using what you already have. We have a stash of all sorts of holiday gifts bags and tissue paper that we’ve collected from previous holiday celebrations. If you don’t have a stash of your own, think about it this year! When your family is opening presents, collect all of those gift bags, ribbons, bows, and tissue paper to use again next year. This will keep holiday waste from going to the landfill and also will save you money! It doesn’t just apply to holiday gift bags, honestly. We collected a lot of baby gift bags at our baby shower for Vasco last year, and I plan to use them to wrap gifts for other friends’ baby showers in the future.


My second favorite zero waste gift wrapping option is furoshiki! Have you heard of it before? Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese cloth wrapping. Not only is it eco friendly, but it’s absolutely beautiful. Want to wow your family this holiday season? Furoshiki wrap their gifts this year! There are lots of tutorials online to show you how to wrap furoshiki. I’d say start with Youtube. Just type “furoshiki” in the search bar and there are heaps of videos you can learn from. You need a square piece of fabric to wrap your gifts this way. I used vintage scarves for my furoshiki wrap but any piece of fabric will do. You can get super creative with this one, choosing different colored and textured fabrics!

zero waste gift wrapping

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Paper Tape

Furoshiki gift wrap isn’t your style? No worries! How about wrapping your gifts with brown paper and paper tape? Yep, that’s right. There is such a thing as paper tape. I use it daily to ship out all of my Tiny Yellow Bungalow zero waste packages, but you can also use it for gift wrapping this holiday season. You can find paper tape on Amazon, but sometimes it’s also available in local hardware stores. In the pictures below, you’ll see I tied up my packages with simple hemp chording as well. It looks really nice and is biodegradable! I actually found that hemp chording at Walmart, without plastic packaging!

zero waste gift wrapping

No Tape

This option blew my mind a little when I tested it out for this blog post. But yes, it actually works! You can wrap a gift using paper and zero tape at all. This is another one you’ll want to hop over on Youtube to learn. I had to watch the videos a few times before I could get it just right, but it worked! It kind of reminded me of origami folds I used to do when I was younger but on a larger scale!

DIY Decorating

I like to wrap packages in brown paper with string, but if you find that a little boring, you can dress up your paper with DIY decorations. Sebastian carved a Christmas tree stamp out of a potato for me to use on our brown paper. It’s super cute! You could also use a toilet paper roll or a fork from your kitchen to make a cool pattern on your paper. I’m sure there are other household items you could use to paint interesting textures on your gift wrap paper. I like to idea of even flicking some white paint on to the paper to look like snow.

I also tried dehydrating orange slices for the first time this year, and I love the look of it on my holiday gifts – super simple yet elegant. It would be so pretty to use dried orange slices for a garland on the fireplace mantel as well. Wouldn’t that be gorgeous??

zero waste gift wrapping

zero waste gift wrapping

Reusable Cloth Bags

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Another really cool zero waste gift wrapping option is reusable cloth bags. I learned about this one from my aunt. She sewed some beautiful reusable cloth Christmas gift bags years ago that she continues to use every year for her family’s gifts. They are endlessly reusable! There are tutorials for sewing these types of gift bags on Pinterest or you can buy a set online too. I saw these cute ones on Amazon.

Zero Gift Wrap, Zero Waste?

This option might not fly at everyone’s house but have you ever thought about not wrapping gifts at all? Just sharing gifts with family unwrapped? I’d say that’s as waste free as you can get when it comes to gift wrapping!

You can find more zero waste gift wrap ideas here!

How are you wrapping your gifts this year? I’d love to hear in the comments section!

You might also enjoy these blog posts from Tiny Yellow Bungalow!

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zero waste gift giving this holiday season

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zero waste gift wrapping

1 thought on “Zero Waste Gift Wrapping Tips

  1. Fantastic! Where do you find zero waste brown paper? (without a plastic wrapper)

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