The holidays are here and Christmas is less than a week away. If you’re like me you may still be finishing up some Christmas shopping, or looking for those last minute gift ideas. Once you find the perfect gift you’ll most likely grab your favorite roll of wrapping paper, some scissors, and the tape.  Unfortunately, all that wrapping paper can really be a waste. In the U.S. alone we create approximately 4 million tons of trash from gift wrapping and shopping bags alone.

To put that into perspective, half of all the paper consumed in the U.S. is used to wrap gifts or decorate packages! If you want to make a personal impact on these sad statistics, consider using some of these green wrapping alternatives instead. Not only will you save some trees and reduce some waste, but you will also have a stunning looking package to present to your loved one.

The Dishtowel

A dishtowel can be used to wrap a gift very easily and still look beautiful. The beauty of the dishtowel wrap is that it can be re-purposed after the package is open. Picking a dishtowel that matches the gift receivers decor, or perhaps a cooking-themed gift inside, is a nice added touch.

Fabric

If you have loose fabric pieces from previous projects lying around the house, you can give them new life as gift wrap. Fabric can be used over and over again to wrap gifts or be re-purposed into other crafts or useful items. Not to mention, fabric comes in so many different designs that you can make a truly custom looking package for every person on your list. These adorable gift bags look simple to make.

Old Sheets

Yes, that is correct, old sheets can be re-purposed into holiday gift wrap. If you have old white, red, green, or holiday print sheets that you no longer use, you can use these into the perfect gift wrap. White sheets can also be stamped with a variety of designs to give it a more personalized look.

Reclaimed Wood

If you have old wooden boxes, chests, or lidded cups, these can make fantastic gift containers. Wood has a timeless appeal and reclaimed wood is making a comeback in fashion. Your gift will look chic and you won’t create all the waste.

Baby Blankets

Baby gifts are perfect to wrap in a comfy baby blanket. Use the blanket as a gift wrap and also as part of the gift.

The Trimmings

Now that you have beautiful and eco-friendly wrapped gifts, don’t resort to topping those green creations with a disposable holiday bow or ribbon. Instead use twine and craft supplies to create the perfect trimmings to your package. Twine is a perfect replacement for traditional ribbon. You can also decorate with items that compliment the gift inside. For example, if you are giving a cookbook as a gift you can decorate the outside of the package with some wooden spoons or kitchen utensils.

Do you use traditional paper gift wrap, or have you considered using some of these green alternatives?