Try Reduced-Waste Holiday Gift Wrap This Year

The gifts I choose for family require brain power, so when it comes to the wrapping, I’m always stuck.  The glossy wrapping paper contains plastic, so it can’t go into the recycling bin—more waste! Glitter is the same, as is metallic wrapping paper, both of which make their way to the garbage pail. So what to do?

This year, consider opting for more environmentally friendly gift-wrap. The ideas below include reusables, homemade-ables, and a mix between the two. They are functional and beautiful to boot!

This year has been my year of YouTube instruction. It has just about anything you are looking for in a tutorial and I’ve included a few gems below. Have fun and make a difference for all!


These bento bags can be the gift itself.  Create a homemade tag and your gift is ready to go!

FUROSHIKI GIFT WRAP                                               

Like bento-style bags, Furoshiki makes me think origami!  You can wrap many items with a simple square of fabric. You can zigzag on your sewing machine or use pinking shears to prevent fraying. Even better, perhaps you’re gifting a scarf or shirt, which in itself would be the gift wrap.


Like bento bags, produce bags are bonus gifts. Fill with all kinds of gifts, not just avocados (although I would love a bag of avocados!). Don’t sew—buy produce bags at the Co-op for your zero-waste friends and family.


Put those paper bags and boxes to good use. Custom design your gift package with tape or glue. Feel super crafty? Try making your own homemade paper tape.  It will remind you of childhood!


Perhaps you have a mug or container that you are ready to part with. If not, perhaps you are still shopping at the LISTEN thrift stores. If so, you already know what special items you can find. An upcycled container from LISTEN reduces environmental waste compared to purchasing new wrapping paper and products—and the monies go back into our community to help our neighbors. Win-win, I’d say!

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Ken Davis

Ken Davis is the Co-op's senior copywriter. Email him at