With Christmas well on its way, we’re all working hard on our Christmas shopping. Not only do we have to do the Christmas meal groceries (unless you’re lucky enough to go somewhere else for dinner, that is) but there’s also the issue of Christmas presents. Some of your loved ones may have carefully curated a wish list, making it easier although not necessarily more romantic. For others, you may have to search your mind high and low to find a fitting gift and for some, the ideas just keep coming your way without any trouble. But once you’ve got the gifts, it’s time to wrap them.
Now, of course you could opt for the easiest option by buying some wrapping paper at the store and spend an evening wrapping all those gifts you’ve amassed. However, that’s not per se the most original way of wrapping your gifts, nor is is the most sustainable. Chances are, all that single-use paper will just end up in the bin at the end of the night. But what are the alternatives? How to wrap a gift that presents nicely while still thinking about the planet? We’ve gathered five ideas to wrap your presents sustainably and some of them are even completely free.
1. Re-use old paper
Old paper, we’ve all got some at home. Whether you’re talking about yesterday’s newspaper, an old magazine, a poster from your teenage room or silky paper from your latest online purchase: you can re-use it all. You’ll have to make sure the paper is still clean and in fairly good condition, of course, but other than that you can pretty much use it like you would any other wrapping paper. Unless you’ve got a particularly big present to package, it’s the perfect way to wrap a gift for free and chances are, no one else will have the same paper as you do.
2. Sew a bag
If you’ve got some old textiles lying around, or you find some beautiful ones in a (second hand) store, and if you know your way around a sewing machine, why not sew a tote bag in which you can ‘wrap’ your gifts? Afterwards, the person you’re getting the gift for won’t have any trouble transporting their present and, on top of that, they will have a sparkling new tote bag to go shopping with.
3. Furoshiki wrapping
Sewing is not really your thing but you like the idea of wrapping a gift with textiles? Furoshiki wrapping is a Japanese technique which uses nothing else than a piece of textile to wrap a present. Whether you opt for a little silk scarf, a table cloth or just a cutting from an old curtain: it all works. Thanks to the multitude of furoshiki techniques, you can be creative and adapt to the shape of your gift. Which is especially handy when you have to wrap oddly shaped objects like a bottle, a ball or anything else that isn’t square. Afterwards, the person who receives the gift can also re-use the textile.
4. Wrap with a gift
Have you ever thought of buying an extra gift which allows you to not really wrap your gifts at all? Let’s say you’re buying a pair of shoes for someone. Instead of wrapping the shoe box with regular paper, you could decide to throw in an extra basket, a giant tin box or a kitchen towel. Just put the shoes in the container and you’re done. Perfect for lazy packers and we’re sure the receiver will be happy as well.
5. Branches, strings and other odd ends
Most wrapped presents don’t just contain wrapping paper. Many of us like to add a little bow, maybe a name tag and so on. And even when you’re thinking about the planet, you can still do so. Instead of using regular, new string, try to find some at your local thrift store. Instead of adding plastic ornaments, add a little branch of pine for a touch of greenery. And instead of a name tag, be creative with stamps, which you can reuse over and over again. You can take this step as far as you want, there are no limits!