Sustainable Gift Wrapping Ideas

How to reduce consumption in a stylish way!


photo image: @woodlark

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Without a doubt Christmas is a time where our wastage peaks at an all time high. Whether it’s receiving and giving presents that may never see the light of day again or throwing away hordes of food once it’s impossible to consume anymore.  I find that a sense of gluttony and guilt can often start creeping in … but only creep, there is no way I’m not about to suggest reducing the levels of celebrations!

Rather I try to reduce my personal consumption where I can and one obvious aspect is gift wrapping.  Discarded wrapping paper is one of the biggest contributors to our 30% increase in household waste over Christmas, so a fantastic way to help reduce our footprint by opting for sustainable gift wrapping ideas.  

image source: @eatwell101

Typographic Gift Wrapping

On of my personal favourite sustainable gift wrapping ideas is reusing old newspapers or even books.  Before you throw them in the recycling bin, forage through and pick out the best pages.  The pages that have minimal images and are mostly text make for the best wrapping paper.  If you can get your hands on an old Japanese or Chinese printed newspaper then even better for a quirky charm.

image source: @clemaroundthecorner

Go Furoshiki

This is the traditional Japanese art of wrapping and carrying goods in cloth, Furoshiki, works perfectly for sustainable gift wrapping. Not only does it look fantastic, but the lucky receiver can gain an additional gift by wrapping the present in either a scarf, tea towel or any material that can be usefully used again.  

image source: @etsy
image source: @creamalice

Use Nature 

Whether you are using recycled newspapers or brown paper, adding some flora to your chosen sustainable wrapping will provide the perfect finishing touch.  I personally just clip off some small branches from my Christmas tree or gum leaves from the backyard.  If you don’t have access to any then swing by your local florist and pick up some berries and green leaves. 

image source: @thesefourwalls

Use what you already have

Using and recycling what you already have is ultimately the best thing you can do to sustainability gift wrap (and it’s the best for your wallet too!). Re-use those gift bags from previous birthdays or even cut up brown paper shopping bags.  Reusing your children’s artwork is a fun and definitely unique wrapping paper, get them sitting down and creating personalised artwork for your friends and family .. they will most likely be unpredictable and hilarious pieces.  

image source: @theorganisedhousewife

Have to buy new 

If buying new is the only option for you, then try to opt for brands that are producing gorgeous gift wrapping, ribbons and cards from recycled materials. 

Our Favourite Recycled Gift Wrapping Brands


Wreath and The Ethical Superstore stock plenty of recycled and sustainable gift wrapping paper, cards and ribbon


Earth Greetings make wrapping paper on 100% post-consumer recycled waste paper with vegetable based ink. 


Related: How to sustainably decorate your Christmas tree 


We’re two down-to-earth Aussie gals sharing a passion for quality design and designing spaces that improve your well-being.


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