Alternatives to Regular Wrapping Paper for Christmas


Presents wrapped in brown paper! Image from Unsplash.

During the holidays, people scramble to find the perfect gifts for their friends and family. But what the gift is wrapped in matters a lot too. Usually, when the regular wrapping paper is used for presents during Christmas or any other occasion, it is thrown away after opening gifts. During Christmas, 5 million more tons of waste than regular is generated, and 80% of that number is wrapping paper. Those glitter types of wrapping paper may seem recyclable, but the little flecks of glitter make it impossible to recycle and are made up of a lot of microplastics. These types of wrapping paper cannot be reused and do more harm than good to the environment. By using more eco-friendly options to package out presents, we may also save a lot of money. Americans spend more than $7 billion on wrapping paper annually. This large amount can be reduced if we begin to reuse the material we wrap presents with. Here are some alternatives to standard wrapping paper that you can use. 

Brown paper: recycled brown paper is better for the environment than regular wrapping paper, and can look great when used to wrap gifts. It offers a blank canvas with which you could decorate however you’d like, and those decorations could be used again in the future. 

Fabric: fabric is something that can make your presents look amazing but can also be reused. There are many Christmas-themed pieces of cloth that can be found at stores, which can easily be cut to size. You can also buy ready-to-wrap Christmas-themed pieces of cloth from online stores like Etsy and eBay. Fabric can also be used to wrap gifts by using the Furoshiki method. This method has been used in Japan for over 1200 years to wrap various items, and you can use pretty much any type of cloth to wrap them.

A cloth-wrapped gift. Image from

 Newspapers: old newspapers are also something that can be used as gift wrap, and was used in the past. Magazines could also be cut and used to wrap presents. 

Sustainable wrapping paper: specifically eco-friendly wrapping paper can be bought from a few stores such as Wrappily.

There is also the suggestion of simply carefully opening and storing the wrapping from Christmas presents, but many people might argue about how children tend to frantically open presents on the day of Christmas and how it would be hard to stop them from doing that, or how they might not like the idea of going slower. 

These ideas all include components that can be found around anyone’s house and could potentially save families more money during the holidays, while also contributing to the protection of the environment.