Eco-friendly Christmas gift wrapping ideas

Eco-friendly gift wrap ideas this Christmas

It’s nearly that time again, and with Christmas coming up fast I’ve been thinking about gift wrap ideas for the season.

In the UK alone we throw away 30% more rubbish over the festive period. Over just the Christmas week we will have binned 227,000 miles of Christmas paper — enough to go round the planet about nine times! Stats on food waste are disturbing enough, but one area that’s easily and immediately changed is what we wrap our presents in.

Surely we can do better than all that waste? Here are a few ideas for stylish eco-friendly Christmas gift wrap:

Eco-friendly fair trade Christmas gift wrap at Ethical Superstore

If you do buy gift wrap, check for sustainable or recyclable paper and not holographic or metallic foil, plastic coated or film wraps. We have some gorgeous fairly traded paper gift wrap that’s hardwearing and easy to reuse:

Finish them off with colourful raffia ties or paper parcel tape (instead of plastic sellotape), and you’re good to go!

We also have reusable crackers from Keep This Cracker which are very handy for trinkets, small gifts and chocolate treats.

Keep and reuse


Bags or sturdy gift wrap that’s easy to reuse can be kept throughout the year – I always keep a little folder with some pretty gift wrapping paper or handmade papers I’ve collected, and ribbons or bows can be kept aside for use again. Keep attractive boxes, tins and packages too!

You don’t even have to use paper – countries like India and Japan have traditions of gifting presents in a beautifully printed fabric wrap which is even more reusable and perfect for odd-shaped gifts that you might struggle to wrap. If you’re handy with a sewing machine or even have some clothes you were planning to recycle, this is a great use for scraps of fabric.

Make your own


Whether fabric or paper, you can easily make your own gift wrap even if you don’t feel particularly creative or crafty. I have a few rubber stamps – some homemade by lino cutting, and some bought – and you can even make a stamp by cutting a potato like you did at school. Draw straight onto eco-friendly paper or decorate with coloured paper or non-plastic ribbons, origami shapes, there are so many ideas. Here are a few of my favourite from Pinterest:

I also love these ideas from Good Housekeeping for homemade wrapping paper utilising found foliage and natural elements. So festive! Architectural Digest had a creative guide on using anything but paper, with some lovely suggestions.

Eco-friendly sustainable and creative gift wrap ideas

Go eco!

Check your local council’s tips for recycling, and to check what they can and can’t recycle (it differs quite a bit across the UK) and make sure you recycle whatever you can’t reuse.

You can also read my previous blog post with tips on Christmas trees, gifts, food, charity and more.

Images from Good Housekeeping, Good Life of Design, Pinterest, Architectural Digest and Ethical Superstore.


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