Spoiler alert: while your giftee may love traditional gift wrapping, the planet doesn’t (if you’re having flashbacks to post-holiday garbage bags stuffed with torn paper, plastic packaging, and toxic amounts of tinsel, you’re not alone). But eschewing the standard bags and bows doesn’t mean your gift has to be any less special—here are six eco-friendly ways to present your next present.
Dig out that reusable tote
The next time your online shopping order comes in a canvas pouch, or you get a free tote bag at an event, stash it away for its second life as eco-friendly gift wrapping. Dress it up with dried flowers or herbs, or a small tag that says “Keep me!” attached with a clothespin. If you don’t have a worthy tote bag on hand, you can easily make a reusable bag out of scrap cloth or canvas—if you’ve ever sewn a pillowcase before, it’s just as simple a process!
Get stylish with a scarf
For wrapping that’s as fashionable as it is functional, wrap your gift using a silky, patterned scarf or handkerchief. Not only will it make your gift stand out, your giftee can reuse it as a headband or tie it around their handbag handle afterwards.
Organize a scavenger hunt
One guaranteed way to ensure zero waste is to have no wrapping at all—so how do you make your presentation special? Hide your gift in a secret (and safe!) location, along with a riddle or list of clues leading them to the present. Not only is this method waste-free, but it shows your recipient how much you care. To make your delivery all the more personal, frame your clues around memories you share or hints about the gift—and remember to attach a small (preferably edible) surprise to each clue to keep the intrigue alive.
Use beeswax wraps
If your gift is an edible or handmade item (like a bar of natural soap or homemade face mask), opt for a beeswax wrap! These reusable wraps come in an array of pretty prints, are easily malleable, and last up to six months. Check out your local health food store or order a pack directly to your home online. Just remember to tell your recipient to save the wrap for future use, and instruct them to use cold water only when washing (using hot water on beeswax will cause the wax to melt and will ruin its shape and longevity).
Try vintage jewellery
Have mismatched earrings, a bracelet with a broken clasp, or other pieces of forgotten jewelery lying around? A clip-on earring or brooch is a pretty and practical way to fasten together your fabric wrapping. Plus now your giftee has a new accessory that will always remind them of you.
A good old-fashioned surprise!
Curate a special event for your loved one—such as a movie night, homemade dinner, or walk in their favourite park. Then surprise them with the gift on arrival or hide it in a place they'll stumble upon throughout the evening (think under the lid of a serving dish if you’re making them dinner). The effort you put into spending time with your giftee—with an added element of surprise—will more than make up for the lack of ribbon and bows.
So take your next gifting opportunity to go green and guilt-free—we promise your giftee (and the planet!) will thank you for it.
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