6 Eco-friendly Alternatives to Christmas Wrapping Paper

Kira Simpson

Just think about all that single-use wrapping paper that immediately gets torn and thrown away once presents are opened. It’s a total waste.

In Australia alone we use more than 150,000km of wrapping paper over Christmas, that’s enough paper to wrap the planet nearly four times!

Now I’m not an eco-grinch, I love Christmas, I just don’t love the waste comes with it. So this year let’s be mindful of our impact and find easy swaps to help reduce waste and plastic during the holidays.

Swapping out the glitter-covered and non-recyclable wrapping paper with eco-friendly alternatives like sustainable or reusable options is a great place to start.

Image via Printfresh

Eco-friendly and sustainable Christmas gift wrapping ideas

Take a look around your house, you’ll probably discover all kinds of ways to wrap your Christmas presents beautifully with less waste. Here’s some of our favourites.

eco-friendly Christmas wrapping paper
Reusable Eco Christmas Wrapping Fabric
Eco gift wrapping ideas potato stamp paper

1. Brown Paper

My personal favourite, I like how the paper is the perfect blank canvas to dress up with dried flowers, ribbons, twine, you can use cute Christmas ornaments and add personal touches. the paper is compostable and the decorations can be used again. Image The Green Hub

2. Reusable Christmas Fabric

Christmas themed wrapping is fun, gets you into the spirit of the holidays, and for the kids, plain brown paper is a bit boring. You can find Christmas themed fabrics fairly cheaply at Spotlight stores, just cut to size and wrap as you would with paper, add a ribbon and you have beautifully wrapped gifts minus the waste. Fold them up and bring them out again for next year. If you’re not up for a DIY there are also some great ready-made options online at places like eBay and Etsy. Image Butterfly & Bloom

3. Stamping Paper

This one a great project for the little ones, just make sure you choose paper than can be recycled or compostable and use plant-based biodegradable inks to stamp the paper. This project used potato stamps so even less waste or you can pick up Christmas themed stamps from any craft shop. Image Handmade Charlotte

zero-waste-gift-wrapping-traditional-japanese-furoshiki-style
Earth Greetings eco wrapping paper
Eco gift wrapping ideas

4. Furoshiki 

The method of cloth wrapping called Furoshiki has been used in Japan for 1200 years, Furoshiki has a distinctive style reflecting beauty in multi-functional objects and thoughtful detail in their approach to everyday living. You can use pretty fabric, tea towels, scarves, things you already have or you could check out the op-shops, the scarf section is always full of lovely printed fabrics. Her’s a great guide to how to wrap different shaped objects. Image Pinterest

5. Eco-friendly wrapping Paper

It does exist! Earth Greetings is one of the few places in Australia that you can buy sustainable wrapping paper. They’re printed with eco-friendly dyes and the paper can be reused, recycled, or composted at end of life. The prints are gorgeous, they partner with Australian artists and feature native wildlife. They also offer biodegradable washi tape as an alternative to sticky tape. Image Earth Greetings

6. Use old Magazines and Newspapers

This beautiful creation shows just how easy it is to turn our old trash into treasure. Most of us have a stack of old magazines and newspapers lying around, it’s such a creative and artful way to wrap gifts. And it’s zero waste! Image Stampington 

Kira Simpson

Kira Simpson is a sustainability advocate, climate optimist and founder, and editor of The Green Hub. Her own sustainable living journey began five years ago when she realised our choices matter. What we eat, where we shop, what we wear, how we live, these choices have the power to shape the kind of world we want to live in. Since launching The Green Hub in 2016 she has grown the blog to become a platform for sustainable fashion and conscious living helping people make lifestyle choices which are kinder to the planet.