Zero-Waste Wrapping

Zero-Waste Wrapping

How many garbage bags of wrapping paper does your family throw out during the holidays?  In years past, I'd say at least 3 or 4.  Not to mention all the bows, ribbons, tags and tissue…  that sure is a LOT of unnecessary waste going into a landfill!

And what I didn't know before, is that traditional shiny wrapping paper is NOT recyclable in most cities! And even if your city DOES allow wrapping paper recycling - if it has shiny lamination, and/or glitter, and/or tape stuck to it - that renders it un-recyclable.  

Inspired to do our part in reducing waste this holiday season, we have committed to getting creative with zero-waste wrapping. 

Like many other ladies out there, I love me some pretty packages. Holiday wrapping is so beautiful, and makes the contents therein feel even more special… so I have no intention of giving that up. I am simply making a choice to shift what “beautiful” looks like to me. 

Now that I know shiny paper and glitter aren’t recyclable, they have legitimately “lost their sparkle” in my eyes - I don’t even think they’re pretty anymore! Meanwhile, naturally-dyed fabrics, ribbons, cloth & raw paper wrapping have become positively swoon-worthy!

Here are a few ideas I found on Pinterest that are inspiring me this season:

Japanese Method of Furoshiki

Furoshiki is a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth used to transport clothing and gifts. Simone LeBlanc translates the concept beautifully here into vegetable dyed, zero-waste wrapping for the holiday season. I mean, are you kidding me?? These are GORGEOUS! Photo cred to her as well on our featured image here - what a multi-talented Goddess Simone is! 

A New Twist on Up-Cycled Grocery Bag Wrapping 

Grocery bag wrapping has been a go-to method for me for years. I haven't figured out how to do it without tape... so it isn't entirely zero waste, but pretty darn close! The artist in this tutorial uses a simple ink & brush technique to hand draw on kraft paper, but you can easily do it on inside-out grocery bags for a truly eco-friendly & personalized design!

Up-cycling Sweaters

This crafty gal turned an old sweater into a super cozy wrapping alternative


Be sure to subscribe to our blog below & stay tuned for our special Very Tiny Christmas post on December 26th!


For more info on whether non-shiny/glitter wrapping paper is recyclable in YOUR city, google “ [Your City] recycling guide” - the earth thanks you!

In regards to (non-glitter/metallic) tissue paper - according to the San Francisco Department of the Environment, tissue paper is usually made out of recycled paper, therefore the fibers are already shortened to the point where it cannot be recycled again, so tissue paper should always be reused or composted

And finally, when it comes to boxes, bows and trims - REUSE! Save everything in a box for next year - it’s not only eco-friendly, it makes great financial sense too! 

Wishing you a very happy holiday ahead!

Marisa & Daane

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  • Thank you for the wonderful eco-gift wrapping ideas, now I know what to do with all the brown paper bags. Decorating with real plants also a great idea! Happy Holidays to you both!

    Geri Keams on

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