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tips + tricks for low waste gift wrapping

Photo by Raw Pixel 

Author: Simone Quenneville

While the holidays can be an exciting time for gift-giving, did you know this contributes to 545,000 tons of waste produced by gift wrap and shopping bags? Bare Market blogger Simone brings us through how to wrap your gifts without the waste. 

Yes, the most sustainable option would be not to get gifts at all for your loved ones, but where’s the joy in that? My favorite low waste gifts are those that create a memorable experience you can share together such as a show, a dinner, or an art class. If you decide to go the traditional route, just provide thoughtful gifts. And look no further for creative gift wrapping ideas that are low-cost and low-waste! We've got you covered. 

Friendly reminder: step one to reduce waste in the gift shopping process starts at the store by saying “no thank you” to a shopping bag and bringing your own. Once the perfect gift has been selected, use the following materials to wrap it up to your liking. The good thing is you don’t have to go far to gather many of these items!


Reusable Gift Bag

If you’re like me, you have many reusable bags piling up in your cupboard from various shopping trips or events. Put them to good use here as a gift bag. Bonus gift for them to use the bag to take their gifts home and as a new reusable shopping bag!

Repurposed Wrapping Paper

Before you recycle, reuse! Some of the paper you need might be found around the house. Old newspaper, old calendars (goodbye 2018, hello 2019!), maps, magazines, or paper shopping bags work as great tools to wrap this year’s presents. Keep the design simple with an added decorative touch (see below). If you’d like to get more creative, stamp or draw a festive pattern on the paper itself.

Photo by Nathan Lemon

Decorate with Nature

Utilize the beauty of nature just outside your door! Take a stroll outdoors to forage for pieces that could serve as decoration. Anything from pinecones, cedar branches, leaves, or berries work well. Once the gift has been unwrapped, these items can be returned to their original place of belonging outside

Furoshiki -- Cloth Wrapping

T-shirts, tea towels, scarves, or blankets can be tied around the gifts for a unique packaging statement. This works well if you purchased a scarf or shirt as part of the gift and can use it to wrap the rest! Otherwise, reuse what you no longer want or need or kindly ask for it to be returned after the gifts have been opened.

None At All

Go completely minimal this year and present the gift in their original form – or simply add a homemade bow or tie with ribbon.



About the Author: Simone Quenneville is a graduate of the University of Toronto Master of Public Health program with a focus on nutrition. She is currently pursuing a career as a registered dietitian but was drawn to the Bare Market blog as a way to keep her passion for the environment and sustainability alive.


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