Everyone loves unwrapping a gift on Christmas day, however this can produce a lot of waste. It is estimated over 8,000 tons of wrapping paper is used and discarded every year which is equivalent to approximately 50,000 trees. Instead of purchasing wrapping paper to conceal your gifts, try your hand at the five creative and waste-free wrapping techniques below.


Furoshiki is the art of wrapping items in fabric. Wrapping cloths (known as furoshiki) have been a long-time tradition in Japan and Korea (known as Bojagi). This is a fantastic waste free way of wrapping anything from produce and wine bottles to clothes and gifts. You can purchase special Furoshiki wrapping cloths, or alternatively, you can use a tea towel, scarf, handkerchief, or shirt to wrap your gift.

Use glass jars or baskets

Instead of wrapping gifts or using gift bags, try creating a gift that fits in a glass jar or basket. You can get creative filling glass jars and baskets with gifts for the recipient. For bakers, fill a Kilner glass jar with kitchen accessories such as a tea towel and wooden spoon, or you can combine all of the dry ingredients needed to make your favourite cake or brownie and attach the recipe to the jar. Baskets are great for gifting body products or homewares items.  Search on Pinterest for inspiration on glass jar, mason jar or basket gifts.

Reusable bag

Reusable bags are not only handy to have around the house or in your car to avoid using single use plastic bags, but they are also a great waste-free alternative to wrapping gifts. Simply place your gifts inside the bag and give to it to your recipient. Reusable bags come in a variety of colours and fabrics, so you can find one that best suits the person you’re giving the gift to.

Newspaper or magazines

If you really love the idea of your recipient tearing into paper to reveal the gift you bought them, then use paper that would otherwise have to be disposed like newspapers or magazines that you have around your home.

Decorate with nature

Although some ribbons are reusable, you can’t guarantee the recipient will reuse them. Instead of using ribbon, look around your home for natural decorations to adorn your gifts. Cinnamon sticks, leaves, twigs, gumnuts and vines make beautiful decorations. Tie them to your gift with biodegradable twine. Once the gift has been opened, these natural decorations can be placed in the garden and will naturally biodegrade.

For more waste-free wrapping ideas and environmentally friendly gifts for the whole family visit