Skip the Wrapping Paper this Holiday Season!

By Brittney Whipple

The holiday season is about to be in full swing, and along with picking out gifts comes the mindless act of purchasing of wrapping paper. Your gifts need to be wrapped, right? Although this is true, using rolls and rolls of traditional wrapping paper is wasteful. Before you roll your eyes, think about it: who likes spending money on wrapping paper, gift bags, and gift boxes anyway? Here are some tips to decrease the amount of wrapping paper entering our landfill this holiday season, but also to save your money for what's under the paper.


Newspaper is an easy and unique way to wrap gifts. Now is the time to start saving up the newspaper you read each day to use as wrapping paper this holiday season. You could also use the coupon advertisements you receive in the mail. After unwrapping, the newspaper can be recycled as normal!


Paper grocery bags

Wrapping gifts in paper bags is another way to use what you already have. If this is your preferred choice at the grocery store, save them next time you unload your groceries. Remember to recycle them after!

Shoe boxes

If you have a box laying around, such as from a delivery, new appliance, or shoes, consider using it to store your gift instead of buying gift boxes. Again, be sure to recycle the boxes after unwrapping.

Skip the bows!

Bows and ribbons are pretty, but they are also wasteful and expensive. Consider skipping the bows on your gifts this year.


Gift bags usually don’t get worn out with one use. Once the gift is opened, the bag is still in perfect condition! Save gift bags you receive and use them next time you need to wrap a gift instead of buying a new one. The same thing can be done with tissue paper; if it is not ripped, simply flatten it out and fold it for reuse again in the future. Bows and ribbons are also usually in good condition after the present is unwrapped and can be reused as well.


If you MUST by new, buy recyclable

Traditional wrapping paper is often covered in non-paper additives and should not be recycled. Instead, purchase brown paper and paper bags so they can be recycled after use. You could even color on the brown paper and make it unique!