Gwen Leron: 50 Shades of Green


It IS Easy Being Green: Eco-friendly Gift Wrap Ideas

Pretty And Environmentally Friendly

Each time I sit down to wrap a gift, the same thought always comes to mind—why am I spending so much time making my gifts look so pretty when the wrap is ripped off in an instant and immediately thrown away? This always makes me re-think what I am doing, especially since most store-bought wrapping paper is not recyclable. I bet you didn't know that! Here is why you can't recycle it:

  • Wrapping paper is often dyed and laminated which makes it not a good candidate for recycling*
  • Some wrapping paper may contain non-paper additives, such as shiny fibres, gold and silver coloring, glitter, and plastic
  • Wrapping paper can contain few good quality fibres for recycling
  • Wrapping paper usually still has tape on it from the gift wrapping

* Check with you city’s recycling program to get info on exactly what type of paper products are accepted as policies vary from city to city.

Thankfully, there are many eco-friendly gift wrap options to choose from. Here are a few:


Image Source: flickr via naylanatural on Pinterest

Burlap is made from the skin of the jute plant, so as long as it is in its natural state, it is 100% biodegradable and compostable. The fact that it can easily be prettied up makes it a perfect wrap for gifts. Burlap can be used over and over again.


Image Source:

Reusable fabric is another great eco-friendly option for your gift wrap. Canadian company, Furochic, manufactures several different prints and shows you creative and fun ways to wrap your gifts with fabric on their YouTube channel.

Cloth Bags

                   Image Source: Green Planet Parties

Cloth bags are an excellent idea for gift-giving. They are convenient, reusable, and come in many fun prints.

Re-used Gift Bags, Boxes, and Baskets

I save all of the gift bags, boxes, and baskets I receive and re-use them (that's not the same as re-gifting, right?) As long as they are in good condition, then why not? Note that most gift bags, unless they carry the recycle symbol, are not recyclable. So re-use them as much as possible.

Recyclable Gift Wrap

Image Source: Cascades Boutique

If you are a traditionalist and aren't too interested in straying away from wrapping paper, no need to worry because recyclable wrap does exist! Be sure that when you are purchasing, you look for the recycle symbol and that the inks used are water or vegetable based. Kraft paper can also be used.

Once your gifts are all wrapped up, here are some eco-friendly ideas to give them the finishing touch: