Eco-friendly alternatives to traditional gift-wrapping

Make your holiday gift giving a little more eco-friendly this year by repurposing everyday household items. Reusable gift packages are good for the environment and your holiday budget, since many of them are sitting in your home free for the taking.  Don't forget to reduce, reuse and recycle this holiday season with some of these eco-friendly alternatives to make your holiday gift-giving a little more green.

Eco-friendly alternatives to traditional gift-wrapping

1. Tins

If you're giving baked goods, the cellophane and gift bags can get expensive and aren't good for the environment either. Reuse tins from the year before, or stop by your local dollar store to find inexpensive holiday tins. The tins keep the baked goods fresher longer and are reusable, making them an eco-friendly alternative to non-biodegradable plastic wrapping.

2. Mason jars

A quick search on Pinterest will give you thousands of uses for these incredibly handy, reusable glass jars. They are a lifesaver during the holidays, especially if you're giving all-in-one baking kits, homemade bath salts, or a bunch of mini gifts like jewelry, mini nail polishes or cosmetics. You can even dress up mason jars with some sprigs of holly and twine for a rustic looking gift that's sure to delight the receiver.

3. Clothing

There are hundreds of easy tutorials online to help transform any piece of clothing into beautiful fabric wrapping bags.

  • Old graphic tees, flannel shirts, silk blouses and patchwork skirts can be re-purposed easily with minimal sewing.
  • You can even use spare buttons, ribbons and other strips of spare fabric to give your present a little extra sparkle.

4. Pillowcases

Spare pillowcases tend to multiply like unmatched socks, so when you're looking to wrap some awkwardly shaped gifts without fighting with paper that tends to rip or bulge, grab a clean pillow case and cut the large folded seam off. Then all you need to do is put the present inside and tie with a festive ribbon for durable, eco-friendly packaging.

5. Brown paper

Don't throw away all those brown paper bags you got when buying the holiday groceries. They make a fantastic, free alternative to traditional gift wrap. This is an especially good project for the artistically inclined: just grab a marker and draw your own holiday designs like snowflakes, trees, snowman, santas and anything else you can think of.

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