Have a Very Eco Christmas!: Part One

It is probably fairly obvious to anyone even remotely green-mined that the Holiday Season puts a toll on the environment. What with all of the plastic toys with their unhealthy off-gasses chemicals and petroleum based materials, the wrapping paper made of virgin fibres and chemical coatings and dyes. Not to mention that many gifts and all the wrapping end up in the dump, further polluting our environment. In this post I am going to focus on gift wrapping the eco-friendly way! I will provide you with some ideas that I've actually thought of and tested so that you know they really can work. My next post in this subject (Part Two) will center around eco-friendly gifts for all ages (using my actual gift list!), and third, I'll talk about green decorating.

This year, I decided that our family would not be buying any Christmas wrapping. It is so incredibly wasteful and in my opinion, makes every gift look the same--boring and commercialized. Since I was not buying many (if any) commercial presents, then I was certainly not going to wrap them in conventional gift wrap!

First, let me say that this took some months of planning. We saved all of the materials that we could from packaging and papers that we already had comming into the house or already laying around. For example, we saved coffee canisters and bags, paper wrapping from mail packages, ribbon and tissue paper from packages we received, paper bags, and other items. Along with all of this, I saved drawings, small crafts, and colouring pages (Christmas ones in particular) that my children created. This resulted in a big box filled with materials to re-use!

Putting the materials to use was quite easy. All that was needed was a little vision and creativity. I used used but clean paper bags, salvaged raffia, and paper scraps to create gift bags for my family's smaller presents. I was aiming for a simple look, but you could easily add more to your gift bags.

 My children's Christmas artwork also made wonderful Christmas wrap that adds a unique personal touch to giving gifts. All of this paper was rescued from postal packages that held my children's Christmas presents. Doesn't this look so much better than store-bought wrapping? Just add some ribbon and you're all set :-)  Even toddlers can get in on the action with scribbled paper in Christmas colours!

Christmas crafts that my little unschooler created also were put to good use in creating wrapping for our presents. Both colouring pages and cardboard gingermen were put to use below. Again, the paper is recycled from packaging we already recieved. I just cut off or hid the addresses printed on the paper. The gingerbreadman hides an address in this example.

Other fantastic ideas that many of you have probably already heard of are to use old maps, newspaper comics, and stamped art paper. If you are not crafty or creative in the least, or if you are short on time, you can also always purchase eco-friendly wrapping paper from stores such as Grass Roots Store

Please share your eco wrapping ideas and pictures!
Happy Wrapping!


  1. Wow! What great ideas. I agree that wrapping paper is a HUGE waste.Besides, this is what Yule is all about. I have a hard time calling it Christmas anymore because of my beliefs. It's become it's own religion anyways. I mean, it's not even about Christ anymore. It's about presents.
    I watched a commercial last night, telling me to buy my husband a HD TV for Xmas. As if! Or the one about the diamonds? Haha sorry, maybe a topic for another time.It's just nice to see there are families out there that still spend time together at "Christmas":)
    Anyways, thanks for the ideas, and you should post more stuff like this. I find it very informative :) In fact, I think it would be helpful to a lot of people. Make going green easier for people, then maybe, just maybe, they will start to listen.
    If you don't mind, I'd like to put a link to your blog on mine.

  2. Thanks! I'm glad that you enjoyed my post. Christmas is really what you make of it now. It is true that it has become so commercialized and wasteful. I think it's time that people recognize what's really important. I think the recession has helped with that somewhat, but there are still going to be wives that actually buy their husbands those HD TVs and wrap them with lots of wrapping paper!