The holidays are magical, but one part needs a major glow-up: Gift wrap.
Americans spend over $17 million a year on wrapping paper, bags, and bows. In the process, we create about 5 million tons of waste, including microplastics from glitter, tape, and lamination.
To save money and natural resources, we’ve got a few fast ways to think outside the gift boxes without turning into a grinch…
These tie-dye boxes are handmade in India by fair trade collectives, using cotton and wood that would otherwise be trashed. They can be passed along to the next gift recipient, or reused as super-cute storage.
COMPOSTABLE GIFT WRAP
YOUR KIDS’ ARTWORK
Take the third (and fourth… and fifth…) finger paintings of the week, and use them to wrap presents for extended family and friends. They’ll adore the added charm, you’ll save money and space, and zero new waste will be created.
TRAVEL BROCHURES + MAPS
Waterfalls! Cityscapes! Touring productions of Hamilton! Free brochures and maps are everywhere, from your local library to the airport or mall. Upcycle them into wrapping paper for added wacky flair.
OLD COMIC BOOKS
This one's for you, Riverdale fans: There are piles of old comic books available at flea markets, used bookstores, garage sales, and of course on eBay and Etsy. Get yourself a Betty & Veronica Double Digest (or just as great, a Scarlet Witch stack!) and wrap your presents with the added gift of childhood nostalgia.
BROWN PAPER BAGS
They’re 100% recyclable and let’s be real—we’ve already got a ton of them because of those Amazon grocery deliveries.