25 Eco Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas for 2024

December 16, 2019 (updated January 31, 2023) — Written by

You don’t have to sacrifice cuteness for eco friendly when it comes to wrapping gifts. In fact, most of these eco friendly wrapping ideas are even cuter than a roll of conventional store bought paper and a sticky bow.

lisa holding a wrapped gift

By: Lisa Fennessy

But all cuteness aside, most wrapping paper is not recycleable and so it ends up in our landfills. Earth911 estimates that approximately 4.6 million lbs. of wrapping paper is produced in the U.S. each year, and that about 2.3 million pounds ends its life in landfills.

Why? Not all wrapping paper is paper. Some is plastic-based. As a rule of thumb, the majority of wrapping paper is not recyclable including anything shiny or laminated, anything with metal, glitter or texture, bows, ribbons and holiday cards.

A couple exceptions are: recycled wrapping paper which can be recycled again. And also pure paper. Recycle Now says a good way to test to see if your wrapping paper is recyclable is to is to crush it into a ball. If it stays bunched up, it’s more than likely recyclable.

25 sustainable gift wrapping ideas

But let’s move onto the solution. These 25 eco friendly gift wrapping ideas come with the benefit of not creating any additional waste for our planet. AND they may even save you a bit of money too. And who doesn’t want that?!

two gifts wrapped in newspaper adorned with red berries

Old newspaper makes the best wrapping paper. I love the this black and white motif with a pop of red like these from The Ethical Unicorn.

several gifts wrapped multiple times in twine and adorned with live foliage

Go crazy with kitchen twine. The more the merrier via Smart Furniture.

several gifts wrapped in brown paper, twine, foliage and stamped pine trees

Use festive stamps to jazz up brown paper like A Piece of Rainbow.

dreid oranges tied to brown paper packages tied with string

Just one more way I plan to use my dehydrator this season thanks to Bri Heiligenthal.

two gifts wrapped in sheet music with berries and greenery

Super sweet via Clean and Scentsible.

three gifts wrapped in old maps

Repurpose old maps. I personally have so many of these from my days of freelancing. Maybe *heart* their town or city or state. Via Country Living.

white gift adorned with seed paper cut in the shape of a tree

Cut seed paper into festive shapes – the gift that keeps on giving!

gift wrapped in white fabric with pine cones and greenery

Furoshiki wrapping via The Glitter Guide.

small square gift wrapped in gift wrap

So many cute ways to style burlap. And I’m not being sarcastic!

small gift wrapped in printed burlap and greenery

Cute printed burlap via PermaCrafters.

several boxes wrapped in brown paper with a painted bow

I love the idea of a painted bow via Curbly.

painted hashtags on brown paper with berries and greenery to finish

#BestGiftInside #Favorite #413 #HoHoHo #It’sWine…

brown paper painted with white brush strokes in a pattern

Add some pizzaz to brown paper with nontoxic paints and a single brush like these from Almost Makes Perfect.

cut out letters glued on brown paper

Personalize it with a typographic element like Man Made DIY.

three tube size presents wrapped in sewing patterns

The perfect way to repurpose old sewing patterns like Sadie Seasongoods.

recycled handmade biodegradable white paper with twine and berries

Biodegradable, handmade, unbleached paper like this white one via From Britain with Love

A present wrapped in paper

Reusable organic cotton wrapping like this one from Wearth London – photo via From Britain With Love

several bows made from the pages of books

Upcycling old books to make bows and tags via Organized Mom.

laying out 5 reusable produce bags on the counter

Cute reusable produce bags like these ones by Flip + Tumble are so versatile and make great sacks for odd shaped items.

A gift with greenery

I love the idea of wrapping with wreaths and so does My Scandinavian Home.

A gift with small doilies as the tags

Recyclable paper doilies are a precious touch via Style at Home.

vintage silk scarfs as gift wrap

Repurpose a vintage silk scarf or thrift one from a local second hand shop like these via Inhabitat.

A gift with photos

Repurpose a holiday card they sent you in years past to up the sentimental factor like this one via Style at Home. This is fail proof. I mean, who doesn’t want to see a pic of their own kids!?

sketch of an elk or deer centered on a brown paper wrapped gift

Add your own sketch to double the gift giving like this one from Fat Mum Slim.

brown paper wrapped gifts with fresh greenery

Adorn brown paper and twine with fresh herbs like these via Nice Party.

What eco friendly and sustainable gift wrapping are you trying this season?

xo, lisa in cursive

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By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply


    Love all those ideas! You’ve totally inspired me!

  2. Reply


    All beautiful ideas…I’m inspired!!!

    1. Reply


      Thanks Lisa! Bookmark it for the holidays! xo

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