It’s a scene common to homes up and down the country. Christmas morning arrives, presents are eagerly opened, and much waste is left behind after paper and ribbons have been casually discarded. Is this what it’s usually like in your home?

In an effort to live a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle, you might prefer to think of more ethical options when it comes to your gift wrapping. This way, your family and friends will still have something to unwrap on Christmas morning, but there will be less environmental risk in the process.

Here are some tips you might find useful.

#1: Source your old gift bags

If you have still have old gift bags stored away in your home, there will be less need to wrap up your gifts in decorative paper. Simply pop the gift in the bag, use paper tape or tie a string to the top (to prevent people from having a sneaky look inside), and then hand it over to the recipient. Hint: Be sure to keep the bag after opening, as you will be able to use it for many more Christmases to come.

#2: Learn how to wrap your presents

You have probably been less than impressed when your home delivery parcels have arrived, and the item inside has been surrounded by more protective plastic and paper than was needed. However, could the same be true of your Christmas presents? Many of us use way too much plastic and paper when wrapping, and we create more waste by doing so. The trick here is to cut the paper to size and then benefit from the extra paper you will have in your possession for wrapping up all of your other gifts.

#3: Use old fabric

Do you have any Christmas tea towels stored away in your cupboards? Or how about last year’s table cloth that was used for your festive meal? If so, consider using these or any other colourful pieces of fabric that have been stored away in your home, and use it to wrap up your Christmas presents. We actually used a cotton scarf to wrap our gift in the photo, which means it’s completely plastic-free and the lucky recipient also gets an addition gift! Alternatively, if you possess a few creative bones in your body, you could also make your own gift bags from the fabric you have to hand.

#4: Use recycled gift wrap

You are spoiled for choice when it comes to buying Christmas paper, but you don’t have to rely on the usual stores you frequent for your supply. There are eco-friendly options available if you look hard enough, so be sure to shop around when online or on your local high street. Your local Oxfam will sell fair trade gift wrap too, so pop in when you’re next in town. Furthermore, thanks to the high-quality materials used by such retailers, you are less likely to damage the paper (and consequently waste it) when wrapping your gifts.

On the subject of recycled gift wrap, be sure to remind your nearest and dearest to open their presents carefully. You will then have the opportunity to reclaim the packaging and use it for next year’s Christmas presents.

We hope these tips were useful to you, but if you have any other ideas for sustainable gift wrapping, be sure to let us know. Looking for more ideas on how to reduce your plastic use this Christmas check our last post here