Eco Friendly Ways to Wrap Gifts on A Budget

Want your gifts to have a special touch? Read on for some eco friendly ways to wrap gifts on a budget.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that when you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no further cost to you. All affiliate links will be marked with *. Read full disclosureΒ here.

Whether you’re wrapping up a Christmas, birthday or wedding gift, the way you present the gift can make a lot of difference. Some of us like to go the extra mile with our wrapping skills, but at the end of the day, not many people care about the packaging. The truth is they care more about what’s inside. Keeping packaging minimal and plastic free is the best thing you can do because it saves you time and money and prevents lots of waste.

The Problem with Wrapping Paper

But wait, isn’t most wrapping paper now recyclable? Well, yes, but did you know that we still throw away around 227,000 miles of wrapping paper every year? These stats were reported by BIFFA, a waste management company. Some people are still not aware that wrapping paper can be recycled, so it gets thrown in the general waste.

The catch is most wrapping paper is recyclable (unless it’s foil or glittery paper), but all tape, ribbons and bows much be removed first. If you’ve had the joy of removing tape from wrapping paper then you’ll know that this isn’t a fun task, especially if there’s a whole pile of it. Unfortunately, some people don’t like the hassle of doing this, so they throw it in the recycling bin or the general waste. And by doing this, they’re adding to the problem of unnecessary waste at Christmas.

6 Eco Friendly and Affordable Ways to Wrap Gifts

Luckily, there are lots of eco gift wrapping options that will help you to cut back on waste this Christmas. And the best part is that they don’t cost the earth!

Reusable Wrapping Paper

Reusable wrapping paper has the biggest upfront cost, but when it’s used year after year, you will make a good saving. If you get a neutral pattern, you can use it again for birthdays, anniversaries, and many other occasions through the year. Happy Wrap and Wrag Wrap could be great options, as they use reusable fabric gift wrap. As you know, wrapping paper is delicate and very easy to tear. But when it comes to fabric, it’s not easy to rip or tear it apart, so it should stay in excellent condition for many years to come.

Reusable wrapping paper is great to use when giving presents to family members and friends, but if you’re sending gifts abroad or you’re giving away a Secret Santa gift, you might need an alternative option.

Kraft Paper

Kraft paper is one of my favourite gift wrap options for anyone on a budget as it’s really affordable and it’s great for all occasions. The great thing about kraft paper is it’s naturally biodegradable and can be recycled up to 7 times! Kraft paper is naturally stronger than many other types of wrapping paper so you’re less likely to tear it when wrapping gifts. In my opinion, this is a huge advantage.

Just remember when using kraft paper to also use brown tape, that way it can be easily recycled together. Makes life so much easier, doesn’t it?

Paper Bags

If you prefer not to individually wrap gifts, paper bags are a great option. In the photo above, I’ve used If You Care Paper Sandwich Bags, which you can buy here *. These bags are biodegradable and safe for landfill. They also don’t contain any toxic glue or paraffin wax.

I personally love using these bags for smaller gifts because they don’t take up too much space. It makes sense to keep packaging as minimal as possible. Another thing that I like to do is make tags out of loo roll holders instead of buying them brand new. This is a simple tip that will save you a few pennies!

As long as your gift isn’t too big, you can find a range of paper bags to suit your budget. I like these bags * made from recycled newspaper. The design is simple and minimal, making them great for all kinds of gifts and occasion. The great part is these newspaper bags are recyclable and reusable.

Read: 14 Fun and Affordable Eco Friendly Stocking Fillers

Cardboard Box

One of the most eco friendly ways to wrap gifts is by using what you already have. Therefore, if you have any old cardboard boxes lying around, now’s the time to reuse them. If you’re worried they won’t look aesthetically pleasing, don’t worry. You can use twine, paper tags and recycled decorations to give it that special touch. But honestly, most people won’t care that you’re reusing an old delivery box.

This is the cheapest option because it literally costs you nothing!


Do you know someone who loves scarfs? And do you have any scarfs that you no longer wear? Well, you could put them to good use by using them to wrap some gifts. Wrapping gifts in scarfs has become quite popular with the eco-conscious and I can see why. Essentially, you’re giving someone two gifts in one, and there’s something really lovely about that.

If you are giving away one of your old scarfs, then you can free up some space and save a bit of money, too. Alternatively, you can browse your local charity shops or shop second-hand sites like Depop to find some lovely scarfs. Some people will give away scarfs in bundles so you can easily make big savings there!

Tea Towel

Similarly, if you have tea towels that you no longer use, why not give them away? This is a great idea for new homeowners who might be in need of some towels. You can also find a wide selection of tea towels on ebay, second-hand sites and charity shops. Who says eco gift wrap has to be boring? You can put your own unique spin on it!

Extra Tips to Be More Eco Friendly

  • Use up wrapping paper, bags, gift tags and anything you already own first (as long as they are recyclable!)
  • Use paper tape
  • Look for second-hand eco gift wrap first
  • Shop from sustainable and local businesses
  • Don’t discard any torn scraps of paper – these could be reused for something else

Hello! Welcome to Eco Cozza, a website all about living sustainably, slowly, and intentionally. I'm passionate about reducing waste, plastic and harmful chemicals in my everyday life.


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