Every holiday season households throw more trash away than any other time of year.  A big part of this is the materials used for gift giving.  A lot of the material such as wrapping paper, ribbons and plastic bows can’t be recycled and end up in landfills.

If we could focus on reusable materials it would move us that much closer to sustainable celebrations.  

Here are some great options for wrapping gifts that can be used year-round, not just over the holiday season.

#1: Glass jars
Glass jars (I suggest these) can be easily sourced and you can fill them with all sorts of creative ideas turning jars into fun, festive personalized gifts. Food items like granola (links to website recipes below), dry cookie dough mix, hot chocolate, jams, pesto, marmalades, pickled vegetables/kimchi and spices are always welcomed.  You can also create items like essential oil scented candles, tea light holders or a simple vase for the table.

#2: Newspaper or Magazine Wrap
While most people are switching from printed newspapers to digital news, there are still many newspapers printed daily along with magazines.  Many of us have printed material lying around the home waiting to be used or recycled.  If you don’t, your friends or neighbours may. While you’re asking you can share your idea with them as they may try it as well! 

Go through the stack and look for some interesting images or articles that complement your gift.  You could even find an unsolved crossword puzzle as an added bonus.

#3: Gift Boxes
Cardboard delivery boxes are great for repackaging gifts.  Freshen them up with eco-friendly colours, kraft paper, newspapers or saved up tissue paper to make the boxes look new.

Pine tree sprigs or dried herbs with oranges are a nice touch to the finished product.

#4: Kraft paper
Since most types of wrapping paper cannot be recycled, it all ends up in the trash.  Kraft paper is biodegradable and recyclable making it a great choice. This is one that I would recommend.

Get creative when wrapping with kraft paper and add your personal touch to spruce it up.  You can add some rustic looks and decorate with natural materials like pinecones, dried plants or orange slices.

Keep it fully eco-friendly and don’t use tape.

#5: Furoshiki
Furoshiki is a Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to carry around belongings, and it’s become a popular eco-friendly gift-wrapping method throughout other cultures as well.  All you need is a two-sided square cloth to wrap a gift in furoshiki.  Check out this Pinterest board on how to fold your package click here

Look for forgotten fabrics you already own such as a scarf you no longer use.  Wash and wrap and it’s ready to go.  No decorations are needed.  You can also search out cloth or even tea towels with a festive pattern.

#6: Gift Bags or Totes
Totes are a great idea as they are reusable and washable and can carry most things.  Another idea is sticking to kraft paper gift bags that are biodegradable and recyclable just like the paper. You can personalize the gift bags to add some colour and personality. Here are some great kraft tote bags you can use here. Have fun with it!

DIY Treats
Homemade Honey Granola:  https://functionalvitality.ca/blog/crunchy-homemade-honey-granola/

Basil Pesto:  https://functionalvitality.ca/blog/basil-chive-pesto/

Homemade Pumpkin Spices:  https://functionalvitality.ca/blog/homemade-pumpkin-spice-blend/

Kimchi:  https://functionalvitality.ca/blog/kimchi/

Lemon Blueberry Chia Jam: https://functionalvitality.ca/blog/lemon-blueberry-chia-jam/