The Holiday Season is a time to give gifts and send messages to loved ones. It is a tradition that transcends many cultures and religions.

Here are some tips that will support your gift giving traditions AND help your efforts to be more environmentally conscientious.

Every year an estimated 4 million tons of trees go from logs to landfills to make wrapping paper & holiday cards.[1] If every U.S. family wrapped just three presents in alternative, reusable materials, enough paper would be saved to cover 45,000 football fields. It is estimated that if every U.S. family used two fewer feet of ribbon, 43,000 miles of ribbon would be saved. That is enough to tie a bow around the entire planet over 1.5 times.[2]


This is a staggering amount of holiday products that are thrown away after one use. Here are some ideas on how you can reduce your holiday gift giving waste.

In lieu of “fanatically ripping” off gift wrapping, consider opening presents cautiously & reusing the wrapping paper the following year. Large pieces of wrapping paper can be used to wrap gifts or make gift bags for large, odd shaped gifts. Cereal boxes can be used as templates to make gift bags as well.

Small scraps of wrapping paper can be repurposed to make gift tags or envelopes for gift cards. Gift wrap can also be reused to make a paper chain to decorate your house or tree.


Reuse holiday themed gift bags and cellophane bags. Ribbon and tissue paper can be reused, not only for gift wrapping but crafting projects that you do with the keiki.

You can even use items around the house to wrap presents. Cereal boxes, brown paper packages, newspaper (especially the Sunday comics), children’s art projects, old calendars or maps, worn out posters, fabric, baskets can all be repurposed to wrap gifts.

Reduce the amount of waste by making your own of gift adornments out of raffia, natural items, paint swatches, or curled paper.

If you do buy wrapping paper look for products sourced from recycled content or fibers, while avoiding glossy or metallic wrapping paper, which are are harder to reuse, cannot be used in mulch or in recycling programs.



Here are a five articles that provide tips on alternative wrapping ideas:

We encourage you to go green & be creative in your holiday gift wrapping this season (and year round)!

[1] Using or Burning Holiday Gift Wrap Is Not Environmentally Friendly
[2] Frequently Asked Questions: Holiday Waste Prevention