wrapping paper alternatives

Take the Cut The Wrap challenge and pledge to avoid single use wrapping paper this winter!

Every year at Christmas time miles and miles of wrapping paper is bought, used and then thrown away. So much wrapping paper is bought in the UK that in 2013 it was reported it would be long enough to stretch to the moon. 7 years later, I haven’t seen any reports that people are using less wrapping paper – have you? I think it is time to use wrapping paper alternatives that are less damaging to the environment! So in 2019 I started up the Cut The Wrap Challenge to encourage people not to use any single use disposable wrapping paper over the festive season.

Note: This post was originally written in 2019, but has been updated for 2020 and you can sign up here to join in with the 2020 challenge.

Why do we need to cut the wrap?

The pleasure of a wrapped gift is brief and recycling doesn’t solve the problem

A lot of wrapping paper can’t be recycled because it is plastic lined or has glitter stuck on it, which is also made from plastic. Even if you could recycle more wrapping paper, the production of all that wrapping paper causes unnecessary damage to the environment. It uses up precious resources that could be better used for something else!

I don’t think that chopping down a tree for the momentary excitement of people being able to unwrap gifts is worth it.

Wrapping paper is an extra expense

You can pick up cheap wrapping paper, especially if you buy it in the January sales. However it is still an extra cost at what is to many an already expensive time of year. If you have a lot of gifts to wrap up, the costs can add up!

Why do we do it then? Habit, culture, expectation, because it looks pretty? Whatever the reason it is undeniable there is something fun about wrapping paper and the element of surprise when you open a gift.

What can we do instead?

Take the challenge to #CutTheWrap this winter by ditching single use wrapping paper in favour of more sustainable alternatives.  

There are lots of ways to have fun and present a gift without trashing the environment like the ideas I’ve listed here: eco friendly wrapping paper alternatives .

Using sustainable wrapping paper is only part of the challenge, we also need to give sustainable gifts. For some inspiration check out my suggestions for sustainable gifts your friends and family will love.

Join in with the Cut The Wrap challenge

Join in with the campaign by signing up below and pledging to avoid single use wrapping paper this festive season.

Also please share the campaign and your alternative gift wrapping pictures on social media using #CutTheWrap between now and the end of December. Tag me on @ecothrifty (Instagram and Twitter) in your posts too and let me know what you are up to!

I’m so excited about you guys joining in and I’m really looking forward to seeing what you do! Make sure you opt in to receive the blog newsletter to get the latest from your blog directly to your inbox, as well as pledging to join the campaign! Thank you everyone for your support!


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For more ideas about how to save money and the environment at Christmas time, check out this post: How to have a luxurious eco friendly Christmas on a budget