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Zero Waste Christmas: 7 ideas to wrap your presents without wrapping paper

Surprisingly enough, another year has passed, and Christmas time is approaching. Apart from enjoying quality time with the family, there are also quite a few side effects that come with Christmas, especially for our environment:

According to the German Federal Government, Germans create approximately 218 kilograms of packaging waste per head and year, which makes them leaders of the European waste ranking[1]. Over Christmas, a whole lot of wrapping waste adds up to it. Can’t this be changed? We’ve done some research for you and collected quite a few new ideas. Maybe there’s one or the other tipp you want to try for yourself?

1. Upcycling city maps and magazines:

Paper maps can be pretty cumbersome to unfold but are quite useful as retro-style wrapping paper. Old magazines can also be used for a real look-at-me-present, considering the many colours of high-gloss paper. Nice side effect: You’ll save the money for the wrapping paper and reduce waste.

2. Boxes, Tins:

We all know the beautiful tin boxes our Grannies used to have in their cupboards, filled with cookies waiting for the next visit. Once cookie-time is over and the box is empty, it can serve as a premium packaging. If you use gingerbread boxes, you’ll already have Christmas motives on them.

3. Glasses/Jars:

Mustard jars have already been reused as drinking glasses for ages, but they can also have a new life as a gift packing (as well as jam jars). The only disadvantage: You need to really clean off the banderol (which is the paper sticking around the glass), otherwise it’ll just look shabby.

4. Bags:

High-quality coated paper bags can leave an impression. Decorated with a pretty bow they can become a real show-off packaging.

5. Natural materials:

It does not have to be the banana leaf, since that's not easy to find in these latitudes. But wouldn’t it be possible to find one or the other nice item in our woods, that can be used for gift wrapping as well? Fir branches and pine cones instead of paper tags definitely. Although, strictly speaking this is more decoration than actual wrapping 😊

6. Present as packaging:

The annual socks can also serve as a perfect packaging for a nice piece of jewellery, a woolly hat can hide the little drone inside. Just make sure to announce that those clothes are presents as well. You don’t want to find yourself discussing why Grannies hand-made socks, used as a modern wrapping, found their way to the bin after a first glance at the content...

7. Kitchen towels, but folded professionally:

A very special folding technique was invented by the Japanese (for sure, whoever can fold paper like art isn’t challenged by kitchen towels). If you google "Furoshiki" you will find many tutorials to let you in on the secrets of this technique. The folding of the towels is really fun! If you have trouble at first, you can practice with the old wrapping paper from last year: saving this is good for your wallet AND saves energy deciding which packaging is the “right” one.

We wish you a great holiday season full of gift giving – and lots of fun exploring creative new solutions for a resource-saving holiday!