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As you already know, wrapping paper isn’t recyclable and tonnes of it ends up in landfills each Christmas.

According to Zero Waste Canada, a Vancouver-based advocacy group, Canadians throw out 540,000 tonnes of wrapping paper and gift bags each year. That’s about 100,000 elephants worth of wrapping paper tossed to the landfills.

It’s still possible to make eco-friendly choices and reduce holiday trash, while also giving gorgeously wrapped presents. There are plenty of crafty ways to spruce up your presents that will not only make your gifts stand out, but will do a little bit of good to the planet too. All you have to do is look around the house.

These 7 earth-friendly gift wrapping ideas will help you give beautifully wrapped gifts that have less impact on the planet:

Kraft paper or brown paper bag

There is just something so simple and beautiful about packages wrapped up in kraft paper. Add twine, evergreen branches, paper doilies, printed photos, pinecones and greenery…so many lovely possibilities. Check out ways to wrap with brown paper at Fat Mumslim.

Photo by Local Milk Blog

Newspaper

Eco-friendly and adorably chic, using newspaper is a smart alternative to store-bought wrapping paper. Add twine, twigs, or berries for an extra touch.

Old maps

Like newspapers, maps and atlases are no longer part of most people’s daily lives, but you can give them one last hurrah as gift wrap.

See tutorial at Cosy More

Old fabric

Look for unique textures to make your gift bags more interesting: old sweaters, cloth, graphic tees that you can no longer wear all make very unique wrapping. You can also break down pieces of old clothes left in your wardrobe and create beautiful wrapping.

See tutorial at Lonny 

Furoshiki

Wrap presents with cloth using Furoshiki techniques, a traditional Japanese tissue used for gift wrapping, grocery shopping, clothing or storage.

See tutorial at 1 Million Women

Reusable bag

Reusable bags are actually cheaper than regular gift bags. You can choose a neutral colour and customize them using different kinds of tissue or ribbon. Some stores will even have holiday themed bags available to purchase. A unique, simple and durable option!

Photo by Ekta Bags

Glass containers

Whether you’re offering edible presents, or small items, glass jars are instant and accessible containers to pack your Christmas gift. And, if your jars or tins are cute enough, they will have a second (or third) life for the giftees. For glass jar gift ideas, visit DIY Projects.