AFTW Holiday Challenge #1: Ditch The Wrapping Paper!

AFTW Holiday Challenge #1: Ditch The Wrapping Paper!

Christmas break begins today, and the countdown is on!  Just 8 days left until Christmas!  It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I am thrilled!

Yes, I am a little bit obsessed with Christmas.  Ok, very obsessed.  But of course, I haven’t forgotten about AFTW!

So for the next week, (if I’m not rockin’ around the Christmas tree), I’ll be posting some tips for making your Christmas a little more green.  Stay tuned! 🎄

Now, let’s talk about wrapping paper.  It’s pretty, keeps gifts well concealed from recipients, and looks fantastic under the Christmas tree.  But what happens after we open our presents on Christmas morning?  We throw it out.

If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.[1]

Personally, I was completely shocked to read this.  Who knew that wrapping paper was such a significant source of waste?

In light of this, here are some alternatives to wrapping paper that you can try this Christmas:

1. Gift Bags:

Easily the most versatile option, gift bags can fit presents of any shape or size!  They are also very inexpensive.

A common misconception is that tissue paper needs to be used in gift bags.  However, if you choose to use tissue paper, then you aren’t really saving any paper.  You might as well just use wrapping paper.  But if you are giving a present that doesn’t need to be kept secret, such as a box of chocolates, there is no need for tissue paper.  For this reason, gift bags are particularly convenient for friends and neighbours.

2. Gift Boxes:

I never even considered this option until my mom picked up these adorable boxes from Michaels the other day!


Aren’t they cute?  In my opinion, they look even nicer than wrapping paper.  But the best part is, these boxes can be reused year after year.  Instead of using wrapping paper, consider putting your gifts in boxes like these.

And here’s another thing to consider: some gifts already come in boxes.  Items such as jewellery might already be in boxes, so there’s no reason to wrap them when they already come wrapped!

3.  Stocking Stuffers:

At least with larger gifts, you can attempt to use the wrapping paper again.  But with small gifts, it is often difficult or even impossible to reuse the paper.  That’s what stockings are for!  Just pop your little gift into the recipient’s Christmas stocking, and there’s no need for wrapping paper at all.  And of course, stockings are reusable year after year!

Now, here’s the catch to these holiday posts:  I challenge every reader to try some of these tips and tricks themselves, and tell me about it!  Write about your eco-friendly Christmas in a comment at the bottom of this page, or tag me @ashafortheworld on Twitter.  If you write a blog, write a post with the tag AFTW Holiday Challenge describing your experiences and send it to me at ashafortheworld314[at]  I’ll feature your blog in a post!

What alternatives to wrapping paper will you try?

-Asha M.

  1. [1]According to the CDC “Go Green For The Holidays” page:

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