Try Alternative Gift Wrapping Paper In 2023

Whether it's your birthday or Christmas morning, are you someone who takes one second to shed all the gift wrapping paper or are you someone who carefully takes off the gift wrapping paper so as to not cause a tear or wrinkle and keep it safe for later use? Yes, if you didn't know already, gift wrapping papers can be reused or even easily repurposed for other paper craft.

Even though the golden rule of reducing, reusing and recycling is the basic course of action for sustainable living, it also needs to be applied to the wrapping paper. Most of the gift wrapping paper and certain kinds of decorations are not recyclable, and the amount of wrapping paper that is used during the holidays or just Christmas can add an incalculable amount of trash.

At ThunderBolt paper, we are actively trying to propagate relevant information while educating ourselves about the persistent needs of sustainable living. Here is what you need to know about the wrapping paper problem along with eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas and materials that look good as well.

The wrapping paper problem

To be fair, wrapping paper itself is not a problem. We all enjoy giving and receiving our gifts, but we absolutely love looking at gifts and objects covered with pretty wrapping paper and decorations, especially sitting under the Christmas tree.

But most of the gift wrapping paper that is shiny, sparkly and has plastic coating is not recyclable or is very difficult to recycle. Especially if you buy cheap wrapping paper. It is composed of a lot of microplastics that pollute the oceans and the land as a part of trash.

Especially during holidays, the amount of gift wrapping paper along with cellophane tapes still attached to it can be difficult to contain and even more difficult to recycle. By using alternatives to the gift wrapping paper that are eco-friendly, compostable and does not cause more pollution, we can move towards more sustainable environmental goals.

Why do we need alternatives?

Paper was not the first material that was used to write things on. The same way, paper was also not the first material that was used to pack things or wrap gifting things in. Before wrapping paper or any glittery shiny paper was invented, people used to make do with whatever they could find to decorate or wrap their gifts, including jute sacks too.

Today, due to the endless weather change problems we are facing and are expected to encounter because of climate change and endless trash that we create every day, we can no longer depend on the habits that are harmful for the environment and all the living beings.

This is a major reason why right now is the ideal time in history to switch to sustainable practices and products, including eco-friendly wrapping paper.

Time to think sustainable

One of the most basic principles of sustainable practices for a healthier environment is reusing and recycling of what we already have or use. This means, rather than buying more paper, recycling the gift wrapping paper that we use by following proper instructions of sorting and containing it.

Another option that you have is to switch to traditional wrapping materials, which may help you reduce negative impact on the environment. Here are a few options to consider: 

Kraft paper

The thick brown paper was in use for wrapping gifts and what-not long before conventional gift wrapping paper made its way into our lives.

Cloth napkins

You could repurpose old square fabric pieces to wrap and decorate gifts to skip wrapping paper all together. Using a fabric that the recipient can use, too, is a bonus. 


Newspapers are compostable, biodegradable, recyclable and easy to find. You can wrap and decorate your gifts with newspaper and some ribbons or stickers, just like the old times.

Cereal boxes

The chipboard cereal boxes are made from recycled and pressed sheets of consumer paper waste,  while being completely recyclable itself. You can turn them into gift bags or small boxes with easy tutorials online.

It is very much a choice at every step of the way to a sustainable life and future. There are things that we can do or try right now at our convenience to help save the environment, which might even become non-negotiable if things go south environment wise. We would love to hear your thoughts and experience with sustainable ways of living in our comment section below. Have you tried eco-friendly wrapping paper?