10 Environmentally Friendly Alternatives to Buying Wrapping Paper – Guest Post

By Andrew Kardon


Wrapping paper? Seriously? I get the chance to guest post on Anne’s incredibly awesome blog and I choose to write about wrapping paper. It’s probably half a step more interesting than watching paint dry. But trust me, this’ll be short, sweet, save you some money and help the environment all at once. You can’t argue with that, can you?


  • The Sunday Funnies – Growing up, I remember my mom using the Sunday comics section as wrapping paper for a lot of our own gifts. It was so much fun, actually. Bright, colorful paper covered in cartoonish characters! And when you’re done opening the presents, the newspaper just goes right back in the recycle bin!
  • Reuse Gift Bags – Ever get a gift that comes in a gorgeous colorful bag with tissue paper inside? Be sure to save it next time you get one. Yeah, it’s somewhat like “re-gifting” but less frowned upon.
  • Brown Paper Bag – Know those bags you get at the supermarket? Grab one and go to town decorating it. Add stickers, pictures and drawings all over the bag to make it look extra special.
  • Old Maps – Everybody has a drawer somewhere  in their house filled with old, useless maps. Road maps, hiking maps, world maps, whatever. Grab a big one and wrap a gift in it. Your gift will most definitely stand out from the crowd!
  • Kid Art – Your kids have drawn you umpteen million pictures haven’t they? Chances are they’re not ALL up on your fridge. Take some old drawings (or have your kids make some new ones!) and wrap the present in them. Your kids will be ecstatic to see their artwork given to someone in such a unique fashion!
  • Boxes – If you order anything online, save all your small and medium-sized boxes. Then, just like the paper bag above, grab some markers, stickers, construction paper, etc., and have fun decorating.
  • Wallpaper Samples – Wallpaper samples make great gift wrap because they’re so thick and sturdy! Save extra scraps next time you or a friend install wallpaper, or visit a store and ask if there are any extras or samples around you can take.
  • Wrapping Paper – Uh, yeah. When someone gives you a gift, chances are they’re not as frugally minded or ecocentric as you, so they probably spent good money on some nice wrapping paper. Assuming you didn’t rip it to shreds opening your gift, save the wrapping paper and just reuse it on someone else’s gift in the future.
  • Cereal Boxes – Just like the comics section of the newspaper, cereal boxes are a lot of fun too. If your gift is small enough (and not too heavy)  to fit in one, pick a fun colorful box to use and wrap a simple ribbon around it to complete the package.
  • Comic Books – Next time you’re at a garage sale, flea market or even local comic book shop, pick up a slew of cheap comics. The bright colorful superheroes make for some excellent wrapping material!


What do you use instead of wrapping paper?



BIO: Andrew Kardon writes about saving money and being frugal over on JoeShopping.com. He’s also a proud Daddy Blogger who loves going on and on about superheroes, Legos, sushi, and his two awesome boys at MommysBusyGoAskDaddy.


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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  1. Oh my gosh, these ideas are AWESOME! Andrew, you should guest post on my site, I love the comic book and map idea!!

    • Thanks, P! Yeah, the old me would’ve cringed at the thought of defacing comic books! But I’m no longer in a collector’s state of mind. 🙂 I would love to guest post on your site if you’ll have me!

  2. I love the idea of using old maps.

  3. I love the idea of using the map as wrapping.

  4. I’m the queen of reusing gift bags!

  5. I’ve reused store shopping bags. Love the idea about maps.

  6. These are some really neat ideas. I like using the brown paper sacks that you can get from some grocery stores and then have the children decorate them.

  7. I love using brown paper! Add some raffia and you have a very elegant package.

  8. I like the idea of using old maps. I always reuse gift bags when I’m given one. I sometimes use reusable grocery bags or totes as gift bags so the recipient can use those over and over.

  9. I just noticed this post was live. Completely missed it yesterday! Thanks so much for the great opportunity, Anne!

    And thanks for the great comments so far, everyone!

  10. I commented last night and now they’re gone. So if this is a duplicate, my apologies! Thanks, Anne for letting me play on your blog for a day! And thanks to everyone for the comments! Glad you liked some of these ideas.

  11. These ideas are awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  12. These are some good ideas. I already reuse gift bags. I’ll have to try the newspaper funnies next.


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