Guide to a Greener Holiday - Zero Waste Gifts and Gift Wrapping

Posted Tue, 12/03/2019 - 12:15

This year, your holiday doesn’t have to end with bags and bags filled with crumpled wrapping paper. If a gift swap is part of your holiday traditions, check out our tips below for choosing and wrapping presents that won’t pollute! Click here if you missed blog 1: Zero Waste Holiday Parties and Decorations of the three-part Guide to a Greener Holiday series.


  • Fill reusable jars with tasty homemade treats like jam or trail mix, or make your own salves and creams such as sugar scrubs or lip balms.
  • Give experiences (tickets to a concert, cooking class, sporting event, annual memberships to national/state parks, etc.).
  • Donate to charity.
  • Choose rechargeable batteries or gifts that require no batteries at all.
  • Purchased refurbished electronics.
  • Shop locally.


  • Folded cloth makes great, reusable wrapping paper! 
  • Scarves, t-shirts, purses, and other accessories can be used for wrapping and an additional gift.
  • Use old posters, maps, or blue prints to wrap your gifts. The paper (but not the tape) can likely be recycled even after the gift is opened.
  • Use newspaper as padding instead of foam or bubble wrap. 
  • Reuse old gift bags or reusable shopping bags.

We have one last blog to share. Tune in on Monday to green your holiday travel plans!

Guide to a Greener Holiday - Zero Waste Gifts and Gift Wrapping

Posted Tue, 12/03/2019 - 12:15

For citation purposes, unless otherwise noted, this article was authored by the NOAA Marine Debris Program.

The Marine Debris Blog is no longer accepting comments but continues to display past contributions.


Fri, 12/06/2019 - 03:42

Nice ideas! Homemade gifts are the best.
I found a really nice solution for wrapping on a handicraft market: A beautiful red cloth bag with Merry Christmas embroidered on it, to give away your present in and where the receiver can reuse the bag for presents next Christmas. If you use recycled fabric this bag becomes even more environmental friendly.