The holidays are coming up fast, and with it usually comes over-flowing garbage cans and recycling bins in back lanes. Why not do loved ones and the planet a favour and cut back on some of that trash?

Wrapping can be more than just packaging a gift fits into–it can be part of the gift.

Hit up the local thrift shop and see what might make a good package for your gift. A nice pillow case could make great wrapping for some gifts. Decorative boxes and jars will work well for others. Get creative!

Furoshiki, japanese wrapping cloth, is another great option because the cloth can be reused as a bag or to wrap other gifts. You can order the cloth online, or if you know how to sew just pick up some fabric and make your own.

But ripping paper can be satisfying, so if you don’t want to deny gift receivers the satisfaction of tearing out their gift, make sure you’re using something that can be recycled. Normal gift wrap cannot be recycled, but newspaper can! Pull out pages of your local newspaper that have attractive or holiday themes photos and store these to use as wrapping, or paint festive images on the paper before wrapping. Instead of taping the paper on tie it with a string or piece of jewelry. Another option is to make an origami box to put your gift in.

Using eco-friendly wrapping is an important step towards leaving less of an environmental impact during the holidays. What is your favourite way to wrap gifts?