Sustainable Gift-Giving: Easy Ways To Reduce Waste

By Ali + Julie on 15 Oct 2023

We often overlook the tremendous amount of waste generated during special occasions and celebrations. From the wrapping paper to the packaging, traditional gift-giving practices can be surprisingly wasteful. Aussies use about 8,000 mature trees for gift wrap each year. Gift wrap is mostly non-recyclable as it uses too much ink. Fortunately, there are many easy and creative ways to reduce waste when giving presents and wrapping them.

Choose Thoughtful Sustainable Gifts

The first step to reducing waste in gift-giving is to select items that align with sustainability. Consider gifts that are long-lasting, functional, or consumable.

Some ideas include:

  • Give the gift of memories, like tickets to a concert, a cooking class, or a spa day.
  • Support local artisans and small businesses, which often have less packaging.
  • Opt for products like stainless steel water bottles, bamboo utensil sets, or cloth shopping bags.
  • Houseplants or succulents make excellent gifts and improve air quality.
  • Consider gifting pre-loved books or vintage finds.
  • Pool your resources, and give one gift instead of 20+. Create and share a link in 1 minute so it’s easy. Save on petrol, time, and landfill from gift wrap, plastic packaging, and unwanted gifts. Think milestone bdays, kid's birthdays, farewell, get well, marry well.
  • Donate part of a gift to a charity. If it’s through GroupTogether, we’ll send the details straight to any Australian registered charity and they’ll do the thank you’s and tax receipts. (EASY). Consider:

Eco-Friendly Wrapping

The next step is to be mindful of how you wrap your presents. Traditional wrapping paper often ends up in the trash, contributing to unnecessary waste. Instead, try these eco-friendly alternatives:

  • Fabric wraps: Use colorful scarves, tea towels, or cloth napkins to wrap your gifts. The recipient can reuse them, eliminating waste.
  • Brown paper: Plain brown paper can be decorated with stamps, hand-drawn designs, or natural twine for a rustic, eco-friendly look.
  • Newspaper: Old newspapers can be repurposed as wrapping paper, adding a unique touch to your gift.
  • Reusable gift bags: Cloth or jute bags can be used over and over again, reducing waste.

Reduce Single-Use Decorations

Decorating gifts can be just as fun as the gift itself, but it often results in a mountain of single-use items that end up in the trash. Consider these sustainable options:

  • Natural decorations: Use dried flowers, pine cones, or leaves to adorn your gifts. These biodegradable options add a touch of nature to your presents.
  • Reusable ribbons and bows: Invest in cloth or ribbon that can be used repeatedly.
  • Personal touches: Instead of plastic gift tags, make your own from recycled paper or cardboard.

If you’ve chipped in for a gift through GroupTogether, YOU ROCK! In the last year, you helped save:

  • 28,220 trips to the shops + 12,613 Litres of petrol.
  • 1660 rubbish bags saved from landfill
  • 19,754 unwanted gifts

Ali Julie Square

Ali + Julie

Co-Founders, GroupTogether

Life’s busy. That’s why we’re here to make it easy for you to collect money from a group. Less wasted time, less packaging waste, and spending a little less but giving a lot better!

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