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Opt to Act – Simple Action #4: Reduce wrapping paper

Opt to Act – Simple Action #4

Join REI in making the fight for life outdoors part of your life with The Opt to Act Plan – 52 weeks of simple actions to reduce your impact, get active, and leave the world better than you found it. Full details can be found here.

Action #4 Opt out of traditional wrapping paper to cut down on waste this holiday season.

 This year, wrap your gifts in more sustainable wrapping alternatives, consider the following options:

  • Cloth (think: spare curtains, old towels or unneeded bedsheets), recyclable brown paper (which you can buy in bulk)
  • Reusable or recyclable wrapping (check out Maika, a cotton-based wrapping company that uses soy ink, or Ikea, which carries all-recyclable wrapping paper options)
  • Reusable bag
  • You might also consider giving your loved one an experience rather than an item, so there’s nothing to wrap at all!

We’d love to see and hear your ideas, your pictures, your successes and your challenges as you add this habit to your day-to-day life. Share below!


At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.
2 Replies

Thanks for the suggestions @REI-FelipeG .  I like the idea of giving experiences rather than a physical gift.  While this may not qualify in the sustainability arena, I often couple an experience with a gift.  An example is that I purchased a pair of Craghopper hiking pants (at the Used Gear site) for my daughter's boyfriend, gifted them to him early and took both he and my daughter on a hike today to break them in.

Another sustainable gift idea I use for people who are difficult to buy for is to buy a selection of cuts of top-grade, fresh or frozen beef from a local farm and package it in insulated, reusable shopping bags.  If I'm lucky, I get invited to at least one meal prepared with that beef.  😀

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

In my circle of friends and relatives we decided to only buy gifts from thrift stores.  This was our second year and we love it!  We find books, clothing, sporting goods, music, etc, for practically nothing.  This year included REI, Ibex and Patagonia gear, & John McPhee and Jon Bowermaster books to name a few.  And in the process we help the charity that runs the thrift store.  

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.