12 Clever Ways To Ditch Wrapping Paper This Holiday Season

From aprons to old maps, here are a few ways to cut down on waste.

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The parties, the presents, the never-ending slew of events, the holidays do tend to pile up—literally. The amount of household waste we produce spikes each year between late November and early January; all that extra food waste, packaging and items that are thrown out when we receive new things means that our trash output increases more than 25 percent according to the David Suzuki Foundation. In fact, a recent study conducted by advocacy group Zero Waste Canada shows that some 540,000 tonnes of wrapping paper and gift bags are thrown out in this country each year. There are many ways you can cut back on the waste. Tucking one present inside another, for instance, is a clever way to double your gift while also cutting down on the amount of garbage and recycling you produce this holiday.

How to use an apron to wrap a gift

This handmade apron ($35) from Vancouver-based artisan Nate Gao, who runs the Etsy shop The Cozy Spoon, makes a pretty—and practical—cover for a cookbook. Scroll down for a step-by-step guide on how to use an apron to wrap a gift.

Photo, Erik Putz.

Step one: Place apron face down a table or floor, and position the gift in the middle of the apron. Fold down the top half of the apron.

Step two: Fold up the bottom half of the apron.

Step three: Fold in the sides.

Step four: Flip the gift over and tie the apron strings. And it’s a wrap!

Below, we share more ways to ditch wrapping paper this holiday season.