Trader Joe's Fans Will Love This Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Hack

There are already dozens of reasons to love Trader Joe's: There's all of their delicious frozen meals, yummy seasonal treats, the 19 cent bananas, and, of course, cookie butter. But in addition to all of the goodies you can buy, the huge brown paper bags the store uses at all of the checkout counters shouldn't be overlooked. According to Taste of Home, the paper bags completely replaced plastic at the checkout back in 2018, and they can be recycled or composted once you lug your groceries home. But every holiday season, Trader Joe's changes up the bag design so you can also repurpose the bags into eco-friendly wrapping paper.

According to Popular Science, a lot of the wrapping paper you might normally buy for the holidays isn't recyclable, especially if it has glitter, bows, foil, or other decorations. It's also estimated that about half of all wrapping paper ends up sitting in landfills after it gets torn off the presents. But you can make the holidays more environmentally friendly just by trading regular wrapping paper for something reusable or recyclable. That's where Trader Joe's comes in: If you buy any groceries there during the holiday season, you'll end up with a few wintry paper bags you can use to wrap gifts without spending any extra or looking for other eco-friendly gift wrap ideas.

How to use Trader Joe's bags to wrap your holiday gifts

Don't worry about making your gifts look festive; the brown paper might be a little more rustic, but Trader Joe's usually changes up their design for winter, adding elements like holiday lights or red and white stripes. According to The Cozy Home Chronicles, which posted instructions for repurposing the bags into gift wrap all the way back in 2015, you can turn any large paper bag into gift wrap, not just grocery bags. Flatten the bag as best you can, and carefully peel apart the glued bottom. Then, flatten the bottom and sides until you have a square sheet of paper. Cut open the bag along one of the creases, and pull off the handles. Then, you'll have a flat sheet of brown paper you can use to wrap small gifts (and recycle once the holidays are over).

You can get creative with Trader Joe's bags in all sorts of ways too. The paper is perfect for drawing or painting on your own decorations if you want to add a little extra holiday cheer. You could also skip the gift tags and use a marker to write who each gift is for on the paper. One Reddit user even got creative with handles of the bag, fashioning them into a recyclable bow for the top of the gift. If you want to make the holidays a little more sustainable this year, look no further than your grocery bags!