‘Tis the season of last-minute gift wrapping! All of that paper used to conceal our gifts can add up to a lot of waste: A whopping 25% increase in what we throw out, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

It’s not just about the garbage. The new resources needed to make wrapping paper, such as fiber from trees, can place stress on forest habitats that animals call home. So skip the free in-store wrapping and find creative ways to have an eco-friendly holiday.

For fun, challenge your friends and family to see who can package their gifts without buying anything new. The possibilities are endless! At Shedd, some of us save wrapping paper and boxes from the gifts we receive to reuse ourselves the following year. Create holiday-themed stamp patterns on brown paper bags. Use leftover newspaper and add “ornaments” made from construction paper scraps, holiday images from old gift cards, and bows made with leftover ribbon. You can also keep a set of reusable gift boxes to commission year after year, or wrap the gift with itself; with some quick folding, a colorful scarf can conceal matching gloves. Shredded paper makes great padding for fragile presents, and you can top it all off with a sprig of greenery from your own backyard.

Happy wrapping, and Happy Holidays!