Eco-Friendly Homemade Gifts
Homemade gifts have a reputation for touching hearts.
Benefits of homemade gifts
Go straight to ideas for homemade presents.
The advantages of well planned home made gifts range from letting your creativity shine, benefiting your wallet, and more importantly, deepening your connection with your loved one.
Not only that, you can also avoid getting sucked into the consumerism culture by the advertisements and sales tactics that are rampant during any holiday season. And you will no longer have to bear with the crowds at shopping centres, only to purchase something your loved one barely needs.
As a fan of home made gifts, I’m sure you already know about these.
But do you know that homemade gifts can also have the additional benefit of being environmentally friendly, IF YOU CHOOSE to make them so?
With homemade gifts, you are in full control of the materials you use. You can choose to use healthier ingredients for food gifts. For non-food gifts, you can choose to make use of reused items, recycled or biodegradable materials. You can even reduce your use of materials, such as through reducing your gift wrapping (reducing, reusing and recycling are important components of the 3 R principle of waste management).
At the same time, with eco-friendly homemade gifts, you can bring the greatest joy to your loved one through a meaningful gift. When you choose to customise your gift such that it is something your loved one will use, you will have no fear that it would be sent to the recycling centre or rubbish bin soon after unwrapping. In this way, you are actually helping to cut down on the amount of waste your household produces.
Ideas for Eco-Friendly Homemade Gifts
There are a few important points when making your own eco-friendly home made gifts. Take time to think about what your gift recipient likes. This will help you to personalise his or her gift. When sourcing for materials to make that special home made gift, look at what you already have at home first. Look even in your recycling bin. You may find something extremely useful.
Here’s some ideas for eco-friendly gifts made at home.
If you know how to sew or knit, you can consider knitting your loved one a scarf for winter, or making him or her bags and purses from unwanted denim jeans or canvas. You can even make a book cover out of that unwanted denim jeans.
If you are making homemade gifts for a child, consider putting together a unique stuffed animal. Personalise that stuff animal by giving it a name, complete with a “history” of how and when it was “born”, what it “likes” and some of its peculiar habits. Capture these information in a little handmade book (you can make this book out of recycled paper) and present it to your darling kid recipient on his or her birthday, or as a Christmas gift.
If your gift recipient is into gardening, why not give him or her a new plant and add to the number of plants alive on this planet? Oh, I don’t mean just getting any plant from the nursery – after all, hand made gifts are about taking time to prepare the gifts, not just getting them straight from the store.
Get the seeds (choose organic seeds if you can) of his or her favourite plant and get it to sprout using organic soil, sufficient sunlight and water (depending on the needs of the plant) and organic fertilizer. When the infant plant has grown sufficiently big and strong, it is ready to be given as a gift. For the fun of it, inform your gift recipient of the “birthdate” of this infant plant you are presenting to him or her, so that it can be celebrated with extra offerings of organic fertilizer!
Hand made gifts like these make great personal presents that will be around for several years to come.
Other homemade gifts include crafting jewellery, such as earrings, necklaces and bracelets. In fact, you can collect interesting outdoor items such as seashells or seeds to put together for a personal touch in these homemade gifts. These hand made jewellery pieces will definitely be unique and one of its kind around – since you made them specially for your girlfriend, mum or sister! And importantly, this gift probably requires only a minimal amount of new material – a sure sign of a green gift that’s personal, yet easy on the wallet.
If you are planning a gift for a sweet tooth, why not bake him or her a cake? This cake would be different from the ones you get from the stores, because it is baked with love (from you, of course), and you have the options of using healthier ingredients like organic milk and brown sugar (instead of refined white sugar) and customising the cake to include the foods that your gift recipient likes (eg. organic dark chocolate, etc).
Don’t be discouraged if you are not familiar with baking. With so many baking aids around these days, it is no longer a difficult skill to learn. In fact, this first cake that you are baking for your loved one would come as a big surprise. And it would definitely convey your sincerity, because you took pains to learn to make that special gift!
If you are into cooking, and your loved one loves a good meal but has health issues such as or food allergies, why not whip up an yeast free dinner on his or her special day? With such a yeast free meal, you can actually help your loved one stay in good health and shape (yes, help him or her lose weight too) as he or she enjoys the food you have lovingly prepared. And if that loved one happens to be your partner, couple the yummy yeast free dinner with candle-light and romantic music. These special arrangements will definitely make for a memorable celebration.
Here’s a gift idea for a fellow neighbour or a friend whom you wish to introduce the green lifestyle to – put together a gift basket of green cleaning products made in your own kitchen. Most of the ingredients you’ll need are probably already in your pantry – the only other thing you’ll need are some spray bottles which come really cheap at superstores. If you happen to have some empty spray bottles (left over from the cleaning agents you have used up), then you can spare yourself the cost or trouble of getting new ones from the stores.
The ingredients you’ll need to make the green cleaners are baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and some natural soap. Natural soap, such as “castile soap”, does not contain any synthetic ingredients, but are usually made from olive oil and are available at many health stores. These ingredients will allow you to put together a variety of natural cleaners
, from all-purpose, window and mirror to oven cleaners.
These natural ingredients are not harmful, like conventional synthetic mixtures which require you to wear gloves and work in a ventilated room. This homemade gift will help you convey your care and concern for your recipient’s health, as well as encourage them toward a healthier and greener lifestyle.
Read about other home made gift ideas
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