Personalized Birthday Gifts Made Green
Before I go on to share some ideas for personalized birthday gifts, I would like to share on why I think you should make your personalised gift environmentally friendly (i.e. green).
Importance of an eco-friendly birthday gift
Go straight to ideas for a personalised birthday gift.
It’s time that we give a little more consideration to our environment. After all, we only have this planet. If it dies one day from human’s destructive activities, we will all die together with it.
But you may ask, what impact can a little gift make on the environment?
Here’s why. A gift that ends up in the corner of the storeroom – unused, and eventually gets discarded – still unused, is a waste of resources, and the energy required to produce and dispose of that gift. This means that when you get a gift for your loved one, you should get them something they would use, and not just get them a gift for the sake of giving a gift.
Here’s another reason. Gift wraps are pretty. But have you noticed how the next destination of these gift wraps are usually the dustbin once presents are unwrapped. In fact, gift wraps bring only very minimal joy for the amount of waste it creates. It also wastes resources. It is worst if these gift wraps don’t get recycled, or contribute substantially to pollution.
One little gift may not matter much, but millions of gifts -- for the various events or celebrations taking place all over the world every second -- matters. Think of the number of festivals (e.g. Christmas, Easter, Fathers’ Day, Mothers’ Day, etc) that are celebrated with gifts, and how many people all over the world take part in the celebrations (with gifts for almost everyone they know). Think of the number of presents prepared for each birthday, wedding anniversary, etc everyday, on a worldwide basis.
It definitely matters a lot!
And when it comes to caring for the environment, every bit of effort counts. If everyone does their part to care for the environment, the world would definitely be a much cleaner and healthier place to live in.
Tips for making personalised gifts eco friendly
Here are some tips to make your personalized birthday gifts green.
Make your own personalized birthday gifts instead of purchasing them from the stores. Home made gifts allow you the flexibility in choosing what materials to use. This means that you get to make use of environmentally friendly materials like recycled paper or organic food when making your gift. Such home made gifts are also gentler on your pocket, and allow you to exercise your creativity.
Make something that your gift recipient would like and use. That means you might have to take a bit more trouble to find out about your gift recipient. It would be sad if you took lots of effort to make something for your recipient, but he or she does not appreciate your gift. Not only that, it would also be a waste of materials and the gift that you have painstakingly made may end up in the rubbish bin.
When making your personalized birthday gifts, try to make use of unwanted items that would be otherwise sent to the landfills, instead of purchasing new materials. By doing so, you are actually helping to reduce waste, and reducing the energy needed to produce the new materials. Unwanted items like old clothes, old jeans, festive cards, used gift wrappers, etc can come in very handy.
Reduce the gift-wrapping materials used for your personalized birthday gifts. Make use of recycled or reused materials, like colourful magazine paper or newspapers, for gift wrapping, if necessary. Such gift wrapping materials add a sense of creativity, fun and mystery to your gift. The most ideal would be to do away with gift wrapping totally. One way is to have a part of the gift (e.g. a towel) serve as the gift wrapper.
Ideas for green personalized birthday gifts
Here are some ideas for environmentally friendly personalized birthday gifts.
Make your loved one a personalised calendar. Print a copy of the following year’s calendar from the internet (do a search over Google). Use recycled paper if you can. You can even make your own recycled paper. Then collect photos of your gift recipients, such as the ones you took with him or her, or the ones that he or she took together with friends, family members or pets, and put them all together into a personalised calendar specially for your gift recipient. I’m sure that your gift recipient would be thrilled by the gift, and would find it useful.
If your gift recipient has gone through much in life and the various moments in his or her life had been captured in photos, why not put together a simple life album for him or her. Help your guest recipients bring back fond memories. And I’m sure that your recipient would enjoy sharing with his or her friends and family about the stories behind each of the photos that you have carefully selected to be put of that life album. It may not be easy to up a life album -- it may be easier if that gift recipient is a family member, or if the gift recipient is a friend, you might need the help of his or her family members.
One of the very old fashion but easily personalized birthday gifts to make would be to bake your loved one’s favourite cake or cookies. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to bake; there’s lots of baking aids out there. In fact, if you actually take the trouble to learn, your gift recipient is likely to be very touched by your gesture and efforts. To make this gift healthier for your loved one and the earth, replace the conventional ingredients with organic ones, such as organic flour, organic butter and eggs, etc.
One of best birthday presents you can arrange for your loved one is a surprise birthday gathering. Not a party per se, but a simple gathering of friends or family members that the birthday boy or girl loves, but possibly does not get to meet very often. You could make it a pot-luck, so that saves you the trouble of preparing food for everyone. The food that the attendees bring could be considered a form of gift for the birthday boy or girl, so that helps the attendees with the problem of finding a suitable gift as well.
Don’t forget to share with your gift recipient how you went about greening your personalized birthday gifts for him or her. Help to spread the word about living a green life!
Check out more ideas for personalised gifts
Here’s some ideas of eco-friendly gifts you can get at the stores
If you have ideas for personalised birthday gifts that I didn’t think of, share it with me! I would love to hear about them!
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