Every year we find ourselves reflecting on the past and planning for the future.
Most people set New Year’s resolutions to shed a few pounds or start eating healthier, and there is so much to be said in the realm of healthy, affordable eating.
Today though I’m going to share some ways, I have been more eco-friendly during the gifting season.
I want to share a few ways you can begin to think about your small actions that have tremendous impacts on people and the environment.
Firstly, for some, we were very fortunate to share this Christmas with our loved ones. Others were not so lucky.
However, I am sure most of us managed to send some gifts to our loved ones despite the odds.
Each year I like to try and make a few gifts. I also try to makeshift my wrapping so that there is less plastic and can be recycled/reused. Unfortunately, most councils do not accept traditional wrapping paper in the recycling, and it ends up in a landfill.
Below are a few ideas you could try yourself throughout the year or in preparation for (fingers crossed a covid free) Christmas.
Homemade Wrapping paper
My first set of explorations were to use brown parcel/plastic-free, shine-free paper.
I then try to limit the use of tape and cheap twine is a great and affordable effective way to finish off the wrapping.
I’ve also used newspapers previously and found the receiver isn’t so precious about shredding through the wrapping paper. Who doesn’t love the opportunity to rip open a present as though we were eight again!
I also like to “embellish” the wrapping a little like the good old days; instead of using bows and ribbon, I make small salt dough shapes and this year I slightly burnt my oranges.
I handmade an earring jewellery box and I also wrapped my handmade reusable cotton rounds in baking paper (there was easily enough for a tray of home-baked biscuits Or cookies).
Reuse Gift Bags
Another approach myself and my partner took, which again is maybe only efficient and cost-effective on a small scale.
We DIY’d a few Santa sacks. Initially, we were going to take individual sheets of fabric and wrap our gifts individually. Having decided against this, we made our sacks and hid our gifts inside. Granted, you have to go in blindfolded and treat it like a random pick and mix for an element of surprise, but it was super sweet, and I can’t wait to use them again next year. We are also super excited for the charity shops to open again to keep our eyes open for the bargain fabrics.
If you’re not so much of a DIY goer, I know you can buy fabric Santa Sacks. When I was a kid, we would pack our gifts into them after we had opened our presents.
Eco-Friendly Gift-Giving Alternative to cards
Lastly, cards! Usually, we only give cards to those we aren’t going to see – a great rule to implement.
We don’t tend to give them to those we live with anymore. However, despite making my cards the previous year, a friend introduced me to ‘Don’t Send me a Card’.
We now send each other a little digital card, with a donation to planting more trees. If you are on a budget, you can make one small donation and send up to 100 virtual e-cards under that one donation! Amazing!
It also never occurred to me that I used to photoshop some images of friends and send them a copy for their birthday, which in effect is the same principle but it’s free! So that’s another idea for anyone who likes to get creative and is all about the digital age.
Then only a few days ago, I received the sweetest pick me up post from another friend.
This lovely card (granted, it’s not something we could all afford regularly or for everyone in our lives), but the principle is there. If you know someone is conscious and loves plants and the environment as much as I do, this is perfect. It is probably possible to make your own, purchase this plantable card or certainty shop around.
Firerox created it, and it is made from eco-friendly, recycled paper embedded with wildflower daisy seeds (perennial herbaceous plant – according to the card).
It says that this card can be planted both in (March-April) and outdoors (April-August), and it’s blossoming season is between May and October! I am SO EXCITED!
Hopefully, this has inspired some of you, but for now, that’s a wrap (no pun intended).
Happy New Year!