As Christmas nears, it can be easy to panic and overspend on presents. Here are some relatively low cost eco options instead.
1) Buy compost and bulbs. Put them in pots (ask any gardener you know – we mostly have hundreds). Leave outdoors until Christmas – they need the chill – then wrap pot in fabric and tie with a ribbon for spring colour: a great mood-lifter.
2) Buy a pack of bird seed, & one of native wildflower seed, some colouring pens/paints and a notepad. Add an optional compass, bin-bag (for litterpicking), local map, oat or protein bars and a great nature book like Get Your Boots on by @Appletonwild. Label ‘Adventure Kit’ and prepare for fun.
3) Make a baking hamper, choosing minimal/plastic-free packaging. Flour, eggs, sugar, fat and vanilla plus pretty decorations and/or jam/chocolate can be a cheap but welcome gift, that can be bought while grocery shopping, and lead to a fun time baking.
4) Make a crafting hamper filled with recycled packaging and fabric/ribbon scraps from your scrap box (if you have one). This is ideal for young, creative children. Add PVA glue, and optional paint plus crafting ideas (feel free to use any from my site).
5) Make a foraging kit, with a good foraging guide (I love Foraging: The Essential Guide to Free Wild Food by Jon Lewis Stempel, strong scissors (second hand is fine), a string bag and recycled plastic tubs. Follow the foraging code.
6) Make store-cupboard toiletries. Use recycled packaging, net and ribbon to make them look nice.
7) Add fruit (fresh – eg, left over satsumas – or tinned/drained) to any 1/2 drunk bottles of spirits you have. Add sugar. Shake. Leave to steep. You have created a fruit spirit. Soak off the label/stick a home made one on top. Leave until at least new year for drinking, ideally.
8) Make anything more exciting by putting it in origami envelopes made from recycled paper: they’re easy to make. You could include different seeds, compliments, cooking vouchers, nature adventures or romantic suggestions…
9) Make a nature science hamper with bicarbonate of soda, salt, a magnifying glass, seeds and other items that can be used for experiments. Some ideas here.
10) Give the gift of time. You might visit a favourite attraction. You could go to a park, museum or gallery for free. You could spend a phone-free evening together. Create memories, not waste (spread #LoveNotLitter to love the planet too.)
What eco gift ideas do you have that are quick enough to make happen before Christmas? Please share your ideas in the comments.