It’s December and I’ve finally come around to the idea of thinking about Christmas.
It’s not that I don’t like it; on the contrary, Christmas time is great. I just cannot stomach all the hype and perpetual consumer pressure that seems to start bearing down on us from about mid-October.
Anyway, over the weekend I spent a little time hopping around in cyberspace seeking out a few inexpensive, minimal-rubbish flavoured things to add to Santa’s list and I thought I’d share my findings with you, my rubbish-loving chums!
The Gift: Looking for something retro for the music lovers in your life? Look at these funky recycled vinyl albums and 45 singles hand-sculpted into bowls or made into drinks coasters. Each one is unique. It’d be great for throwing your keys and change into or use the LPs for your hand-made pot pourri creations, chocolates or why not plant a plant in it, that would be unusual.
How Much: Range from £2.99 – £7.99
The Gift: Literary gifts are always well received and online editions of favourite reads are even better and often cheaper too. They also have super-quick search options to find info on top topics, they have pages that will never wear out and your recipient will have zero rubbish! Have a look at the free trial issues of the digital subscriptions for The Ecologist, Permaculture Magazine, Resurgence or The Green Parent.
How Much: From £10 for a 12-month subscription.
The Gift: We’ll always need bags, boxes and containers and these ones really caught my eye. They are made by a co-operative in the Philippines who use old juice containers and turn them into recycled lunchboxes, shoulder bags and purses.
Where to find it: The Natural History Museum’s in store and online shop.
How Much: Starting from £8.00
The Gift: This makes for a such a lovely gift, its ideal for your green fingered chums and it’ll last forever. It’s a wooden eco paper seedling potter, which needs to be seen to be understood! Just think of all the delicious food and lovely plants that will come from your sustainable Christmas gift.
Where to find it: At the Green Eyed Frog online shop.
How Much: £9.85
The Gift: Find a local charity near you and adopt an animal for somebody. Take a look at this one for the Farm Animal Rescue organisation. You often get a lovely adoption pack and sometimes your name on a plaque at the centre and you’ll be doing something that fits your pocket and really will make a great difference too.
Where to find it: Here’s a selection of UK animal adoption schemes
How Much: Various, from a few pounds per month.
I hope these gift ideas have sparked your interest!
If you’re looking for a recycled little something, be sure to hop onto the appropriately named Recycled Products Guide and have a good browse through. The Recycled Products Guide (RPG) is owned and administered by WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme).
The aim of the guide is to provide a national, comprehensive database of products made from recycled materials. At the time of writing, there are over 450 companies listed, so it should make ethical Christmas shopping a little bit easier.
Alternatively, you might like to consider giving a virtual gift like an experience or a short course perhaps. There are lots of local cooking and rural craft courses that would make for a fantastic gift. Check out your local papers and directories to see what’s available where you or your recipients live.
And finally, I believe the most amazing present anyone can give, is time. Consider making a Cheque Book of Promises to enclose with your hand-made card. Ideas for cheques include time for babysitting, time for pampering (maybe giving a massage or facial), time for therapy (giving some reflexology or reiki if you are qualified), time for a garden clear up (self-explanatory!), time for a makeover (take your chum out on a charity shopping spree), time for dinner (go to a friends house and play chef and washerupper for the evening) etc etc etc…
To wrap your presents, ditch that fancy expensive wrap and use potato hand-printed brown paper tied up with string or raffia and use a hand shredder to convert knackered old Christmas decorations into jazzy slithers of recyclable packing/padding material.