Christmas is a time of getting together with loved ones, enjoying the great Kiwi summer, some favourite foods and taking a well-earned break — especially this year! But this time of year can also bring extra stresses, particularly financial.
We want to take away some of that pressure by helping you create thoughtful, special gifts for family and friends, that won’t hit your wallet too hard. All of our eco gifts can be bought for a small price from New Zealand businesses, or made by you. Best of all, they’re good for the Earth. What’s not to love?
So get the kids together and start looking around the house for some common items that with a little love, you can transform into gorgeous gifts. Let’s get Christmas crafting.
1. Beeswax wrap
These clever little reusable food wraps have gained huge popularity in recent years and it’s not hard to see why. Beeswax wrap is a super useful product that can be used again and again to keep food fresh, so it’s gentle on the planet and your pocket. Buy it at a local market, online or through a local distributor, or make your own! We love Lilybee, which sells readymade and DIY kits. https://www.lilybeewrap.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiAnvj9BRA4EiwAuUMDf3u6AleWAfZLUG_V0UqA4GPWl1n6ZiEPdxartxokryTsdi_izuPOfBoCtkQQAvD_BwE
If you want to try making your own wrap without a kit, add almond oil and beeswax to a double boiler and heat slowly to melt the wax. Next, lay cloth pieces flat on a clean baking tray and bake at 80deg on fan bake for 10 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and use a paintbrush to paint each piece of cloth with the wax and almond oil mixture.
2. Stainless steel drink bottle
Inexpensive, safe to drink from and long-lasting. These eco-friendly drink bottles are the perfect gift for any family member on the go, who wants to keep their drinks hot or cold.
3. Homemade soap
This is a thoughtful gift that everyone finds useful. Homemade soap is just as good at washing away the germs as any store bought version, with some added love. To make your own soap, you’ll need a few ingredients including, animal fat or vegetable oil, distilled water, fragrance oils and moulds (plastic containers work well). There are several different recipe you can try, such as https://thisnzlife.co.nz/diy-make-your-own-soap/
The great thing about making soap is even when you make a mistake, you can reuse it and try again!
4. Herb garden
Have a green-thumbed family member? Why not give them a DIY gift that will keep on giving… everything they need to start their own herb garden. For the gardener in your family, you could put together a gift basket with seeds of their favourite herbs and some pots (these can be small so they can grow the herbs in their kitchen), and growing instructions. Add some handmade labels for an extra special touch.
5. Recycled bag
A cotton tote bag is the must-have gift for everyone. Whether you’re going to a market, fair, picnic or the beach, a roomy recycled bag will come in handy. You can buy these from local markets, shops and online. To make your gift more personalised, why not add the recipient’s name or your own design?
Nothing can replace the ambiance of beautiful candles. These are inexpensive to buy and can be found in shops and markets everywhere. Or try your hand at making your own. All you need are a few items which can be found at your local craft store: soy or beeswax, a wick, essential oils and glass jars, vintage tea cups or other pretty vessel. https://www.candlecreations.co.nz/knowledge/candle-making-tutorials/make-a-scented-soy-candle/
7. Bath bomb
These are a great stocking filler and will please even the pickiest family member. You can find these rainbow coloured fizzers everywhere, especially during the festive season. Opt for bright colours for children, or beautiful scents and healing properties for adults.
Christmas is all about spending time, not money. These are just great a few of the fabulous eco gift options that you can enjoy creating with loved ones for meaningful gifts. Best of all, you’re taking care of the Earth at the same time! Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and festive season.