Green Manolo » Are Homemade Holiday Gifts Really Greener?

Are Homemade Holiday Gifts Really Greener?

By Christa

I think the most common quickie answer to the question I pose in the headline would be YES! But stop for a moment and consider how ‘meh’ some homemade gifts can be. I’m not saying that your homemade gifts wouldn’t be absolutely fantastic, of course, but too many homemade gift ideas I encounter – and I’m always on the lookout – are more homey versions of the impersonal gift grab gifts we get at work. Bath salts. Candles. Soup ingredients in a jar. Etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things if you like them, but not everyone does.

The first step toward making sure your homemade holiday gifts are really green should be choosing presents that won’t eventually end up in a landfill. Wasted food, for example? Not green. The next step is making sure that your homemade gift doesn’t involve more consumption of new resources than buying something from a store would. What can you make using materials you have on hand or get source secondhand or even outside? What can you make using trash? (You know, nice clean trash like bottle caps, not old butter wrappers.)

So with that in mind, here are five green homemade gift ideas that aren’t too difficult and can be made with stuff you already may have lying around.

Need a gift for a baby or a bunny lover? Wee Wonderfuls has an easy pattern for a wee bunny that can be made with fabric scraps or old clothes.

Wine? Yes, please! Once upon a time, I made everyone wine cork wreaths for Christmas, and now I get regular gifts of bags of corks from my wine loving family. What to do with all those corks? How about simple wine cork trivets? This one is sewn, but there are other ways to cork up a trivet.

Handmade paper? It can be a little meh, if only because that soft handmade paper with all the flower petals in it can be kind of a pain to write on. But how about a set of cool homemade envelopes with blank cards inside? And wouldn’t it be sweet if those envelopes were made of out junk paper? Yes.

If, like me, you live by the seaside, you may encounter driftwood. And a nice piece of driftwood can make a pretty attractive coat rack that looks like it came right out of the Viva Terra catalog. It’s up to you whether you tell ’em you made it yourself.

And finally, for the gardener in your life, how about making some easy easy easy seed tape? Even if you can’t package it as nicely as shown here, it’s still a great way to turn planting next year’s veggies into less of a chore.

Do you have a go-to homemade gift that you find yourself giving people every year? Share it!

2 Responses to “Are Homemade Holiday Gifts Really Greener?”

  1. Rachell Jermeland Says:

    Honestly, I hate homemade gifts. I know that a homemade gift had a lot of effort put into it, but if you want to talk green, I’m probably never going to use a homemade gift, might even end up in the trash. I’d much rather that someone gets me something I really want and will use. That seems so much greener to me.

  2. Chad Shrader Says:


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