Cheap and Sustainable Christmas gifts

With Christmas fast approaching it is time to start thinking about gifts for friends and loved ones, and what better time to try something different? The Christmas period is often a time of mass consumption and waste therefore, sustainable gifts can be cheap whilst still being a deep and meaningful thing to give somebody you care about. Here are four Sustainable Christmas present ideas for you to try out this year.

Framing pressed plants/flowers

Framing plants of flowers can be any easy way to make something aesthetically pleasing whilst using relatively few materials. Simply choose what you would like to press, put it between book pages and place something heaving on top and leave for a couple of days. When you return, the item should have been flattened and dried out, carefully remove it then it is ready to be framed! The type of frame is up to personal preference, but a good place to look for cheap frames is in second hand shops which often have more vintage looking picture frames. These can especially create a sort of Victorian botanical feel, but of course there are also modern options which also look great. You could even go further and add hand written text or photographs alongside your plants to add a personal touch. Minimal waste is created and no harmful materials such as plastic are used in most cases leading to a great sustainable gift.

Pinecone tree decoration

Sticking to a nature theme, another thoughtful and creative idea is to use pinecones as a base for a Christmas tree ornament. Collect some pinecones and decorate them however you want, this could include painting them or attaching other ornamentation. To create the part which hangs onto the tree, wrap string around the base and glue it into place. You can get as creative as you want, even a plain pinecone with simple adornments still gives a sort of natural look which screams Christmas. This idea is extremely eco-friendly and is something which can be used each year.

Potato prints

A more unusual gift idea is to create an art print using potatoes! All you’ll need is some potatoes and some paints. First you must cut the potato into halves and then use the cut parts to carve a design into the potato. It is probably easiest to carefully use a sharp kitchen knife to do this, some easy designs are things like stars, Christmas trees, flowers etc. Once this is completed, you simply paint onto your design then print it onto paper by gently pressing down, once it is dry you can also add other colours by selectively painting parts of the potato and again pressing down on the already dry layer. You can do multiple designs on one page and then these can be framed, again a sustainable gift which uses materials which create little waste whilst creating an imaginative gift.

Plants

Moving onto something so simple but something overlooked, plants are gifts that with the right care last a long time and have so many benefits. House plants can be brought relatively cheaply, but are great to have in the house as décor as they brighten up spaces and give rooms something interesting to look at. They are also so varied that you are sure to find a plant which suits the person you are buying for, to make it even more personal you could also buy a nice plant pot for it go into. If somebody isn’t so keen on physical plants, another option is a virtual plant. Multiple services offer non-material trees or plants which are planted across the world where you are updated on the progress, for example, the company Treedom plants trees on your behalf and works with small farmers to maintain the trees which come in a variety of species (Banana, Avocado etc) which means for you have the opportunity to also help improve food security in certain parts of the world.

It is important at a time of over consumption to maybe be a bit more conscious about what we buy and how it is made, hopefully these ideas have helped you to start thinking more sustainably about Christmas and more creatively!

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