Designing gifts for your friends and loved ones you can easily wake up your creativity and turn into an artist. There’s nothing that can stop you! Homemade cookies, custom-designed tote bags, collage of your pictures together, printed t-shirts… such presents will show the gifted person how well you know them and will remind them of your shared moments.
In the time of social-ecological crisis, it’s worth to think your consumer choices through — including souvenirs and gifts. Happily, there are more and more shops and brands that offer sustainable, fair-trade products. Almost as significant as the present itself is the packaging. Cellophane, plastic boxes, unnecessary ribbons made of artificial materials — think of possible alternatives.
The world of ecological and sustainable solutions may seem awfully demanding. No worries — we’re here to help and introduce a couple of ideas you can use. The fact that you stopped scrolling to read this article is a big green step already! Now let us present to you our suggestions for environment-friendly gifts.
Custom printed t-shirts and tote bags
We’re happy to announce that even printshops have already placed fair-trade cotton and organic textiles on the print market. You can find them in the offer of companies like TeeJunction. Designing your own t-shirt or a tote gives you the opportunity to take a moment and create something unique. A custom printed tote bag can be an excellent alternative for present wrapping paper — it’s like an actually practical gift bag of multiple-use. Keep your mind open and let yourself go with the flow of creativity. What can you get printed?
Pictures that were taken together fit not only a photo album but can also enrich and personalize one’s wardrobe. You can either have them printed exactly as they are, or have some fun editing them, e.g., making full-print collages.
- Digital graphics
Make friends with graphics software and create an amazing, one of its kind graphic inspired by your friend’s favorite music and food, or your shared favorite quote… The possibilities are endless — you can combine your own photographs with stock illustrations and your drawings.
- Your drawings and paintings
If you don’t like working with computer software, you don’t have to force yourself. Draw or paint something that reminds you of your loved one, interpret your memory together into a piece of art. Later you can quickly scan your masterpiece and have it printed on textiles. Obviously, you can include a framed original piece to the printed gift.
Office and crafts supplies
Every day we’re wasting an unbelievable amount of both natural and artificial materials like paper and plastic. It’s inevitable when we go to schools and work at offices. Although we can change the way we use them and keep looking for alternatives.
Choose notebooks with gray-yellowish pages. The clean white paper owes its color chemical bleaching i.a. with chlorine and may contain quicksilver, which is toxic for the environment and extremely dangerous for animals.
Pages of dirty color are a sign that a notebook was made of recycled paper, and no new trees were cut down to produce it. Some of the notebooks may even have a special mark on the backside saying that the paper is a recycling product.
Our planet is literally buried under all the layers of various kinds of plastic — pens included. That’s why in this category, we thought of two types of pens. Traditional fountain pen in a set with an inkstand, so one can avoid constantly buying pen refills made of plastic. Another idea we came up with is ball-pens made of recycled plastic bottles! Just like the notebooks mentioned above, they also are specifically marked as products of recycling.
- Small utensils
Paper clips, sticky tapes, pencil cases, folders… avoid artificial materials! Minimalistic products of wood and recycled paper are not only environment-friendly but also fashionable.
Something for a sweet tooth
Instead of looking for purely material things, you can keep in mind that the way to one’s heart is through their stomach (to ours for sure!). Following this thought, you can make a Bake-It-Yourself-Jar. Make their favorite brownie mix of dry ingredients. Put them in nice and even layers, attach a letter with the whole recipe, tie it with a jute trade and a lovely, heartwarming gift is ready!
If they hate baking but are in love with your oatmeal raisin cookies, just bake a whole sheet! Then you can either pack them in a willow basket or wrap them in baking paper and make a candy-like-shaped packet.
Remember to use fair-trade and ecological ingredients. That will show the gifted person that you care both about them and the environment. It also turns the gift into a discreet educational message — it’s not that difficult to care about our planet and people in need, as well.
What’s the point
Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries don’t necessarily have to be soulless, commercial holidays and occasions. Of course, we can’t change the way the enormous companies work and make money. What we can improve, and control is how we live, what choices we make, what we learn, and teach each other. Every opportunity for making the tiniest change is worth taking the step — even such a triviality as making gifts! Try to make the greenest out of it!