By Arwa Lodhi
Christmas is undoubtedly a seriously wasteful time of year, with its discarded wrapping, single-use greeting cards, food scraps and unwanted presents. But it needn’t be that way – half of Britons said they would be happy to receive unwrapped Christmas presents, for example, to slash the amount of waste generated during the festive season, according to a recent poll.
What’s more, 46% said they would rather receive a digital Christmas greeting such as a text, email or social media message, than a paper card, and 84% of consumers voiced concerns about the amount of plastic packaging used on gifts.
But despite that concern, a quarter of people surveyed said they were too busy during the holidays to try to curb the amount of plastic they were using, and 22% even claimed there was too much waste in their homes over Christmas to be able to recycle it.
Luckily, there are some easy solutions: you can make your own Christmas tree decorations, ban straws and plastic bottles from your dinner table, and make your own customised gifts and wrapping paper – a great idea since most wrapping paper is, in fact, at least partly plastic and cannot be recycled.
But maybe the best idea is making your own gifts. Not only does this reduce plastic packaging waste, but when you customise presents to suit what you know the recipient will love, they’re far less likely to stuff the gift in a closet or worse, throw it away!
Here are 10 plastic free homemade Christmas gifts you can easily make – and it won’t cost much to do so, either.
1. Bath Bombs
How pretty are these? They’re great for the skin, and are a welcome gift for anyone of any age. It’s an easy-to-make at home recipe that allows for you to add any essential oils you like. Find the recipe here.
2. Homemade Lemon Honey Body Scrub
Sweet smelling and rich in natural goodness, this helps slough off rough skin, and looks great gifted in a simple Mason jar, with a painted lid and decorated with a bit of string or ribbon. Want to give it a go? Find the recipe here.
3. Homemade Lip Balm
Totally necessary for winter, this balm doesn’t take long to make at all. Add a few drops of essential oil to personalise the scent, and if you want to make a lip scrub instead, all you need to do is add a spoonful or two of coffee grounds. Find the recipe here.
4. Decorative Spice Jars
These are a great gift for the cook in your life. Find some spice mix recipes here, then add them in pretty layers to an interestingly shaped, clear glass jar, and tie with a bit of ribbon. Alternatively, make your own tea blend, using green or black tea and a mix of dried fruits.
5. Non-toxic ‘PlayDough‘
This is a great gift for the kiddies, and best of all, you can add your own scent. Find the recipe here. You can also use this recipe to make your own Christmas tree decorations: just cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, punch a hole at the top of each piece so you can tie a string in it, bake at a low heat for an hour, and you’re done!
6. A Blackboard Mug
Got some old mugs lying around? Recycle them! Use some black chalkboard paint to cover up the old design, then write a sweet message on them with simple chalk! Or, just use simple black paint and a white or silver paint pen to customise your message.
7. Personalised Calendar Magnets
Use a free template to drop your photos into these cute photo calendar magnets for a quick, easy and highly personalised Christmas gift. Want to learn how to do this? Just click here.
8. Coffee Syrup Trio
Christmas time calls for a little something special, and there’s nothing more indulgent than a freshly made, steaming cup of coffee with a sweet kick. These homemade syrups make a great gift, and I highly recommend making all three – it’s so easy. Get the recipe here.
9. Chocolate Coconut Date Truffle Bites with Sea Salt
These sound and look utterly decadent, but they’re are actually sugar-free, using the natural sweetness of dried fruit instead of refined sugar. Pile them into a Mason jar or pack them into a gift box with little paper wrappers, just like these. Get the recipe here.
10. Don’t Forget the Wrapping!
Christmas wrapping can be seriously wasteful. It’s downright depressing when you see the bags and bags of waste after all the presents are open. Instead, recycle newsprint to make some beautiful wrapping – embellish with natural evergreen boughs or ribbons, brooches, hair jewellery or other objects that will be re-used, not trashed.
Image above: designmag.fr Main image: Itsalwaysautumn.com
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