The best kind of Christmas gift is something that is genuinely meaningful to the recipient but also an ethically and ecologically sustainable choice. Instead of disposable clutter, gifts can come in the form of services or experiences the recipient might not buy for themselves. On the other hand, it is especially heartwarming to receive a handmade gift.
More and more people consume entertainment and culture through apps, and such apps often offer gift cards. A gift card recipient can now easily try out listening to music through a streaming service, for example, if they have been hesitant about signing up for those types of services.
Audiobook services are a wonderful gift, not only for bookworms but also for commuters, sports lovers and handicraft hobbyists – they can spice up their beloved hobbies by listening to a book at the same time. Streaming services also offer a wide selection of movies and TV series.
People often highly value handmade gifts. Whether you know how to knit a pair of woollen socks, fashion timeless wooden objects or produce artwork, such as a song or a painting, the gift will surely be a memorable treasure. If you are in a hurry, baking is often a good idea; a little while spent in the kitchen will result in many delicious gifts.
A choice of experiences
In addition to traditional experiential gifts, such as movie tickets and spa treatments, trial lessons in a new hobby or sport are a wonderful idea for a gift. A dinner with the gift giver in a great restaurant or another cultural experience creates memorable moments for both of you.
Use your skills
Do you know how to give a relaxing neck and shoulder massage or an eloquent book reading? Are you a top-notch babysitter or a great cook? Are you able to defuse a stressful IT problem? You might be surprised how useful your skills may be to your loved ones, and a gift card offering your skills to others is a thoughtful gift.
A gift card also means time spent with the recipient, which might otherwise be difficult to arrange in the rush of modern life. We recommend setting a clear activity for the gift card and a relatively short period of validity so that the gift is not forgotten when the holidays are over and everyday life rushes back in.
A gift to those who need it most
Instead of buying or making a gift directly for the recipient, the funds can also spent on charity. This warm gesture will fill your loved ones with joy, especially if the donation was made to a cause close to their heart.
There are many types of charities. It is possible to buy a Christmas gift for a family of limited means, send rescue packages to emergency zones, pay for a child’s education or sponsor trees for reforestation projects, among other things.
Here are some great options:
Long-lasting, high-quality gifts
If there is a utility article you would like to give to a loved one, you have many sustainable options. Those looking for ecological gifts should pay attention to quality. High-quality materials and skilled labour often mean a higher cost, but the product is likely to last much longer than a low-quality item. It is also good to know who made the product, where and in what type of conditions.
If a high-quality product comes with a long guarantee, as they often do, we recommend letting the recipient know, for example by writing it in a card or on the gift tag!
Remember the environment when wrapping
Ordinary gift wrapping is difficult to recycle due to its colouring and processing agents, and it should be sorted into energy or mixed waste. The same goes for plastic string. An ecological gift giver slips the gifts into paper bags or wraps them in newspaper or kraft paper. Paper strings can be recycled with cardboard.
DIY: kindling roses from egg carton
Kindling roses are a beautiful and useful gift to anyone who owns a fireplace or a wood-burning stove. Outdoorsy people and hikers also use them to light their campfires. The roses burn for a long time and are a reliable type of kindling, in addition to which they are ecologically made from recycled materials.
For kindling roses, you need egg cartons and stearin. For the egg cartons, you can try different colours. Stearin granules are available at arts and crafts shops, but you can also melt and reuse old pieces of candle.
How to make kindling roses easily at home
- Cut the cups off the egg carton. Shape the edges of each cup so that they resemble the outermost petals of a rose. Tear the rest of the carton into strips and roll them up to make the end parts of the rose.
- Melt the stearin in a water bath, i.e. in a dish above a boiling pot of water. Do not melt the stearin in a pot directly over the heat as it may catch fire.
- Fully dip the rose in the melted stearin.
- Pack the roses in a pretty glass jar, for example, so that the recipient can place them on their mantle or in the sauna’s dressing room.