12 eco friendly Christmas gift ideas

We seem to be heading towards the pointy end of the year and with that usually comes a little gift giving. I love making or giving something that I know can either be consumed, passed on, recycled, is environmentally friendly or upcycled in some way. In giving gifts like this though, you usually have to think a little bit before hand. So no shopping on Christmas Eve for me. (Anyway, I would rather be eating my 10th rum ball and reading Christmas bed time stories to The Monkeys.)

So a few rehashed ideas, in a listy form.


  Preserves for everyone. Jamsmarmalades, sweet chilli sauce and chutneys.  You can make them well ahead of time and easy thing to pop in a little food hamper or given singularly.

Idea: attach an antique teaspoon with some string to the side.


 Gnome fairies as a gift or even Christmas decoration. How to make them and where to buy their little wooden bodies here.

A plate of various biscuits for Grandma Esme and Uncle Pollywaffle?

Chocolate Honey Biscuits, Lemon Vanilla StarsAnzac BiscuitsChewy Coconut BiscuitsCustard Biscuits  the list is endless. Make them crisper and they will keep longer.

Idea: A plate of biscotti and some beautiful fairtrade tea.

Buy a plate or dish second hand from your local op-shop/thrift shop/charity shop. Beautiful one off antique ones can bought for usually just a couple of dollars.

An afternoon outing, exploring your local botanical gardens or national park with a picnic? Make an IOU card. Can be used for any ages.

A visit to the local zoo for your nephew Buster? A present doesn’t have to be a ‘thing’ it can be an experience.

maybe a Keep Cup for the coffee fiend from work? No more annoying mounting up disposable coffee cups in the bin.

Where to buy some Soap Nuts for Aunt Green Pants and what on earth they are?

Some bubbles for the triplet girls- Aoli, Bellini, and Chia and how to make your own.

Lots of scraps of fabric? Get quilting. There is probably a beautiful new baby that could use a little quilted change mat. Or maybe some new oven mits for the kind lady down the road who keeps baking fabulous brownies and leaving them on your door step.

Some different ideas for wrapping some of those gifts. Gift wrapping doesn’t have to be the conventional rip it up kind.

…and perhaps a card to go with it?

Chocolate wrapping cards. There’s a damn good reason to go buy some of that fairtrade chocolate you saw on special.

or maybe just a simple gift tag?…

Gift tags can made from old cards, cereal boxes, biscuit boxes or just a beautiful old photo.

Lots of possibilities… now go have fun creating and giving.


42 thoughts on “12 eco friendly Christmas gift ideas

  1. i am, as they say in the classics :), on the same page as you..i’ve had a few funny looks when i’ve given gifts wrapped in muslin or a tea towel (for my cook friends) or when i’ve used a page from an old street directory with the person’s street on it..and i just love using brown paper..fortunately it’s now more acceptable than when i first started using it..maybe it was viewed as cheap or not festive enough..i always thought it looked stylish!

    i’ve not heard of ‘soap nuts’ before but i find the idea really compelling and so i need to source some and give them a go..i use a non scented soap powder because i don’t like the perfumed ones at all..these would be even better!


    • Jane I love the idea of using a page from a street directory of where someone lives. That’s brilliant.
      Have you heard of the japanese art of wrapping with fabrics, furoshiki? It’s on my list of things to learn how to do.


  2. Lovely suggestions 🙂 I find making food-related gifts a double bonus, as I have the fun of making them and they make good presents. I like the World Vision / Oxfam charity gift cards too, but they aren’t exactly home made. I may adopt some of your ideas this year 🙂


  3. I have been thinking up Christmas ideas because I have to make mine this year. I like the idea of trying some jams/chutneys but am a little afraid. I am quite hit and miss in the kitchen! Thanks for sharing your great ideas x


  4. I used to wrap my nephews gifts in the Sunday Comic pages from the newspaper. They always liked that. I do like the idea of using a map though – that hadn’t occurred to me. And I always recycle old Christmas cards into gift cards; learnt that from my mum when I was a kid. Cutting up old cards was always my job.

    I wonder if ‘our’ low-sugar chewy coconut biscuits would travel well in the post to Denmark? Mr Misk’s father also has diabetes (it’s a genetic thing in the family, which is why Mr. Misk also has it) and I think this might be a nice treat for him. I also wonder if those biscuits would freeze well. Have you ever tried? I’d try myself but Mr Misk has the whole lot with him travelling around Europe at the moment.


    • Misk, I’ve got a batch in the freezer at the moment but haven’t cooked with the freezer ones yet. Every other biscuit I freeze in a round log ready to be baked has worked out fine, so I would think it would ok too. I also think they would be fine for travelling as long as you baked them a little longer so they were maybe a little crisper and not quite so chewy? Saying that, in your cooler temperatures, (it’s HOT here today) I’m sure both ways would be fine 🙂


  5. Your ideas are lovely! I always enjoy receiving these kinds of gifts- and I hope the ones I give them to enjoy them as well!
    You really are ready for the season- I’m just decorating early- you are ready to go into production! 🙂


  6. This is such a great roundup. We have never bought wrapping paper. It’s so wasteful. We mainly hate spending money on something that is used once. I actually brought home wrapping paper last year from work that was in a Christmas decorating contest. I didn’t want to throw it away. I like your old map idea, because we have some barely hanging on. We always save gift bags and ribbons. Newspapers are great, but not so pretty. I’m sure more talented people can refashion paper bags. Also, I am the worst wrapper. I am so bad, the ugliness of my packages has become a point of pride. The one challenge we have, and I know I should be better is that if Greg doesn’t wrap something properly, well I sometimes ACCIDENTALLY will peek at it. He also is bad at hiding, but I’ve somehow gotten off topic. It’s not like I look for my gifts, I just needed something in the attic. Love the idea of homemade gifts too. We once gave my sisters limoncello though and well they didn’t realize how strong it is. Stick with jam and cookies!


    • Ahh, I have limoncello on the go for the first time at the moment and I’m wondering how potent it’s going to be. Jam and cookies are definitely there as back up though if the drink proves to be no good/ too good to give away.
      As for the accidently peeking? If Greg had wrapped it better you wouldn’t have been able to see anything. Its like the wet paint sign…of course you have to touch it to see if it’s true.


  7. Love the idea of giving an antique spoon with a jar of preserve! And the thrifted plates for bickies, too. It would make a sweet present even sweeter, I think!

    My mum gives the girls a ‘voucher’ each year for an outing of their choice (within reason!), and they love it. Aside from soap I haven’t even thought about other presents..must write a list this week.


  8. Oh what a great swag of creative ideas – I did a post on edible Christmas gifts last year and think I might do again last year but i love that you do the trimmings too – I occasionally did such things with my mum and think it would be lovely to do some craft with sylvia – though maybe when she is a little older – presents are about so much more than forking over some cash


  9. You sound like such a beautiful lady – what a wonderful array of fabulous eco minded gifts. I’m so impressed. Of course I love the jams, that goes without saying, and yes, I’ve done the spoon thing too. I thought that was ‘my’ idea! Hehe. For a larger gift idea, I’ve arranged the following in a fabric lined plant holder; jars of jam, jelly or marmalade, lovingly labelled (just like yours), a packet of CWA scone mixture, a wooden spoon and a nice cup and saucer with packaged tea leaves tucked inside. Cello the lot and giveaway. It feels so good and the recipients feel so touched.
    My craft club ladies have a project on the go; making fabric bonbons for christmas and they look gorgeous. When I make some I’ll post a couple of pics for you to see. They are so great – just a lot on for me at present so I hope I can get them done before too long. I could go on and on – lovely post cityhippyfarmgirl. Just lovely. Cheers Mariana


    • Mariana I love the idea plant holder bundle. Those sorts of gifts get me clapping my hands in glee. So I’ll bet your recipients feel very touched.
      I’d be interested to see the fabric bonbons, they sound great.


  10. Oh, do you have a kind lady down the road who leaves brownies on your doorstep – I do hope so. I’ve already taken two of your ideas – the charity plates and chocolate papers and now you’re given me a third one – a spoon attached to a jar of preserves just gives it an added dimension. Thank you.


  11. Really great ideas, my mother makes these blankets with small pieces of tissue for many years, and are very warm.
    But as we are in Christmas season, I propose some objects 100% sustainable, the very top of the bar of what we call a green, sustainable and environmentally friendly product

    CORK !

    Web: http://corkandfantasy.com


  12. Pingback: top 12 eco friendly christmas gift ideas | cityhippyfarmgirl

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