Tis The Season For Giving! Eco-friendly Gift Ideas

Tis the season to give! But giving to your loved ones doesn’t need to break the bank. The holidays are a perfect time to get creative and make your gifts instead of buying them. Below are a few holiday gift ideas that will not crush your wallet and your family and friends will enjoy. Homemade gifts are more meaningful anyways! Personally, I’d much rather get something specially made for me that I can actually use over some store-bought packaged thing. What do you think?

Teacup or Mason Jar Candles

This can be a little more work but it’s such a great idea! It’s easy to find pretty (or wacky) teacups (with or without saucers) at thrift stores for super cheap. Read this post or this one for step-by-step instructions on how to make your own candle. Same instructions goes for a mason jar, but make a homemade label to go on the front. Super glue the saucer to the teacup after wax has cooled for a cute effect.

Homemade Granola

This is one of my favorite things to make for Christmas gifts. Granola blends can be customized and made on the cheap with a quick visit to the bulk bins of your natural food store. Oftentimes, you’ll find sales on the ingredients needed so bulk up on those to save money. A variety of nuts, dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, dates or dried apricots, cinnamon and other festive spices, seeds like sunflowers, pumpkin, or sesame, dried coconut, wheat germ, rolled oats, and even chocolate or carob chips can be made into your granola mixes. Test out a few mini batches before you start packaging them (if you’re on a budget consider adding more rolled oats and doing less dried fruit and nuts).


Coconut Bliss Granola

Homemade Buckwheat Granola

From Post Punk Kitchen

Recipe In A Jar

Easy, simple and low cost. You don’t even have to buy jars! You can save pasta sauce, salsa, and jelly jars. All you need is a glass jar that has a tight fitting lid and you are good to go. Just make sure to wash all of your jars in hot water or boil them for a few minutes to remove any lingering smells. You can decorate the jar with pretty ribbon, fancy Christmas fabric or you can even make your own custom label.

Here are a few lovely looking recipes in a jar:

Healthy Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Punk Rock Cookie Jar Mixes

Holiday Vegan Cookie Mix

Confetti Rice in a Jar

Or make your own jams and spreads for gifts!

Brandied Apricot-Ginger Spread

Vegan Hazelnut “Nutella” Spread

Double Berry or Citrus Strawberry Jam

Recipe Booklet

A collection of holiday recipes or your favorites from your family will make a lovely gift to your culinary-gifted friends and family.  There are a number of ways to make them; either completely homemade with your computer and/or scrap paper or there are a few printers online that do small orders.

How to make a family cookbook for under $5

Binder or scrapbook style

Recipe Booklet How-To 

Or buy a recipe eBook and give as a gift:

chocoholic ebook by Allyson Kramer

Tiny Treats ebook by Lisa Pitman and Nicole Axworthy

Desserts Without Compromise ebook by Ricki Heller

Homemade Dog Treats

Do you have a friend that has a dog or two? These days our pets are considered to be part of the family. So why not give our little four legged friends a healthy and wholesome treat? All the pet parents you know will thank you! You can wrap your treats in holiday gift bags (use newspaper tied with a ribbon for the most eco-friendly packaging) and you may even want to include the recipe as it will be a hit with your furry friends.


Vegan Carrot, Date, and Oatmeal Treats

Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Keep it Local

If you don’t have time to make your own gifts try to shop locally. Search your local Farmers Markets for great ideas like handcrafted jewelry, wooden containers and wall hangings, art, soaps and lotions, jams, pickles and salsas, and artisan bread. If you don’t have a farmers market then seek out smaller local shops that have gifts. In Texas, you can find the Go Texan label on all products made in Texas. Maybe your state has something similar?

What kind of gifts will you be making this holiday season? Share with us in the comments!

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