“The party’s tomorrow!?”  Arghhh super market dash… We’ve all been there…

In May & June, we have two family birthdays and a wedding and in August there are 6… before things get too busy I like to try and get on top of my organisation and plan the gifts…  Being too busy means I’m more likely to make a rush decision on a gift and I am really trying to avoid buying plastic.

Yes it’s challenging but, it doesn’t have to be hard, you just need to get a little organised.

Gorgeous ski inspired prints from Wee Blue Coo

Here are my top 6 ideas for zero waste gifts for your loved ones and pals…

  1. Homemade Gifts & Cards 

I’ve recently learnt to make notebooks… the notebooks I make are personalised and I use a variety of sustainably sourced paper, card and usually an inspirational quote and colouring in sheet.  I loved stitching the pages together thinking about the person I’m making it for.  I also love to bake and quite often give cake/ brownies as presents in a nice tin or box.

We make our own cards because who doesn’t love a 4year old’s cute as a button illustrations and it’s SO hard to find cards without plastic wrap on them.   We cut the fronts from all the cards we receive so we can stick them onto new cards and use pinterest for craft ideas too.

If you’d like to come learn to make one with me keep an eye out for upcoming workshops!

2. Prints 

I was SUPER happy when new kid on the block Wee Blue Coo wanted to sent me some prints for our still ‘needs something but I’m not sure what’ walls…

I chose a couple of really bold prints to go in our bathroom and kitchen and I’m thrilled with them both.

What I love most about this small Edinburgh based business is that you can search their website by colour as well as by category of print.  This is such a handy feature when you’re trying to colour co-ordinate a space in your home.   There are so many designs to choose from, you can pick your size, mount and frame too – you’re really spoilt for choice.

Searching through the blue section…on Wee Blue Coo

The prints arrived super speedily and were well protected and in huge cardboard boxes which we’ve re-used on our allotment garden.

If you fancy ordering from them use the code ‘CREATIVE20’ at the online checkout for a cheeky discount. (*)

The Wee Blue Coo team – artists, designers and musicians – all the creatives – how cute!!

3. Charity Shop finds 

Alnwick (our nearest town) is a treasure trove of charity shops.  I’ve found frames and printed photos to go in them, brilliant (and brand new) toys, clothes and ornaments and all donated from collections people didn’t need.  I usually buy things as and when I see them and keep them all in a bag in the cupboard so I have stuff in.


4. Going out, treating your pals and making memories… 

Days out, coffee and cake, tea and scones, cocktails, spa days are literally my favourite type of gift to give.  After all the buzz of a birthday you still have something to look forward to.  Dave (my partner) has a personalised movement business often gets requests for vouchers for yoga/ massage around Christmas time – it’s such a lovely gift to give and receive.

If you wanted to gift an experience, you could make a little voucher too if you wanted something to physically give with a card.

Pressing flowers to use on greetings cards later…

5. Buying books

I’ve mentioned notebooks already but I also LOVE to give books as gifts too… we have Barter Books second hand bookshop on our doorstep so I often buy second hand.  Even books from book shops, charity shops and Amazon you always know will have a super long life and then be donated somewhere not just binned like broken plastic.

6. Independent Artists and when you really have to buy new

Just wanted to give a little shout out to two of my fave North East artists who mail their handmade wares UK wide;

 Yvette Hawkins who makes all kinds of amazing origami zero waste gifts.

Yvette’s plant wraps and origami maps

Ebony Newton who has just launched her etsy shop Dotty Black (featured image) selling unique products with her gorgeous designs.  She’s growing the online shop at the moment so give her a follow.

With family and close friends, I ask what they would like for their little ones.  My sister wants a paddling pool for her boys and I am happy to get that for her as it’s something she’ll use lots and the boys will have so much fun using it.  What I’ve noticed with ours over the years is the inflatable ones don’t last so I’m going to see if there is another option.

Have you got any more ideas for Zero Waste gifts? Let me know in the comments.  Let’s help each other out and save the planet too!

Claire x

PS – if you’re wondering around wrapping and posting – I re-use all the jiffy bags sent to us, wrapping paper that’s in good condition or paper we’ve printed and once I get to the end of my roll of selotape I’ll be using washi tape which is made of paper rather than plastic!

(*) Wee Blue Coo sent me two FANTASTIC prints in exchange for my honest opinion on their products.  I love their company ethos and follow them on Facebook to brighten my day!