Sam Judd: Top 10 eco-responsible gifts



The onslaught of rushed shoppers spending a pile of their hard-earned cash on unnecessary gifts that are invariably wrapped in single-use plastic is about to ensue.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Check out my top ten gift ideas that are both easy on your wallet and easy on the planet.

This world famous charity has cleverly spread the word to donate to someone in need. You can tell your loved one where they’ve been and make them feel hot and confused knowing that you’re really helping someone, rather than buying something unnecessary that will almost certainly end up in their garage sale or on. Trade Me regarding cleaning up next spring.

Oxfam has also jumped on the donation as a gift train, as has World Vision as they realize that sometimes buying something useful for someone in need is a great and pragmatic gift.

Thirteen of our towns and cities have physical Trade-Aid stores and they also have a convenient online store. What I like is that the smiling youngster behind the counter is usually a volunteer. This Kiwi charity is made up of pioneers who have directly improved living conditions in developing countries.

Their selection of gifts is fantastic and they have a wonderful range of children’s toys and women’s jewelry.

THREE: recycling, reuse or re-gift

Making something out of trash is a thoughtful way to add value with a physical gift that will make your wallet happy too.

If you can find a companion with a tile cutter, then you can reuse a used wine bottle in a self-watering herb planter (another bonus: you get to enjoy the wine first).

One person’s garbage can be another’s treasure if you’re smart – check out the incredible selection of upcycled jewelry here, or gift to a smart person, Sherri Haab wrote a book that – in the hands of the right fit – turns garbage cleaning into a cushy little number.

Re-gifting is often frowned upon, but if it’s done right (i.e. you don’t accidentally return a personalized gift to the person who bought it for you) then you both benefit from your wallet and recipient. Just make sure you’re not using the receiver as an outlet for the waste that they’ll end up having to administer (that’s what Trade Me is for).

FOUR: Reusable containers

On average, we kiwis use 168 plastic drink bottles each year and only 24% of them are recycled.

Several thousand of them pollute the beaches that you will probably want to visit this summer.

Cut this threat from the lives of your loved ones by buying them a good reusable drink bottle. They’ll be sure to thank you on the trail, as most people find it makes them drink more water, which means fewer headaches, better health, and less hangovers.

There are some cool ones for sale that also support charity at – they make little ones that are great for kids too.

For those who enjoy take-out coffee, get them a reusable coffee mug like these ideal mugs made right here in Aotearoa. Not only are they 100% reusable and 100% recyclable, but they are also BPA free.

Many cafes offer discounts for those who bring their own cup to go. Conscious Consumers has a list of some of your local cafes offering this here.

FIVE: The living donation

One of the best gifts – which keeps on giving – is a perennial tree, plant, or flowers.

In fact, once on my mom’s birthday, with only $ 8 to spend, I knocked out a neglected planter right outside her bedroom window, put some pretty flowers in the bargain bin, and lied there. woke up with a cup of tea and improved eyesight. . It was a success.

Taupo Native Plant Nursery has an epic selection, but make sure the recipient has the right kind of soil before purchasing them a tree that will grow massive and cause problems on the trail. There are loads of other nurseries around with beautiful shrubs, houseplants and flowers too.

SIX: Reusable product bags

While many of us already have reusable grocery bags, these are for your fresh produce (fruits and vegetables). Now you don’t have to unload loose kumaras and apples at the crate while everyone is watching in bewilderment.

The best thing is that the extra weight of the cotton bag is pre-entered at checkout by participating retailers, so it doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Did you know that almost half of the waste produced by households could be composted? The smart buggers at Hungry Bins have revolutionized composting by creating a system that is simple, clean and doesn’t smell bad.

Stop throwing your food waste in the trash and start feeding your garden. If you don’t have a garden, there are plenty of people around you who will happily take your precious worm pee that you can do with these – you can even swap it for something like delicious homemade strawberries that your waste helped grow.

For those looking to treat someone a little bit of luxury, Ecoya natural candles last longer and burn cleaner than the normal paraffin types that typically adorn your Christmas table.

They also smell so good that they will be the greatest pleasure for anyone who is lucky enough to have one.

The hostess has an Ecoya travel candle at the back of the linen closet so the towels and linens always smell divine. Because he doesn’t get burned, he lasted well over a year and is still going strong.

Now, this one is literally ready to go – and you sure don’t want to try to wrap it up.

Give someone years of delicious homemade honey and a natural way to spruce up the rest of their garden. Having bees can increase the fruit and veg in a garden by 50% and we owe these little workhorses a boost – without bees we would lose access to over 70% of the food. that we produce today. Buy one on Trade Me or at Beezthings in Auckland.

* This gift is obviously not for everyone. Keeping bees takes a lot of knowledge and time, if your recipient doesn’t have both, choose one of the other options! Click here for more information on beekeeping in New Zealand.

Ever since I went to the University of Otago, I have been a fan of house beer. Obviously not for kids, but give your dad (or brother or uncle) a homemade infusion kit and you might just bring tears to his eyes with your thoughtfulness.

Few things give a man more satisfaction than mastering the art of making his own beer and very little waste is produced in the process as you can reuse all the old crate bottles that collect dust under the house. .

For all of those freebies, instead of buying new wrapping paper, you can reuse stuff from last year (like my mom does) or even use an old newspaper instead. Get the kids involved and have them make potato stamps to decorate the paper – a great school vacation exercise.

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