Sustainable Gift Giving

This holiday season, we're trying to be conscious of not buying plastic-y, non-Earth friendly gifts for people that they may not even like! So we've got 10 suggestions for sustainable gifts for everyone you will be gift-giving to this year.

1)     Christmas Crackers from KidsCan

They’re only $2.50 each from Countdown, Harvey Norman, The Coffee Club and other retailers. Inside you’ll find a party hat, cheesy joke and the chance to win a spa pool, trampolines, toys, and sweet treats instead of a plastic toy everyone throws in the bin.

Even better, DIY crackers – You can buy the Bang from spotlight, rescue the rest. Creative Junk in Christchurch (who also do gift vouchers) or North Shore Recycling Centre, or wherever is close to you. Whole bag of craft supplies for $10. Hopper in Wellington also have eco-friendly crackers.

2)     Ethical, natural cosmetics and skincare from Go Native NZ

Go Native are a premium online seller/supplier of natural, organic and ethical skincare ingredients. Over the almost 20 years the business has been around, they’ve developed a global network of suppliers of essential, carrier and fragrance oils, cosmetic butters, waxes, raw materials, ready-to-go bases, and more. The ingredients must be ethically sourced and where possible they buy direct from the growers, so they can establish a relationship with them. You can buy raw ingredients, made products OR Make Kits which are a really fun gift.

3)     Nectar Feeder

A fantastic way to support native birdlife and easy to make yourself (or buy one). Forest and Bird have a great guide on how to make one, the benefits of a nectar feeder and things to remember when you have one.

To make a sugar feeder, take a one-litre milk bottle and attach the lid to a shallow dish or jar lid. Fill the milk bottle with sugar water and make a few small holes about 0.5cm from the bottom of the bottle. Screw it into the lid and turn the dish upside down. Sugar solution will come out of the bottle and fill the dish to the height of the holes.

Banks Peninsular Conservation Trust pamphlet (warning: PDF) on care and concerns. Buy ready-made for about $60 delivered to your door.

4)     A Bee House

It’s crucial we start looking after our pollinators and a the most effective in the bee family are solitary bees, which need housing while doing their job all day. The ready-made houses start from $30. You can even make these with recycled materials, using a waterproof container (1.5L fizzy drink bottle), wool, air drying clay, string, holy tubes such as bamboo. Video instructions are here and here.

5)     String Art Kit

They’re back in fashion and a beautiful way to provide art and stress relief to someone you care about. All you need is a backing board, nails, wool or string and an image. You tack nails in and provide string. Any wooden...

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