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Weekly Tips | December 12, 2011

DIY Holiday Gifts


No matter your skill level, making gifts is a great way to reduce packaging waste and repurpose things you already have around the house.

Thanks to the internet, the sky is the limit for online ideas and do-it-yourself tutorials: if you can buy it, someone has figured out how to make it.

From the kitchen. Fresh baked goodies, chutneys, jams and canned fruit or veggies are easy to make in big batches for a single-afternoon approach to homemade gift-giving.

Spice mixes and rubs are easy to put together and can be a perfect gift for the BBQ chef on your list. Or share foodie favorites by creating a recipe book or recipe box. (Scrapbookers out there – all of those paper pads, stickers and cutting tools come in handy for homemade cookbooks.)

For her. It’s hard not to make an impression with homemade bath salts, paper flowers, mosaic stepping stones or chocolate covered strawberries.

For him. With a new Bond movie always around the corner, what could be better than a personalized fake book secret hideout?

Teen-tastic. Purses and wallets made from found objects are always a hit. Whether made from old maps, books, candy wrappers or duct tape, your teen will be the envy of their friends.

Kids of all ages. Project ideas for kids are available on a wide variety of websites including Make Stuff,  FamilyFunGo, KinderArt, CraftBits, Craft Jr., and SkipToMyLou.

Kids can get in on the action too! Handmade gifts created by kids are a special treat for family members and family friends.

Resources: Book Purse | DIY Recycled Crafts | Crafting a Green World | Candy Wrapper PurseBook Project: Hidden Pocket | Country Living Gift Ideas | Family Fun Go Gift Ideas | Gifts Kids Can Make | Bottle Cap Art Crafting a Green World – Bottle Cap Art DIY Bath Salts | Crafts Arts & Crafts  | Bottle Cap Lampshade | KinderArt | Make Stuff | Craft Bits | Craft Jr. | Teacher Vision Recycled Art Lesson Plan | Family Crafts/About | SkiptoMyLou Crafts for Kids | Mother’s Day Craft Projects | Crafts by Amanda – Duct Tape Wallet | Paper Wallet | Spice Mixes

The Big Picture

Most products come to us in some form of packaging. This packaging was created to protect the product during transport and to help market it on the store shelf. 

Little by little these paper, plastic and glass packaging-related bits and pieces add up to create tons of waste: nearly one-third, or 31% of the waste generated in the US annually(1).

Packaging materials account for approximately 39 million tons of paper and paperboard, 13.7 million tons of plastic, and 10.9 million tons of glass annually.

The production of packaging materials uses about 3% of the total of US energy consumption.

Help conserve natural resources and make the things you give to friends and family this holiday season.

Sources: (1) Earth911 Facts About Plastic Packaging | Story of Stuff Resource Page 


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