15 Green Gifting Tips for the holiday season.

With December fast approaching, the holiday season is just around the corner! And suddenly you have a long list of family/ friends to buy for, and you find that you are short on ideas (and funds!) on what to buy. I have listed below some suggestions, with links, for easy handmade gifts plus ideas for eco-friendly packaging, wrapping and tagging. All can be presented in reusable glass jars such as mason jars and simple utility jars with screw-on metal lids, and are easy to ‘dress up’ for gifting.


Even staples such as cereal, vinegar, salt and dried herbs can be lovely to behold!



1. Recipe plus ingredients in a jar: The ingredients are presented in visible layers: simply mix and make.


2. Moisturizing Scrub And Shave: Scented with sweet vanilla. A lovely leg shave and/ or skin softening exfoliate. Contains vegetable oils, Epsom salt and vanilla extract.


3. Recipe for Multipurpose Bee Balm by Bea Johnson. I carry a small glass jar in my handbag/ purse for shiny, moisturised  lips and nails and to highlight and moisturise cheekbones and brows. See also her application suggestions below for wood and leather….



4Bath salts/ shower exfoliate: (use fine sea salt, NOT coarse, if you are intending to use it as a skin scrub)…and if you want to colour your salts with all natural ingredients, see Here…..


5.Vanilla extract, looks cute (and smells delicious) in a small glass bottle with screw top. Add a handwritten for a simple recipe (Here’s a suggestion: add a few drops to to tea, coffee, hot chocolate, soya milk etc)  …How to make vanilla extract


6. Homemade muesli in a jar presented with a recipe for homemade yoghurt 


7. A jar of dried fruit and nuts; homemade fudge; green and black olives presented in olive oil with a sprig of garden herbs; small biscuits or cookies etc.


8. Handmade soap in a variety of colours/ fragrances : (find a health shop or farmers market where they make large blocks, and you can slice off the amount that you need) : cut up a piece into small blocks, place in a jar, and add a few sprigs of herbs from the garden.


9. Cleansing grains. I used equal parts of rice flour and white kaolin clay, well blended. This feels lovely on the face, either as is or mixed in with your usual facial soap or cleanser. Use once or twice a week: massage gently over wet skin and rinse well.

This sample is part of a gift to my cousin earlier this year.



10. If making a gift just feels all too much, you can still give a gift in glass! This miniature jar of pure honey comes with a little wooden honey server. Available from Earnshaw’s Natural Products at Sylvia’s Market in Johannesburg




You will want your jar to look special, interesting and “gifty”. Try these simple, natural ideas for eco-wrapping and labelling….


1. Some very easy suggestions here , using an old calendar or even old magazines  or saved wrapping paper.

2. Easiest gift tag: handwritten, and cut out using pinking shears. With recipe for Orange Scones attached…


3. Consider adding colour to natural string and hessian to tie onto your gift: use the natural dyes of beetroot, turmeric, food colouring etc (see here for diy dye!)

4. How to wrap in cloth Using scarves, tea towels, t-shirts, fabric off-cuts, vintage and lace fabric etc (you will find some lovely pre-owned vintage cloth tableware from Hospice and other charity shops)

5. Beautifully natural handmade gift tags,  from the garden and bits and pieces in the home.



Baking soda in a glass jar: must-have in my kitchen; so many uses. Even everyday items look a bit special in glass!





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