Was this past year a difficult one for you?  I know it was for me! In addition to undertaking a move for a family of six, I also quit a crappy job and had a million and one things go wrong with my car. With the holidays looming ever-closer on the calendar, I'm beginning to re-think my gift-giving strategies.  How important is it to give everyone on my list a carefully-selected item from their favorite store in the mall?  Aren't the holidays supposed to be about giving of yourself and loving each other?

That's why I'm swearing off the mall this year and instead plan on blessing those I hold dear with some eco friendly holiday gift ideas.



Re-usable Shopping Bags

Did you know you can make re-usable shopping bags out of almost anything?  It's true!  Old t-shirts and pillow cases make great shopping bags.  And you can decorate them to suit the recipient: yarn, markers, glitter.  Decorate to your heart's content.  This is a great gift for showing your support of the environment that's also something different than the ordinary tie or pair of earrings your parents are used to getting from you.

Wooden Planters

It might seem crazy to think about it now, but after the holidays have come to a close, spring will be back.  People will start to think about planting gardens again and hanging plants on their front porches.  You can create a cool planter if you have some old wood around your house.  Many of us have wooden pallets in our basements.  With just a hammer and some nails you can re-purpose that wood into something unique that will look great in front of your best friend's house.  You can even offer to help plant the flowers!

Tree Ornaments

If you're like me, maybe you've often found yourself in a quandry over what to do with all of those Christmas cards you get every year.  I've often hung them up as extra decorations in my home but then I'm not sure what to do with them when the holidays are over.  They're so beautiful, and I hate to throw them away.  But, I don't have to!  Christmas cards make beautiful tree ornaments!  You can cut them into any shape you want, punch a hole in them, and attach some ribbon.  You can even make three-dimensional ornaments by using the same shape on different cards and gluing them together.

Gift-giving is an important part of the holiday season.  Your gifts will mean more to your friends and family when they find out that you took the time to create something special and different just for them.



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Danielle DeSoto for HipcycleDanielle is an upcycling, green living, environmentally friendly, recycling, tree-hugging freak of nature... in the most eco way possible of course! She spends her weekends saving the planet and will now be writing about it for the Hipcycle Blog.