How to be Green when Giving and Wrapping Presents

Most of us probably don't need anything, yet many people love to give and receive presents.  This blog covers how to buy / make Green presents as well as how to wrap them.

Let's work backwards and wrap it up

I haven't bought any wrapping paper for years and years.  I keep a box and a bag into which I store ribbons, small boxes and any paper that comes my way - this will include any wrapping given to me, or rescued from other people's recycling as well as unusual magazines etc.

By using ribbons, you don't have to use sellotape and the paper doesn't get ripped either.  The paper all stores neatly as it's flat and the boxes sit inside each other and contain the ribbons.

Old atlases make really beautiful wrapping paper and get lots of positive comments, tie them with string if you don't have any ribbons.

Here's a double present idea - gifts wrapped in recipes, (cut out of newspapers).

Now you have your gift wrapping sorted, here are some ideas for things to wrap.  One Christmas, our family made a pact that every present must either be home made, second hand, edible, supporting charity or a green day out.

Green Gift Ideas

As we all need to eat, food and / or hampers make excellent presents.  These can be made up from a mixture of homemade, artisan, locally produced, or luxury treats. I've given away homemade preserved lemons, dark chocolate truffles, boozy figs, sloe gin etc.  You could also support locally produced products buying from a farmers' market, farm shop or your local WI (Women's Institute).

Charity Presents
Lots of charities have worthwhile causes to support and you can donate money to plant trees, sponsor endangered animals, fund a child's education etc etc. When my godchildren were christened, I sponsored tree planting in a nominated woodland near their home.  They were sent a map and can explore the woods where their trees are planted.

Dedicate a tree with The Woodland Trust

Give someone membership of the British Hedgehogs Preservation Society

Wildlife and Garden Gifts
Buy some organic seeds or some bee friendly plants

Or a Frogitat

Or hogitat for the garden

We've been lucky enough to have frogs, toads and hedgehogs to enjoy our frog and hog-itats which are homes designed especially to encourage them.  The frogitat provides somewhere cool in summer and somewhere sheltered in the winter.  The hogitat provides a safe place for hedgehogs to sleep during the day and if you're really lucky one may make a nest and have babies and / or hibernate there during the winter.

Green Days Out

Ditch the shopping trip and as a present, promise a day out to explore some local woods, or a nature reserve, or take someone on a guided bat tour, or pond dipping.

One of our favourite places is Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean - if you'd like to fire up your imagination with nature, plan a day out here. 

We're lucky enough to live near Puzzlewood, where's your favourite local beauty spot?

Creative Gifts
Home made is best and some of these are amongst my most treasured gifts, staying when 'conventional' items have long gone.  Here are some ideas:
  • Write a poem
  • Write a song
  • Write a story
  • Paint or draw a picture
  • Have a photograph that you've taken framed for someone
  • Make something edible (see above)
  • Sew or embroider a gift, or make something from felt 
Here is a personalised poem present wrapped in tissue paper with a ribbon:

If you really feel that you can't make anything creative, how about a lesson gift?
  • Dance lesson
  • Art lesson
  • Cookery course
  • Foraging course
Here's a lovely present left on our doorstep by a friend - Result!!

Tissue paper and a box with ribbons, a scarf used as wrapping and a bag - these can all be used over and over again.  Are you wondering what's inside them? Happy present giving!  Please send me your ideas!


  1. Using your imagination to create choices is an art lost to many in our world of "trend following". Some excellent suggestions to consider for the future.

    1. Thank you. That's a lovely turn of phrase, 'Using your imagination to create choices.'


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