Christmas is a special time for us all! Here at Green Retreats, we love to embrace the Christmas spirit and are advocates for a stay at home Christmas and time spent with family. A Green Retreats garden room offers the perfect opportunity for people to enjoy their homes in a new way, especially during a time when home has become so important.
While you may feel trapped in your home during these times, a garden room creates a space to escape to and can be used for many different purposes, like a garden office, home gym and a garden bar, the possibilities are endless. As proud advocates for an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, we have created a guide to DIY and eco-friendly gifts for you to consider this Christmas.
Eco-friendly Gifts to Remember
This year, more than ever, we feel it is essential to encourage everyone to be more considerate with their gifting this Christmas. With many of us having faced some financial strain due to the pandemic, it is important to be not only considerate of the people you are gifting but also considerate of your own situation. This year has taught many of us the importance of family, kindness and selflessness. We feel now is the time to bring Christmas back to its roots and make it more about spending time with the people you love than spending too much money. We want to inspire everyone to consider making their own environmentally friendly gifts this Christmas as not only a way to save a bit of money at a time when overspending is encouraged but also as a way to reduce your footprint on our Earth. DIY and eco-friendly gifts are not only easy to do but also more thoughtful.
Eco-friendly Gifts Guide
For the Foodies
– Homemade Gingerbread Cookies
There are few things many of us would rather receive than a delicious foodie gift. And what better way to make it personal than for it to be homemade! When we think of Christmas, we think gingerbread so why not make a big batch of Christmas themed gingerbread cookies for all your loved ones? Gingerbread cookies are easier to make than you would think and can easily be decorated with royal icing. To add a bit of fun, why not gift the royal icing in a piping bag along with the cookies and let your recipient do the decorating themselves! Here you can find a tried and tested gingerbread cookie recipe perfect for the occasion.
– Hot Choc In a Jar
Speaking of fun foodie gits, ever heard of hot chocolate in a jar? Instead of throwing away your empty jam jars, why not collect them over the year and put them to good use for Christmas gifting. Your recycled jars are the perfect vessel for layering hot chocolate ingredients for a thoughtful gift. Design your own labels and instructions to stick on the jars, tie them up in a lovely ribbon et voilà!
For the Interior Lovers
– Clay Decorations
The possibilities are endless when it comes to DIY gifts for the interior lovers in your life. Why not start with something special for their Christmas tree? A DIY decoration which they can have on their tree every year is a great way to show you care. Air drying clay is a versatile material which can be used for several different purposes after you’ve made your personalised ornament. Cookie cutters make excellent stencils for your decorations and consider adding your recipients’ name to make it extra personal.
– Macrame Hanging Planter
Do you have a plant lover you’re gifting this year? Why not make a macrame hanging planter which they can hang pride of place in their home. Your macrame hanger can be as intricate or as simple as you want and there are plenty of tutorials online to help you along. Add a plant along with the hanger for something extra, after all; plants have some great health benefits!
For the Eco Warriors
– Beeswax Food Wraps
We could all stand to learn more about how to lead a more eco-conscious lifestyle, and for some, they’re well on their way. No one is perfect, but learning how to reduce, reuse and recycle can be the start of your journey. An excellent place to start is with deserting the use of single-use plastic, which includes cling wrap. “But how am I going to store leftover food?” I hear you ask. Well, beeswax wraps, of course! And guess what? Also extremely simple to DIY. Beeswax wraps can be made with any cotton fabric you may have lying around the house and beeswax pellets, it’s really that simple! You can find the full instructions online and don’t forget to supply cleaning instructions with your wraps as they will need to be washed in cold water and mild soap, hot water will melt the wax!
– Canvas Tote Bags
If you happen to enjoy sewing or own a sewing machine, another great eco-friendly gift is a canvas tote bag. Canvas is a relatively affordable material and will run you between £9 to £11 per metre. You can find patterns for canvas tote bags all over the internet, and once it has been made, you can either choose to decorate it yourself or supply the decorating materials as part of the gift.
We’ve Made it Easy for You
To save you time and energy, we’ve created a handy Pinterest board where we have saved some great tutorials for all the crafts we’ve mentioned above. Click the link to be transported to Pinterest for all these ideas and more eco-friendly gift ideas!
Support Small Businesses
This year, more than ever, it is essential to support the smaller businesses within your community. With so much uncertainty surrounding retail, Christmas is the one time when businesses can guarantee sales, so instead of shopping at larger corporations, consider supporting the independent businesses in your community.
We’ve had the pleasure of building many a garden room for some wonderful small businesses. We love to see our clients thrive and their businesses become a success and along the way, we also love to support them. For all your yarn needs, look no further than Snuffle Bean yarn. What better way to say I love you this Christmas than with a hand made scarf or beanie? If you’re after some cool and quirky fabrics, maybe for that canvas tote bag you’ll be making, then Koala Kreations is the place to look. You can find a plethora of different patterns, colours, fabrics and more to suit everyone in the family.
The benefits of shopping small are endless, but the most crucial advantage is supporting a small family run business who, at this time, may be struggling financially. Smaller businesses are more likely to sell unique items which make great gifts at Christmas. They are also more likely to sell homemade and eco-friendly gifts which reduce waste as packaging can be expensive. With so many larger corporations around selling whatever you want and arriving the very next day, it is vital to make the right choices when shopping this Christmas. Shop small where you can and help to support the smaller, community businesses which form our societies.
There is a common misconception surrounding Christmas presents which makes us think we need to spend a substantial amount of money every year. We feel, however, that there is nothing better than receiving a personal gift with thought and love behind it. Homemade and eco-friendly gifts are not only more economical and thoughtful, but you will also be contributing to a zero-waste lifestyle with less packaging and plastic. When gifting this year, try and consider the mantra reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce your use of single-use packaging and plastics, reuse common household items to make DIY gifts, and recycle items such as wrapping paper from previous years.
About Our Eco Policy
A big reason why we encourage an eco-friendly lifestyle is due to our own eco-policy. As a manufacturing business with a factory, showrooms and offices, we take our commitment to the environment seriously. We take significant consideration at every step of our manufacturing process. From our sustainably sourced materials, solar-powered and carbon-neutral production facility, showroom and offices in Buckinghamshire to our zero waste policy, ensuring that all of our waste is recycled and nothing is sent to landfill. If you’d like to find out more about our environmental policy and why Kevin McCloud is proud to be our ambassador, you can do so here.
For more inspiration, take a look at our videos!
Our garden rooms are priced based on the internal sizes rather than the exterior footprint, making it easier for you to plan your space. The price includes base, installation and VAT so there are no (nasty) surprises when it comes to final payment!