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Gifts the zero waste way

May 24, 2013

One thing that people keep asking us is “What about gifts, what will you buy people?”. We have a bunch of nieces that perhaps won’t appreciate our efforts at baking them a cake. Let’s face it, most 5 year olds wouldn’t! “Gee, thanks Aunty Bel and Dunc”.

We’ve got our thinking caps on. We have my favorites nieces birthday coming up and I’ve been wondering what to do for the gorgeous tot that won’t involve us needing to go the local Toys R Us and purchase her yet another toy. I am also pretty sure a second had gift is not going to cut it either. But, kids love experiences, don’t they. This particular little girl has a thing for flowers. My latest thought is to actually create a place in our front yard with her own for her very own flower bed. How lovely would that be? It’s a gift that we can do together and we can have cake and cups of tea and each time she visits she can see her beautiful flowers proudly growing out the front. The bit i am not sure of though is, if we go and purchase flowers from a nursery, if the nursery takes the punnets back, I think that might still mean “waste” unless we were sure they would reuse them. Anyone got any thoughts on this? or how else we might be able to do it?

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9 Comments
  1. Corinne permalink

    Buy some loose bulbs and packets of flower seeds. The bulbs can be planted now and the seeds sown late winter /early spring in a home-made wooden punnet and kept indoors till they germinate and can be planted out. If you can sew, make some doll or teddy bear clothes for their dolls/bears. Patterns for clothing can be found in books from the library.

  2. Allan’s Garden Centre at Prospect takes back plastic pots and punnets. There is a big collection crate just inside the gate. I love the garden idea. My aunt introduced me to gardening by giving me a pot, compost and tomato seedlings for my birthday when I was young.
    An easy sew gift I made for my own girls that they still use for playing and dressing up in, was a bunch of colourful, hemmed cloth squares, about a metre square. They used them for every imaginable purpose, and just yesterday my 8yo used one to make herself a mermaid tail. They are a Steiner toy idea – simple props for imaginative play.

  3. isis permalink

    great gift idea! you could buy from the small home-grown stalls at local markets, where the stall holders would probably take the punnet/pots back. also a stall at harvest sells plants (but i don’t think they are flowers) that come in compostable punnets. good luck
    ps if you ever want to do some ‘potting up’ come and get spent coffee cups from our cafe. they are compostable and you can plant the whole thing straight into your garden, no plastic pots needed šŸ™‚

  4. Great ideas Jo and Isis! Thank you!

  5. Erin Komar permalink

    I love that idea Bel! I know you didn’t think second hand items would cut it, but you could upcycle things you find in op shops. There’s so many different blogs out there where crafty people upcycle simple things like making a child’s dress out of an adults t-shirt, to stapling material onto cupboard drawers for a funky patterned piece of furniture.

    • So true Erin. I love the ideas behind upcycling and kids would just love th stuff that coould come out of it. The only problem for me is I have never learned to sew! Am good with gardening but sewing is something I would need a lot of guidance on!

      • I just had a brilliant idea that would be perfect as a gift from you, though probably more suited to an older child or adult. You could compose and play and record a song just for them on the piano. I remember when you did that for Margaret in Healesville years ago. It was the most beautiful gift, from the heart that was taken with so much gratitude and love. xx

  6. The more I think about it, the more I like this idea Erin! Especially if I can weave a lovely story of that person into some lyrics. I just need to soften the voice that says “but you’re not good enough to do that!” … Thanks for the inspiration! Woohoo!

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