This blog post also is available in German.
Sixteen days till Christmas. Did you buy all your gifts yet? If you’re a last-minute gift buyer or just haven’t found anything suitable for your loved ones, then you’ve come to the right place. Same if you plan to consume less and become more sustainable. In this blog post there are ten different zero waste gift ideas, which you can make without much effort, but with even more love at home in your kitchen. All ideas are super simple, absolutely guaranteed to succeed and can also be prepared one day before Christmas. Provided you have a reasonably well-equipped pantry or a few basic ingredients at hand. I have explicitly not written down any recipes or exact instructions, because if you are really last minute, I want you to get inspired by what you already have. This also helps you avoid buying unnecessary things. And best of all: the gifts are absolutely zero waste!
You won’t believe what cool gifts you can conjure up with ingredients you already have at home. So let’s consume consciously this Christmas! Let’s enchant our loved ones with homemade zero waste gift ideas instead! Because we can also celebrate Christmas in a sustainable way!
10 Zero Waste Gift Ideas
Let`s move forward to the zero waste gift ideas without further ado.
1. baking mixes in a jar
Your family and friends are total fans of one of your cakes? Why don’t you give them the chance to bake their own home? It’s easy, all you need is an empty jar (mason jar, preserving jar or a clean milk bottle) and the dry ingredients of your recipe. You certainly have some container or glass at home that is suitable. Now all you have to do is weigh the dry ingredients in the right quantity, fill everything into the jar and close it tightly. Write the recipe on a card or label and hang it on the bottle. Alternatively, you can print it out.
If you don’t have a good cake recipe yourself, you can also use one from the Internet or a cookbook. For example there`s a wonderful chocolaty walnut bread recipe in my ebook.
2. homemade granola
You can’t do anything wrong with a homemade muesli or granola. And there are so many delicious combinations. At Christmas, of course, it’s best to use Christmas spices such as cinnamon, gingerbread or speculoos. Chocolate, dried fruits and nuts are also a great choice. If you’ve never made Granola yourself, you’ll find instructions here. And of course you can also give this pumpkin spice granola as a present.
3. hot chocolate on a stick
Wintertime is hot chocolate time. Did you know that you can easily make hot chocolate yourself, which is also a great gift? All you need is chocolate bars, an ice cube mould and wooden ice cream sticks. Alternatively you can use spoons, cinnamon or candy sticks instead of ice cream sticks. They create less rubbish. The production is also super fast. You simply melt the chocolate in a water bath, then pour it into the greased ice cube mould and let the chocolate harden again. Before it`s completely solid, insert the ice cream sticks or the spoons. If you like it fancy, you can also use Christmas spices, chili, marshmallows, caramel or nuts as toppings.
4. homemade cookies
Baking cookies is part of the Advent season. So why not just give some of them away? Your work colleagues will certainly be happy about a jar or a bag of cookies baked with love. So just arrange to bake a bigger amount. Like that you still have a few cookies left to give away. If you’re still a little hesitant about which cookies to give, then I gladly help you out. How about these vanilla kipferl, Swiss jam cookies and chocolate matcha shortbread?
5. spice mixtures
If you cook, you certainly have some spices. Did you know that with spices and herbs that you already have at home, you can create great mixes to give away? Create an Italian herb mixture from oregano, basil and marjoram. Or mix a raclette spice or a golden milk mix which are just perfect for the winter season. If you only have a rudimentary range of spices, herbal or flower salt might be an alternative. In almost every household there`s salt.
6. tea blends
You’re a gifted tea drinker? Why don’t you just give away a homemade tea mixture. All you need is a few kinds of loose tea leaves, dried flowers and herbs. Spices such as cardamom, cloves or cinnamon, as well as dried fruits like appls, are also perfect for tea blends. Ingredients that you – as a tea drinker – certainly have at home. You can fill the finished mixture into a glass, a jar or reusable tea bags.
7. truffles or bliss balls
The classic homemade gift. This is probably also due to the fact that truffles can be made easily at home. Just melt the chocolate with some vegetable cream and some coconut oil. Add the desired ingredients (nuts, spices, dry fruits, etc.) and cool down until you can form balls. If you like, you can also make chocolates with a shot of booze or leave it at the classic truffles.
Want a healthier version? Then bliss balls and energy balls might be something for you. If you’re still looking for inspiration, these gingerbread speculoo balls might be something for you.
8. chocolate bark
You’re under a little time pressure for your present and there`s not enough time for truffles? Or do you want a chocolate gift that’s even more easier to make? Then chocolate bark is the perfect option for you. Simply melt the chocolate over the bain marine, spread thinly on a baking paper/permanent baking foil, sprinkle with toppings of your choice, cool in the fridge and break into pieces. That’s it!
What makes jam such a great gift? It`s easy and quick to prepare, can be beautifully packed and tastes delicious. You only need two ingredients to make jam at home, fruit and pectin or preserving sugar. Of course you can add more ingredients to your jam. For the Christmas season, cinnamon, mulled wine and speculoos, chestnuts and gingerbread spice are perfect. Apples and pears are the fruits to go for as they are in season. How does roasted apple jam, apple-cinnamon or pear-mulled wine jam sound like? Really delicious, isn’t it? Of course you can also take frozen fruits instead. Just let your creativity run its course!
10. trail mix
Everybody likes snacks. And if they`re healthy, even better! So why not gift a jar of homemade trail mix or home-roasted nuts? The perfect snack for all those of your friends who want to start the new year healthy. Trail mix is prepared quickly. Simply mix nuts and dried fruits of your choice, put them in a sealable glass and your gift is ready. Same for roasting nuts. Simply place the nuts on a baking tray and roast in the oven for a few minutes until the nuts are golden brown. If you like, you can add spices or herbs of your liking.
I hope these zero waste gift ideas will help you to give away more homemade items this year instead of pushing the partially overdrawn consumption during Christmas time. If you are trying out one of these gift ideas, I would love your feedback here in the comments. If you share your creation on Instagram, please don’t forget to link @velvetandvinegar and use the hashtag #velvetandvinegar. So my community and I won’t miss your contribution.
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