Thursday, 4 November 2010

Eco-Friendly Gifts

In the past few years the numbers of eco-friendly gifts available has rapidly increased. Many internet and high street shops have recognised the commercial potential of appealing to people’s wish to help the environment. So what are the most unusual and interesting green gifts available?
Rescued Rags are a Leeds based company who handcraft their products from repurposed and recycled materials. I love these recycled record bowls. Although not a new idea if you buy from Rescued Rags and want a specific band or album they will try and find the one that you require. Many other companies simply send out a random album.

This fantastic clock from Green and Present may look like slate but is actually made from 80 vending machine coffee cups.  Green and Present have a great range of reclaimed and recycled products both gifts and homewares from paperclips made from waste plastic to antique butchers blocks.

Whilst recycling glass has been around for a long time, glasses made from old beer bottles can be found in many shops turning old glass in to art is something I haven’t really seen before.  Amy McCarthy of AmyOrangeJuice has a small studio making stained glass windows. However, she also uses reclaimed and leftover glass to make lovely pieces such as this Snowy Winter Village scene. These would make great gifts for any home.

On the Ecocentric website I found this great new gift that will appeal to gardeners. The Grow Your Own Wine Rack kit has been developed by artist and designer Lois Walpole. You make the wine rack by tethering together 22 lengths of willow. It takes two to three years before the growing willow grafts together and it can be harvested and brought indoors, to hold up to 10 bottles.  However, there is nothing to stop you using it whilst eating outside in the summer during those years.
At Nigel’s Eco Store I found this brilliant solution to all that gift wrapping waste that is created every year.  Reusable gift wrapping is made by Evergreen Wrap.  In a range of gorgeous designs these 70cm x 70cm squares of strong 100% cotton fabric can be used as gift wrap, as a scarf or with a few knots in the right place as a reusable bag.

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