We only have 11 days until Christmas, but there is plenty of time to acquire some low-impact gifts for your father, husband, brother, or friend 🙂 Although many of these things are gender-neutral, they are all inspired by the things that my husband loves and things that other men who I know enjoy as well.
Some of these things are hand-made, some can be purchased in a shop, but all are thoughtful and personal 🙂
~Reclaimed wool sweater, embellished with secondhand wool or embroidery thread
Wool is a wonderful natural resource! Warm, mold-resistant, and incomparable to any other material. It can be patched easily, and it is biodegradable. Needle felting is a great way to upgrade or repair an existing sweater- all you need is:
-a 100% wool sweater and wool scraps of other colors
-a felting needle set (which will only cost you about $7 at a local craft store)
-a pillow or piece of foam
Or, if you’d prefer to embroider instead of needle felt, you’ll just need:
-a few little rolls of cotton embroidery thread ( with the colors of your choice)
-a sweater of any thick material
Here is a good tutorial on felting for a beginner. Most people who felt use a foam slab to needle felt the designs onto, which can sometimes be found at your local thrift store. Or, you can use an old pillow.
Pictured above right is a sweater that I embellished with the Pittsburgh Penguins logo for my husband. Pictured middle is another sweater that I embellished with a felted Silent Plant band logo for my sister who loves metalcore. The one on the far left is for a family friend who loves to bike.
I, personally, only utilize secondhand wool due to the animal cruelty that commercial wool production causes. Do your research to decide which materials that you feel good about using 🙂
Photo by Tetiana Bykovets on Unsplash
~Bulk snacks or coffee beans in jars and tins
Every man loves food. My husband enjoys a trail mix that include corn squares…and thankfully, many of our local bulk stores carry it! Utilize some small or oddly shaped containers that might not otherwise have a use and gift your husband or father a few small jars of treats. Good-sized jars to utilize include: olive jars, salsa jars, tomato sauce jars, and wide-mouth pickle jars.
Coffee is another great option. Look for Fair-Trade certified coffee at your local bulk stores. An assortment of roasts, hand-chosen, is a great personal gift that they will be sampling all throughout the New Year! 🙂
~Hand-carved wooden comb
What man wouldn’t want a viking-inspired comb?! (pictured, far left)
Or, how about this Nordic rune one made out of reclaimed wood? (pictured, far right)
…or, one made out of reclaimed Californian sycamore? (pictured, center)
Those are just a few magnificent options from some skilled craftsman on Etsy. The prices for a handmade wooden comb range from $10 to over $100. Wooden combs are an amazing alternative to common plastic combs: useful, personal, will last longer, and are biodegradable. Any of these combs can be used and appreciated for years to come.
Photo by angela pham on Unsplash
~Glass bottle of liquor
Ideally, this man in your life recycles…but if not, hopefully you live with him and can recycle the bottle for him 🙂 Glass is infinitely recyclable, but the bottle could easily be used for many other things after the spirits have been consumed.
Check out a locally-owned brewery or winery for some holiday-edition flavors. You will be supporting your local economy while providing something new to the wine or beer enthusiast in your life. Also, some breweries are Zero Waste! Here are a few that are nearly Zero Waste, and VERY low-impact:
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash
~Secondhand books,CD’s, or DVD’s
Or a combination of all three!
Maybe you know of a movie that he has been wanting and your local CD/DVD exchange shop has it. It is worth calling all of them beforehand to check.
Or, maybe you know of a book series that he hopes to read, such as Dune, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or the Dark Tower series, and the library never has it in stock. A full or partial book set would be an affordable gift if purchased secondhand, and would give him plenty to read for the New Year 🙂
Notes on Low-Impact Wrapping:
Wrapping paper, plastic ribbons, bows, plastic tape, plastic stickers…we want to avoid them all. But, even if you can only avoid a few in your quest to make your gifts as presentable as possible, that is still an accomplishment! 🙂
I avoid wrapping entirely these days, instead opting for a gift basket or simply keeping all of the gifts in a bag until it is time to exchange them. Here are a few options for wrapping or presenting gifts:
–Make a gift basket. Choose a good-quality basket from your local thrift store. Most people have use for a basket. It isn’t likely to be thrown in the garbage like wrapping paper is.
–No need to use plastic gift basket bedding –instead, use a piece of fabric such as a pillowcase, table runner, or colorful fabric scrap.
–Wrap with secondhand wrapping paper. Either from your local thrift store, or leftover paper from past Christmas gift wrappings.
–Use secondhand ribbons or bulk jute twine from the hardware store. Entirely biodegradable, and adds a nice rustic touch to any gift. It can often be found unbleached, which decreases the carbon footprint even more.