The market for green gifts expands each Christmas, and once again this Christmas there is wide choice of eco-gifts that include carbon offsets and buying a cow for an African village – but if you want a eco-friendly present that your friends can unwrap, try making it yourself. Kits and designs for all sorts of clothes, gadgets and toys are available on the web, many of them using recycled materials, here are a few ideas to keep you busy during the holidays.
Paper Engineered Laughing Santa
Designs for animated paper models, such as this Santa which moves up and down when you crank the handle, can be downloaded as a PDF and easily sent by email – which makes it a very eco-friendly gift to send overseas. Simply print out the design and follow to instructions to cut and paste it together – and of course if you use recycled card and eco-friendly glue, the gift will be even greener. This design and others can be downloaded at flying-pig.co.uk for less than $5
Solar Car Fan
Some electronics skills, duct tape and parts cannibalized from a vacuum cleaner, solar outdoor lamp and a personal fan are needed to put this together – which the designer claims will cost less than $10, compared to $40 for a manufactured solar fan. The gadget simply sits on a car window to keep it cool while parked. Full instructions and more ideas can be found at instructables.com
This simple design is an ideal use for socks, or gloves, which have lost their partner in the wash. A shoe lace is threaded through the top hem of the sock to create a draw cord and transform the sock into a neat, closable sack. The idea comes from RePlayGround.com, which also has several other DIY projects for old milk cartons, CDs and jersey tees.