Christmas is always a time of festivity and laughter, and of course fantastic foods. The one thing that does tend to be challenging is getting gifts or even suitable Christmas décor. More and more our societies are moving into a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. We recycle, save water and try to keep our environment clean, but something we should all start looking into is the idea of upcycling. Basically we use old and used objects to create something new and beautiful. And to adhere to our Christmas theme, here are a few gift/décor ideas that embrace the upcycling spirit!
First off, some décor for the Christmas tree. The Matukondjo Dolls Project has been running for more than fifteen years. And they have now started creating beautiful little angels from wood and beads. These little guardians wear dresses made from the traditional African material called “shweshwe”, which was brought to Africa by German missionary women in the days of old. These little angels are ideal for any Christmas tree or can even be attached to a bottle of wine, as a gift.
Well, we all know that Nespresso pods have taken the world by storm, The Delight Hotel included. And now, the Gondwana Collection has found a way to use these pods twice! All the pods that are discarded in The Delight are recycled and used to create stunning little stars, angles and decorations. It has been claimed that these new Nespresso pods have become one of our oceans biggest polluters. What better way to prevent pollution than by creating something beautiful and useful? Antje Ewald is the brain behind these creations and sells her little stars on the mezzanine floor of the Namibian Craft Centre in Windhoek. Alternatively, you could find these gems at the Canyon Village, Canyon Lodge and The Delight Hotel.
An obstacle we tend to face during the festive season is gift wrapping. It is tedious and more often than not wasted. A young woman in Swakopmund has found a way around this little problem by using discarded Coca Cola bottles. Entirely waterproof, these little packages have been decorated using decoupage, with African themed serviettes. Other than wrapping for small gifts, these also double really well as jewellery boxes. You can find these at the Canyon Roadhouse in the south or right here in Windhoek at the Namibian Craft Centre. Or make your own with a unique Christmas theme!
The ladies of FIMBI have found a unique and creative way to recreate old fashioned decorations with an African twist. Beautiful little hearts to be hung on the Christmas tree, made from springbok hide! These little gems can also be purchased at the Namibian Craft Centre and alternatively at the Etosha Safari Lodge.
Recreating the classic angel by using discarded tins is brilliant. These best sellers are made by Epafras of kabo Craft at Krumhuk Farm. Using the colourful shades of tin, he has created little guardian angles with bright dresses. And cleverly used a marula nut to create the little heads. These can be bought at the Namibian Craft Centre.
Finally, Maid in Namibia has recreated a classic favourite. Chips and crisps are a delicious snack, but more often than not the empty packets are left with no use but pollution. In Thailand these testy packets count as one of the biggest sources of pollution in their oceans. Well that has changed.
These empty packets can now be recreated into bags! Pencil cases, purses or even small handbags, these packets are now a fashion statement rather than pollution. What a great way to continuously enjoy your favourite salty snack. And these packets can even be found at the Etosha Safari Camp.
If you have any other great ideas and ways to recreate something into a Christmas gift, décor or wrapping, we invite you to share this with us in the comment section below.
Author – Jescey Visagie is a proud Namibian and is passionate about writing and language. Tag along for the ride as she tries to uncover new insights into Namibia and explores what the country has to offer.