Five Tips For DIY Organic Gift Baskets

by Nicola Temple on March 19, 2012

I love receiving gift baskets. There’s something about getting a package filled with a variety of things that I find appealing (perhaps for the same reasons I’d rather order two or three appetizers than a main at a restaurant). Of course, receiving organic gift baskets is even better!

A basket filled with organic goodies doesn’t just say you care, it says you care and you’re concerned about the environment and the welfare of the planet and its people. Who doesn’t want a basket of that?!

So, if you’re looking for a great gift and you’re leaning toward the basket concept, read on. I’ve thrown together some tips for assembling great organic DIY gift baskets. You can search out your organic items, whether food, clothing, or garden goods, on your own and get exactly what you want.

Don’t panic if you haven’t got the time, energy or desire to do it yourself though, there’s also a list of organic gift baskets that come ready-made at the bottom!

Five tips for DIY organic gift baskets

1. Going beyond the basket. The basket can become as much part of the gift as what is in it, so don’t be afraid to think outside the basket!  Depending on your theme, you can use any number of items that will be handy long after the gift basket has been disassembled. For instance:

  • Gardening theme: a plant pot
  • Food theme: a reusable shopping bag, serving dish, tray or pot
  • Tea: a teapot
  • Baby theme: a baby tub or diaper pail
  • Sports theme: a bowl for some organic treats while watching the game or a new equipment bag
  • Fishing theme: a tackle box, bucket, or small fishing net
  • Kids theme: a sand bucket, a kid-sized backpack, or a little carrier bag that can be used for toys

2. Getting stuffed. You will need to have some stuffer or filler unless you plan on going broke with filling the basket with items. You can get packing straw from most craft stores, but you can also use cornstarch peanuts (like polystyrene peanuts, but biodegradeable). There might even be an opportunity to use a theme related stuffing, such as an organic bamboo baby blanket for a baby basket or an organic cotton towel for bath products.

3. Think local and seasonal. It’s nice to support small local businesses as it helps make communities resilient. So, when looking for your organic products, think local as well. If you’re using produce, keep in mind that veggies and fruit that are in season will be at their best, will have travelled the least, and will have the most nutritional value.

4.  Just say no to plastic wrap. Most commercially prepared gift baskets are wrapped in heaps of cellophane and tied with a ribbon. Though this might look really nice, wrapping up all that organic goodness in plastic just seems counter-productive. Depending on your basket choice, you might not need to wrap it at all. After all, commercial baskets have to be shipped and moved around, whereas a DIY basket likely doesn’t have to do the same kind of mileage. However, if your goods are brimming and you do need to make sure the contents of your basket don’t go wandering, some netting might be a better choice. I noticed that this is what Manhattan Fruitier has done with their baskets in this video, and I think it’s a nice alternative to plastic wrap! The netting could also probably be fashioned into a reusable produce bag after as well!

5. Waste not. Although it’s tempting to fill a basket to the brim with fresh organic fruit, it isn’t always practical. There is, after all, a limit to how much one can eat and you wouldn’t want your gift to end up going to waste. So, when you’re planning your basket be realistic and balance fresh organic food with some organic treats that have a longer shelf life. For instance, organic grains or pastas or even dried fruits.

organic gift baskets

Organic gift baskets make a fabulous eco friendly gift.

Seven pre-made organic gift basket ideas:

Of course, sometimes you just can’t do-it-yourself, and for those times, luckily there’s credit cards and ready-made organic gift baskets!

  1. The gift that keeps on giving. If you’re looking to give a larger gift consider giving a weekly produce basket from a local organic farm for a month or two, or even a year! After all, the best organic food is local organic food. This is a fantastic gift for kids as they head off to college, for instance, or new parents. It ensures that your loved ones are getting some healthy food and though the presentation isn’t fancy, it’s what’s in the box that counts! You can search local harvest for one of the nearly 2 million farms in the US that are producing sustainably grown food nearby.
  2. For the athlete in your life…there’s an organic athlete’s gift basket filled with energy fruit chews, whole wheat pasta, kale chips and all things required to keep up with that energetic metabolism.
  3. Provide some organic pampering. It doesn’t just have to be food that’s organic! A basket filled with organic body products such as the organic shea butter pampering basket – with organic shea butter products and a deluxe bamboo bath sponge would be well received by most women I would guess. The best thing about this basket is that the products are all full size rather than little sample sizes that are common in these types of baskets.
  4. A basket for a new baby. The Baby Bunch does a baby organic cupcake bodysuit that diverges from the traditional basket and instead looks like a cupcake box. The bodysuits are made with 100% organic cotton and fit up to 6 months and the unique presentation stands out!
  5. For your favorite tea-totaller…you can get a lovely organic loose leaf teas gift set, which has both organic white tea and black tea and comes with a handcrafted ceramic tea mug with infuser. It does only come with one mug though, so it’s not really a ‘tea-for-two’ gift.
  6. Canines like organic too! Heidi’s Homemade Organic Pet Treats and Products makes an organic dog treats basket filled with…you guessed it…homemade organic dog treats!
  7. A basket to fuel fighters. Well baskets makes a certified organic cancer patient basket, which contains all organic products that are recommended for their cancer fighting properties such as organic dried mango, ginger tea, and crystallized ginger.

Well, hopefully that has given you some ideas. It can be a lot of fun putting together your own organic gift baskets. I did one a few years back for a friend who was getting into gardening. I used a pot and filled it with organic seeds, some gardening tools, a pair of organic cotton gloves, some small reusable plant pots made of coir, and some organic hand salve to help those gardening hands. She loved it!

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