Original gifts from recycled materials under the Christmas tree


Decorative angels, accessories, pencil cases, a miniature Christmas tree, a candlestick and a decorative northern reindeer – these are just a few gifts that were made using discarded lights bulbs, plastic bottles or pieces of cloth by the participants of this Christmas workshop. The event, which took place a few days ago, allowed thirty Vilnius residents to together with the artist Jurgita Jukaubauskaite to make Christmas a bit more special.

„I think that true Christmas is the time when we should be creating miracles with our own two hands, by just creating something unique and wonderful from nothing. An old piece of a wire fence with the help of our creativity can be reborn as a photo frame, a can becomes an unique ashtray – all you need is a bit of effort and will“ says the organizer of this workshop, Martynas Norbutas, representative of the Semiotics Research Center.

According to M. Norbutas, the most important fact is not giving a second life to the object, but the ability to use the object for an actual purpose in daily life. If we want to be truly friendly to the environment, we can't allow for these newly created objects to gather dust on a shelf or just throw them away again. When creating the gift you should focus on how the gift can be used and how.

Sigutė Dautartaitė, leader of the Sustainable Development Institute agrees with this position and would like to remind that when creating these environmentally friendly gifts care should be taken to not create more waste than there was before. „It's common that new materials are used in the creation of these „eco-objects“. So, for us it's important that we would not create more waste – even tiny slivers of cloth can become the stuffing for a toy – everything should be used“.

A participant of this the eco-gift workshop Laura says, that such workshops are a great way to encourage creativity: „At first I spent a lot of time thinking what I could create, bet when you start, you understand the the trash itself, its form, texture provides you hints to what they could become. The workshop was definitely useful, not only to prove that I can create a unique gift but to also understand that its not really that difficult. Also, the emotional value of the newly created gift is a lot higher than if you would simply buy something and give it to the person.“

To rummage around in their garages and decorate their homes with the found objects, check their closets and create something unique from there, buy less cliche decorations for their homes and try to see what an object can become after its „death“ - these are just the few resolutions the participants set for themselves.

This workshop is part of the Lifelong Learning programme, which is administered by the Education Exchanges Support Foundation in Lithuania, and is a part of a Grundtvig project „Earth S.O.S. through Eco-Creativity“. This article reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.