Green Gift ideas!

Various ideas to consider with the holidays coming….

  •  World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, The Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy and others allow you to adopt an animal or buy gifts that benefit the organization and its conservation work.
  • Give the gift of outside! Such as membership in an outdoors club, rock climbing lessons, a deluxe tune up for their bike, or maybe even that kayak they have always wanted to buy.
  • You can give all kinds of water- or energy-saving tech that’s fun to use and green. Learning thermostats or smart light switches can be a good choice for people who love gadgets.
  • Give someone a living plant! A terrarium, herb plants, plant a tree, etc.
  • Make a gift, reuse, upcycle it! Candles, lip balm or jewelry (i like the spoon rings!) Some great ideas off the Fun in the Making Blog “green” crafting. 
  • If you struggle with making it yourself, buy from others who did such as Uncommon Goods.
  • Find something local to give.
  • Give the gift of experiences such as wine tasting, bike tour, pottery class, cooking class, movie tickets or show tickets.
  • Gifts that cut back on waste like reusable snack bags, bamboo utensil set, reusable water bottle, etc.

Creative Upcycling Decoration Ideas

Thinking about next years holiday already? Maybe not but you could start now reusing old  or broken decorations or natural items found around your yard. Get creative in the new year and have fun – at your school or public library,  host a hands-on program for people to make upcycled/recycled holiday decorations   You can even put out a table of goodies, welcoming back college kids to the library, allowing them to get creative and enjoy being back on campus.

The How Do I Recycle This?  blog offered a great  ideas in 2010 (button wreathsorigami decorationstin stars, star lights, and other fabulous ideas.) and now offers more for end of 2011 like old newspaper ball ornaments, ornaments from old sweaters, Christmas trees from twigs, paper chains from old maps, and old newspaper wreaths.


Greening your Holidays

Trees, cards, decorating, &  gifts… looking for ways to be greener this holiday? This article by  the Ian Somerhalder Foundation “How to be “Green” even during the busy holidays” offer a lot of good ideas. What kind of tree should you consider buying – real or fake?  Did you know 1.5 billion cards were sent in 2010 in just the US – 93% of which were virgin pulp?  For decorating, consider going green with LED and solar-powered alternatives –  US Dept of Energy study says if everybody replaced conventional holiday light strings with LED lights at least 2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved in one month. The article also suggests creating edible ornaments to hang outside and feed wildlife, making your own pine decorations & wreaths  from trimming your trees or use other plants like holly or ivy, and rethinking any purchases of non recycled decorations.  For gift giving, shopping,wrapping and shipping, there are a number of things to consider such as buying online to say gas, donate to a charity in someone’s name, researching the eco-friendliness of the company, or giving a green gift like a real plant or seed or a recycled/organic item. The article also offers insight for wrapping, shipping and packaging your gifts.

The IS foundation’s mission is to “to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.” Check out this article for more information to make your holidays really green.