Thoughtful Green Gifts for the Holiday Season

How’s your holiday shopping going? If you’re still in need of some gift ideas for your loved ones, consider this: green, eco-friendly gifts have a two-fold benefit – 1) you’re giving friends and family something they’ll love, and 2) both you and the recipient will feel great about opening a gift that has a smaller impact on the environment.

This season is all about spreading joy and good cheer, and giving a green gift – or one that gives back in another way – is a critical way to do so.

We’ve compiled a few green gift ideas to make it easy for you to check friends and family off the buying list.

  1. Buy local gifts from craft fairs or farmers’ markets. If you look in your local paper, chances are you’ll find multiple local crafting fairs in December hosted by local artisans hoping to sell their goodies during the gift-giving time of year. These local goodies range from homemade soaps to jewelry to baked goods. Check out the local fairs to avoid the shipping or driving miles typically needed when shopping.
  2. Rethink material gifts. Only get someone a material gift if you know he or she will use it (a new pair of Earth Shoes, for example :)). Too often during the holidays people buy because they feel compelled to provide a gift to someone, not thinking about the waste impact that gift will have if someone never uses the item purchased. If you don’t know what someone actually wants, go the homemade route.
  3. Prioritize food gifts. Everyone loves having extra treats around the holidays! Gifting food means the gift will be consumed, not thrown in a closet and eventually in a landfill. Infuse your own liquor, make granola, whip up homemade candy, or pack cookie ingredients in a pretty mason jar for wonderful food-based giving.
  4. Give experiences. What activity has your friend had on her bucket list forever that you can help her accomplish? Prioritizing experiences in gifting means that your special someone will get to have fun doing something they love rather than opening something material. Comedy shows, wine tastings, cooking classes, a membership to a boat house for kayaking, or a plane ticket to travel to a sought-after destination all make great experiential gifts.
  5. Green their space. Plants are wonderful gifts that add life to any home or workplace. Look for terrariums or potted plants that thrive indoors to ensure even those without a green thumb can take care of your plant gift. Dry plants like succulents are a great place to start and make for adorable décor.
  6. Adopt an animal or buy gifts that support conservation work. Charities like the World Wildlife Fund, Nature Conservancy, and the Sierra Club offer gift options that make an impact on their work to conserve forests, waters, and the species that inhabit them. Buy your family member the gift of supporting a panda’s natural habitat – it’s cute, meaningful, and makes an impact!

Do you have any green gifts in mind this year? How do you prioritize green giving? Let us know your ideas in the comments below!

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