A Guide to Green Gift Giving

Giving green gifts for the holidays is good for the environment and for your wallet. There are gifts to suit all personalities and you surely can fund a green gift for everyone on your list. From your tech savvy nephew to your office coworkers, there are green gifts to make everyone's holiday season a joyful and thankful one.

Handmade Gifts

One of the best gifts to give at the holidays is something you made yourself. Especially if you have a hidden talent like sewing, woodworking or jewelry making. Even if you don't have any handy skills, you can get a book out from the library and learn how to create something yourself. You can easily make soaps, jams or cookie mixes. These are all inexpensive alternatives to a store bought gift and are greener too. Anytime you make something yourself, you reduce emissions from factories, reduce packaging and eliminate transportation emissions from delivering the goods to the stores.

Useful Gifts

Holiday gifts often end up in a landfill. Just by giving a useful gift, you are giving a green gift. Ask the receiver if they need anything. Then you know that it will be put to good use. Also, gift cards are always great so the receiver can choose their own gifts. By buying junk that no one needs or will use, you are adding to the landfills and completely wasting your money.

Green Living Gifts

If you have people on your gift list who love to live a green life, or some who really need to start, then there are many gifts that can be enjoyed by all. You can create a gardening basket that includes seed packets and gardening tools. This can help someone start their own vegetable garden in the spring. Also stainless steel bottles and reusable lunch bags can be great for co-workers. Anyone who loves their gadgets would appreciate solar powered iPhone skins and iPod docking stations.

Earth Friendly Gift Wrap

It is important to think about not only the gift, but how you are presenting the gift. So much paper is wasted during the holiday season. There are better and more green ways to present your gift. Try wrapping it in a something reusable like a scarf. The wrap can be a gift in itself. Also consider making bags or stockings out of fabric. You can place the gift inside the stocking and it can be reused as a decoration. Also reuse any gift bags you receive. And lastly, skip the cards. Holiday cards are expensive, use a lot of paper, and are expensive to mail. Reserve these for friends and family members who live far way who you won't be visiting during the season. For everyone else, wish them a happy holiday season in person.