Here are some ideas for gift giving that not only show your fondness for someone but also reflect your personal commitment to helping the environment.
The gift of time to help with chores is always appreciated but you could add an earth friendly twist to it.
a. Help someone with a de-clutter project – offer your services to help organize a garage or a storage space. Help them recycle unwanted electronics, batteries and paints to insure they get to the right place.
b. Help make their home more energy efficient. Pay for an energy audit, buy them a programmable thermostat, share your electronic power meter that measures how much electricity is used, help them put in more insulation or better window seals.
2. Give Consumables
Take them to see a movie, watch a play, tour an art gallery, or explore on a day trip together. Give the gift of a memory rather than a dust collection to clutter their home. Homemade jams, pies, fruit loaves are always welcomed. Think of something they’ve enjoyed that you’ve made and brought the ingredients over and show them how to cook it.
3. Give Reusables
a. Specially designed metal reusable water bottles and a pitcher that filters water in their fridge saves them from using plastic water bottles.
b. Give them a tree to plant in their own backyard or plant a tree in their honor through a forest or park regenerating project.
c. Help them go paperless- help them start up an online banking and payment program. Show them how to access catalogues and phone information on line. If you have an elderly parent with no computer, do it for them on your computer. Give ebooks or commit to a bi-weekly library visit with an elderly parent.
d. Make a set of reusable shopping bags to give as a gift. Most stores are charging for plastic bags now.
4. Charitable gifts
Make a donation in their honor to a charity which helps provide basic necessities to those who need it in the developing world. Buy an acre of land for them in a threatened rain forest. Membership to an environmental organization or donations to programs designed to clean up the environment are perfect gifts.
5. Purchase Eco friendly products
a. From skin care to baby care, there are excellent chemical free organic products available.
b. A cloth diaper set is better for the baby and the environment and it prevents tons of diaper waste from going to landfills.
c. Give linens that were made from raw materials produced without harsh chemical treatments. Bamboo is very popular as an eco-friendly resource.
d. Solar-powered lights provide an environmentally friendly accent for the yard, patio, or balcony.
e. Choose wooden instead of plastic toys for children.
f. Buy books featuring craft ideas that are earth friendly.
Suzanne Bucciarelli is the owner of Green Living Ezine and writes articles and tips on how to save money and go green at the same time. Read Over 125 Ways to Go Green and Save Money at Green Living Ezine.