Green Gift Ideas
Giving presents doesn't have to create waste. The following are some ideas for eco friendly gifts for your friends, family, housemates, and co-workers.
- Make a card from recycled paper entitling the recipient to a project to be completed by you, for that person. For example, a promise to build a tree house, make a tire swing, or paint a bedroom.
- Write a story about your child's favorite characters.
- Give a gift to your friend's favorite charity (such as the Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, or Conservation International) in his or her name.
- Make your housemates or parents a coupon they can trade in to have you do chores for them that they normally do themselves.
- For plant lovers, decorate ugly thriftstore flower pots with salvaged materials (paper, broken ceramics, ribbon ends, fabric scraps etc.)
- Sew a blanket out of squares or other shapes cut from torn jeans - try including pockets on a few of the squares.
- Bake cookies, fudge, or bread for you friends, keeping in mind their personal flavor preferences.
- Shop for items made from recycled materials at fair trade stores like Ten Thousand Villages
- Give your relatives a photo of yourself with them, set in a home made picture frame (foil chocolate wrappers make excellent decorating material).
- Make sock puppets or stuffed animals out of old holey socks and shirts
- Order a journal or stationary made out of elephant poo.
- Make a special effort to spend real quality time with your parents or kids without rushing off to do other things (with the cell phone, tv, and computer turned off).
- Shop for unique items at second hand stores - there are often treasures buried among the junk.
- Get a sleek wallet made from old bike tubes.
- Volunteer to plant trees in the name of your nature-loving family member.
- Sew bags, tea cozies, or even house slippers out of old blankets or holey clothing.
- Quit smoking for your partner.
- Buy shoes or bags made entirely from recycled clothes and leather from Worn Again
- Order a membership to a weekly local farmers' produce delivery service such as Tiny's Organic or one of the many listed at Local Harvest.
- Give a small IOU card which the recipient can trade back whenever they please in exchange for a backrub, an evening of free babysitting, a weekend of petsitting, a special home cooked meal, a ride to the airport, a customized collection of downloaded music, teaching of a specific skill, a bedtime story or music performance, etc.
- Unknit an old mothy sweater and knit the yarn into a new hat or scarf.
- Let your child or geek explore new technology with a hydrogen fuel cell toy car.
- Browse TreeHugger's Gift Guide for organic, recycled, and repurposed and repurposable items.
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