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Published on December 7th, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans

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Green Gifting Guide: Green Gifts for Grown-Ups

Green gift giving for kids is simple because there are so many eco options out there and, let’s face it, kids are easily amused with just about anything!  Peer gifting on the other hand, especially with those you don’t know quite so well, can pose some challenges.

Let’s look at ways to make social gift giving a fun, easy, and green affair . . .

For ideas on how to arrange adult social gift exchanges, click over to Green Holiday Gift Exchange.

Individual Gifts

With individual gifts, your biggest “investments” will probably be those of time and thought.

Gift Baskets

Purchase them pre-made or assemble your own themed basket that really speaks to the recipient’s interests—cooking, gardening, teas and coffees, car wash, spa treats, or healthy home cleaning.  Find products and ideas at:

Arrange everything in a reusable shopping bag tied with a pretty scarf to eliminate throwaway packaging.

Gifts without Packaging

Gifts don’t have to come in boxes and bags.  Another type of thoughtful gift is an experience, such as a gift certificate to a spa or a pair of tickets to a play, concert, art show, or sports event.  Perhaps the best gift of all is the gift of your own time:

  • a written invitation to dinner at a restaurant or a bike ride in the country
  • a gift certificate offering whatever that person needs most
  • an exchange journal filled with photographs and written memories for the two of you to swap

Eco Gifts

  • For the “ecorati” and eco-interested, gift a subscription to a green or sustainable-focused magazine specifically targeted to their area of interest.
  • Fill a fabric-lined basket or reusable shopping bag with eco home essentials like a pack of CFLs, stainless steel water bottle, rechargeable batteries, and a tiny potted plant.

Gifts to Give in Bulk

You’d give to the whole world if you could, but you’re clearly limited by time and resources!  Here are some gifts that you can make in bulk that will be just as appreciated as any individual gift:

  • Homemade jam, handmade soaps, or small reusable tins of homemade candy and long-keeping holiday cookies make lovely gifts.  Make a big batch and give some to each person.
  • If you’re not “a regular” in the kitchen, buy simple consumables like fancy olives, beeswax candles, or tins of fair trade tea.
  • Make your own dried fruit and nut mix or assemble one from organic packaged ingredients.  Bag up dried seasonal fruits such as persimmons, apples, and pears mixed in with honey-toasted raisins, nuts, and seeds.

If you have a group of friends who are interested in a certain cause—such as green energy, promoting education, alleviating poverty, or conservation efforts—consider making a donation to that cause and dedicating it to the group.

It’s always a good idea to discuss donation gift-giving with your friends in advance of making such a gesture to ensure that they will truly appreciate the sentiment behind the gift.  Here are some organizations to check out:





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