It’s officially time to shop ’til you drop. As we all begin to recover from the Turkey-Day Festivities, our thoughts turn to Christmas and the country’s biggest retail season.
“Green” ethics are on the rise in the U.S. There are sustainable, low-carbon-emission, or green alternatives to traditional holiday gifts, and they’re not hard to find. Here are a few of my favorites.
7 Great Green Gifts for Friends and Family
For the Kids
1. Seed Bombs. “Seed bombs” are little balls of earth, clay, and seeds that are used to launch seeds into hard-to-reach areas like road banks and empty lots. People use them to green unsightly spaces in a form of green “guerrilla gardening.” And they make great gifts for kids! Check out these seed bombs that come with a wooden slingshot (or this seed bomb link if you live in the UK).
For a Friend
2. Fair Trade Gift Basket (Organic Goodies). Gift baskets or gift boxes are classic go-to Christmas present for friends and hard-to-buy-for family members. Make those goodies green with organic and fair trade gifts from Equal Exchange. Equal exchange’s Fair Trade certification means the workers who source and create the products you buy have been fairly compensated for their work and their products. Fair Trade is gaining ground as a “green” certification that helps to ensure sustainable economic growth.
For Grandma and Grandpa
3. Recycled Auto Glass Old-Fashioned Glasses. Now these are just cool. These classic old fashioned glasses for your favorite holiday drink are made in Colombia of recycled auto glass. They’re made one at a time and each is slightly different, but all are tinted a light green/blue by the original tint of the car window. Classy, unique, and beautiful, these won’t last long.
For the Hubby
4. Sprout Watch. For the man in your life, how about a classic watch? The innovative Sprout Watch is made from corn resin! The sleek style and innovative design can go wherever a Rolex would go. But where the manufacture of most plastic watches use an estimated 200,000 barrels of oil a day in the U.S., the Sprout uses none. Durable enough to stand up to a lifetime of wear and tear on your wrist, it will biodegrade in a year if you decide to compost it.
For the Family
5. Earthopoly. Built around the classic “Monopoly” game, Earthopoly lets players buy properties, but also collect carbon credits to trade for clean air. Each space on the board is inhabited by a major landform, and each card offers a “go green” tip. The game is designed for traditional play, which can take forever, or a one-hour version. It’s the perfect game for those of us who grew up with Monopoly but want to teach our kids that there’s more out there than money.
6. Natural Latex Mattress Topper Pad. This time of year, getting a good night’s rest can be the difference between getting through the holiday crunch with your holiday spirit intact or morphing into the Grinch! Treat yourself to a natural latex topper pad that will turn your mattress into a luxury (and guilt-free) sleep surface. Natural latex is one of the planet’s most sustainable, eco-friendly bedding options. Pure botanical latex is sourced from living trees as a renewable resource.
For the Wife/Girlfriend
7. Lavender Spa Collection by Bambeco. Bambeco’s Lavender Spa Collection uses organic California extra virgin olive oil as a base, then builds a range of luscious beauty products using essential oils of lavender, lemon, lime, and exotic ylang ylang. Get Bath Salts in a distinctive Italian glass olive oil bottle, Hand & Body Wash, Hand & Body Lotion, and organic Lavender Olive Oil Soap for $82.00.
There are green, sustainable gift options out there for everyone on your gift list this year. Opt out of traditional resource-hogging gift production, and Go Green instead. This season, shop local, choose responsibly made gifts, or go online to donate to charity as green, socially responsible gift-giving options.
Have a happy (and green) holiday!