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ideas for eco friendly gifts

Eco friendly gifts - those that are durable, reusable, homemade, or don't create any waste at all - are a great way to be a thoughtful gift giver and give back to Mother Earth this holiday season. 

And frankly, you benefit, too - these sustainable gifts couldn't be easier to give or receive. Everybody wins.

Especially when you consider that during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, we will generate an additional 1 million tons of trash - about 25 percent more trash.

Why not trim the trash while you're trimming the tree, making your list and checking it twice? You can easily reduce waste while merry making this holiday season with these ideas for more environmentally friendly gifts.

1. shop online for gifts.

E-commerce (think cyber Monday) is an easy way to reduce holiday gasoline consumption and still shop this holiday season. But it's not necessarily waste free: be sure to choose items that won't be excessively padded for shipping.

2. green gifts from the heart.

Remember that the best gifts come from the heart - not necessarily the department store. If you do choose to buy something new, look for gift items made from recycled packaging or materials, from an antique store, estate sale, or flea market; or those that can be recycled and reused:

  • Encourage others to use less stuff. A book about crafts created from found or reusable items, reusable tote bags, a cookbook for getting creative with leftovers, gardening tools, a refillable thermos bottle, a battery recharger.
  • Give gifts of recycled packaging and materials. These include possibilities such as a solar battery charger, or water-conserving shower-heads.
  • Create sustainable gifts or those that will get used up. Candles, homemade cookies and cakes, bread, or jams; a plant or tree.
  • Go with a gift certificate for a grownup if you're not sure what she wants. For that hard to buy for person, make sure your gift doesn't miss the mark and end up in a landfill. It's hard not to hit a holiday bulls-eye with a gift certificate, or by simply making a donation in her name to a favorite charity.
  • Give kids eco friendly gifts for their future. Start a savings account, or give them their own stocks or bonds. It's a great lesson in financial conservation for kids, who learn while watching their money grow.

3. environmentally friendly tokens of affection.

Ideas for eco-friendly gifts.Gift cards or a gift certificate you make yourself designed especially for your recipient are easy eco-friendly gifts.

These gifts don't generate any any trash at all - and come straight from the heart.

  • Go away. For your significant other, consider giving a weekend getaway to a bed-and-breakfast (you can go, too) or a bike-riding excursion.
  • Get out. For kids, consider creating a certificate for excursions such as a whale-watching or a camping trip.

Does it get any more heartfelt and festive than this?

Check out the Clean Organized Home Store for eco friendly gift ideas, gift wrap, and more!


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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.