The holidays are a time for giving, but wouldn’t it be great to give gifts that don’t hurt the environment and in many cases actually help it instead? Everyday Earthiness makes it easy to give greener this holiday season with these green giving tips.
1. Shop in environmentally friendly stores
Great green gifts are easy to find in stores that specialize in eco-friendly and fair trade products.
- EcoMall – Committed to selling only organic, natural and sustainable products made in environmentally responsible ways
- Uncommon Goods – For truly unique green presents
- EarthEasy.com – For a wide range of green gifts
- HipCycle – Hip upcycled home, pet, apparel, accessories and jewelry gifts
- GreaterGood.com – A shopping site with earth-friendly, recycled and fair trade product departments that donates a portion of proceeds to a variety of causes. Select Earth or Rainforest to make sure your purchase supports environmental efforts.
- GreenHeartShop.com – Non-profit supporting Fair Trade projects
- ShoppingForAChange.org – Non-profit shop that sells environmentally and socially conscious products and supports Fair Trade projects domestically and abroad.
Or shop in specialized eco-friendly shops like:
- Gaiam – Eco-friendly fitness gifts
- The Old Wood Co. – Environmentally conscious wood workers producing sustainable and locally-sourced wood furniture
- Wunder Budder – Environmentally friendly personal care products
- BabyEarth – Eco baby store specializing in products that are healthy and safe
- Real Goods – Off-grid and environmentally friendly living products like solar ovens, compost bins, electric-free appliances and solar and renewable energy systems
- Bambeco – Cool sustainable and responsible living home goods from a company focused on forests preservation, water conservation and fair wages.
2. Shop in environmental charity stores
Many of your favorite charities and environmental groups have online gift shops or partner retailers who sell goods to support the mission of the organization, such as:
- World Wildlife Fund – Make a donation to WWF and select a wildlife gift from their Gift Center as a thank you. Or shop from any of these retailers who support WWF from the proceeds, including WWF’s very own online bookshop.
- Sierra Club – The online Sierra Club Store sells holiday gifts and cards, apparel, bags, calendars and wildlife adoptions to support Sierra Club’s important national objectives.
- The Ocean Conservancy – Shop at these retailers who give a portion of proceeds to The Ocean Conservancy, including ideas like an Ocean Conservancy Wine Club, Endangered Species Chocolates and boating goods from Greenboatstuff.com.
- Greenpeace – Shop at the official Greenpeace online store through CafePress to ensure a portion of the proceeds support Greenpeace’s critical work on oceans, food, forests, climate and democracy. All items are printed to order, so there is no waste.
- National Park Service – The official online store of America’s National Parks, eParks.com, carries goods from every National Park in the country, including glass items blown by hand in Jamestown, kids toys, books and games and NPS Passports.
- National Park Foundation – This official charitable partner of the National Park Service helps preserve and protect America’s national parks and programs. Their online store at FindYourPark.com donates 100% of its proceeds to the foundation for the NPS.
- National Wildlife Federation – Check out NWF’s online store for wildlife-inspired Christmas cards, ornaments and apparel, plus everyday gift items and apparel or wildlife adoptions.
- Rock The Ocean Foundation – When you shop for apparel at RockTheOcean.com 50% of the proceeds go to increasing public awareness about issues impacting the world’s oceans and supporting scientific research, education, and ocean conservation initiatives. Or attend one of their benefit rock concerts, like the Tortuga Music Festival.
3. Buy eco-friendly stocking stuffers
It’s easy to stuff stockings with chachkies that damage the planet from the impact of their materials, production and shipping and that all too soon end up in landfills. But did you know it’s also easy to find stocking stuffers that don’t hurt and even help the planet instead? Here are a few lists of eco-friendly stocking stuffer ideas.
- Inhabitat’s 15 Eco-Friendly Stocking Stuffers For Everyone On Your List
- Growing a Green Family’s Eco-Friendly Kids Stocking Stuffers Under $10
- Naturally Loriel’s 23 Earth-Friendly Stocking Stuffer Ideas for the Kids
- EcoCult’s Eco-Friendly Stocking Stuffers For Guys And Gals
- Bambeco’s Sustainable Stocking Stuffers
A few ideas from Everyday Earthiness include:
- Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm – made from 100% natural organic ingredients
- ZeoPack Rechargeable Odor & Moisture Removers by EcoTonix – filled with zeolite mineral rocks and reusable for life
- Envirosax Reusable Shopping Bags and Natural Home Reuseable Produce Bags – to replace disposable plastic shopping bags
- 5 Minute Shower Timer – a great tool to help people save water
- Stainless Steel Drinking Straws – cut down on plastic waste with these reusable straws
- Bamboo Cooking Utensils – replace toxic plastic and silicon versions
- Reusable coffee cozy by Etsy brand Beyond Quilts – saves paper from disposable versions
- Tazo Organic Green Tea – sustainable and healthy for humans and the Earth
4. Buy sustainable fashion brands
Fashion is the second dirtiest industry in the world behind fossil fuels (for more on that, see our article, “Green Fashion: What’s The Impact Of Your Closet?”). Everyday Earthiness makes it easy for you to find environmentally conscious fashion brands that don’t hurt the planet. Check out:
- Green Fashion: Apparel Shopping Guide
- Green Fashion: Accessories Shopping Guide
- Green Fashion: Jewelry Shopping Guide
5. Give renewable energy
Install Renewables – Surprise your family or loved one with a new home solar system for the holidays. Federal and state credits help reduce the costs. Check out the free public service Solar-Estimate.org for a free solar system estimate and information on solar financing, incentives, installers and technology.
Switch to 100% Renewables – Give the gift of switching your home electricity bill over to 100% renewable energy sourcing. If your electric company doesn’t offer this option, sign up for 100% renewable energy electricity from Arcadia Power, offering “Clean Energy for Anyone” across the country via Renewable Energy Certificates.
Renewable Investments – Give the gift of stock or an investment in renewable energy companies developing renewable technology and/or building renewable energy systems. For information about divesting from fossil fuels and investing in renewables instead, visit DivestInvest.org.
What can you do today?
Make a commitment to give greener gifts this holiday season. Check out more Green Giving posts from Everyday Earthiness, like last week’s “Green Giving: How To Give Experiences That Help The Planet”. Learn about greener options for wrapping, ribbons and cards in our article, “How To Green Up Your Gift Giving”. Follow us here at www.EverydayEarthiness.com for weekly Green Giving tips, or on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter for daily tips. As always, spread these ideas to others.
Featured resource of the day: Looking for ways to get a little greener in your holiday celebrations too? Check out “Eco-Friendly Celebrations And Holidays: Ideas to Green Your Traditions” by Sustainable Baby Steps.
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