It’s that time again, the holiday season is upon us and thoughts of gift giving have invaded your ever-waking moment. Where does one go to obtain green gift ideas or buy green gifts for our friends and loved ones?
A variety of things must first be considered when selecting a gift you deem to be a green gift. First you must determine what your barometer for green is? For many people being green can consist of many definitions.
Much like those that claim to be vegetarians, being green may encompass a variety of shades. I’m sure we all know people that say they are vegetarians that eat chicken or fish. There are some that will consume eggs, cheese and milk? And there are vegetarians that eat no meat or dairy at all. Shocking! My point being that I’m not the judge of what you choose to call yourself, but you have to decide what being green means to you and then the selection of a green gift becomes a little easier to decide.
First determine your primary concerns. Such as, are the materials used to manufacture the item bad for the environment? Are they sustainable? Is the environmental cost associated with transporting the item from the factory to your doorstep too great?
Once you have determined your sense of green you are ready to set out and explore your green gift ideas. Leave no options off the table. Frankly I think Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose is a good place to start. Whether it is something that you already have or you obtain it from a second hand store or thrift shop there has been no new environmental damage to produce the item and it is not sitting in a landfill somewhere.
One thing to note when gifting via the Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose method, be sure the recipient is into the green movement, or be ready to educate them because some tend to feel slighted if their green gift isn’t sparkling brand new.
Another good option is a local art walk or craft fair. Many local artist and crafters are environmentally conscious and are producing a lot of handmade pieces that will make wonderful green gifts. At events such as these you often have the opportunity to talk to the person that created the art and ask what products were used and how they were obtained. Most of these artists are extremely passionate about their craft and the environment. They truly enjoy telling you about the process used to create, and their own green gift ideas. Usually the participants are locals so you are also supporting someone in your own community.
Although you must do a bit of research of your own as to the claims of companies about being green, there are many businesses that are dedicated to selling items that fit one version of green or another. Some of the sites that have a fairly decent reputation as to their claims are sites such as the following:
Etsy – Mostly handmade items for sale, and you can email the seller if you have any questions.
Zwaggle- A source of mostly children’s toys and clothing being traded or bartered.
Greenfeet – Products selected for their practicality, eco-friendly attributes, quality and usefulness.
The Daily Green - Lists over 100 green gift ideas featuring the season’s best sustainable and nontoxic gifts — safe toys, gadgets, outfits, and the most outrageous green gifts.
These are but a few green gift ideas and a few sites to help make obtaining green gifts a little easier. But as with the spirit of the holiday season, it’s the thought that counts. So let your creativity and imagination take the lead on this. One important thing about giving green gifts is making the earth a little bit better each day and spreading the word that staying environmentally aware of what we chose to do and how we chose to do it has a lasting impact on our world.