Eco Friendly Gifts

Going Green With Your Children, Baby,
Corporate and Christmas Gift Giving

Eco friendly gift CFL light bulb in a box Giving an eco friendly gift is not only a great way for you to say...

"I Care About You".

It is also a way to express that...

"I Also Care About The Earth, As A Place That We Share Together"

But how exactly do you select an eco gift, and what kinds of choices and sources are out there...?

Well, it's not an easy question to answer. Popular eco friendly gift ideas include reusable items that can replace disposable items for daily use, such as cloth shopping bags or metal water bottles.

Another popular category is natural/organic/sustainably produced versions of items that the recipient would otherwise buy anyway, like food and clothing. An "eco gift basket" with organic wine, cheese and crackers is a safe choice for most.

You can also buy a membership for an organic food delivery service or an organic fruit of the month club. Alternative energy gifts, such as portable solar panels for charging small electronics, are a snazzy option. Eco friendly gift giving has become so common that we can't really list all the options here, as they continue to grow every day!

Eco Friendly Gift Wrapping

One of the best parts of any gift is the wrapping. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, wrapping paper from holiday gifts contribute a whopping 25 percent extra to curbside trash between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Tossing it in the fireplace isn't exactly an eco friendly solution either, as many of the foils and printing inks containe toxic chemicals that are released into the atmosphere and your lungs when burned.

So, what is the answer?

Luckily, there are several eco friendly ways to wrap a gift. Here are the top 10 tips that I discovered:

  • Shine it up with Recycled aluminum foil, which adds a bit of brightness under your lit tree. Use yarn or a silk scarf to tie it up and add some bright color.
  • Everyone is making the switch from disposable grocery bags to cloth bags, so why not make an eco friendly gift bag/shopping bag part of your gift? A pretty, patterned cloth shopping bag can both hold a gift and be part of it!
  • Invest in some reusable eco friendly gift bags, such as Lyziwraps.
  • Use old maps as eco wrapping paper. Reusable and educational! Or you can re-purpose your paper grocery bags with a sponge cut in the shape of a Eco friendly gift wrap for ChristmasChristmas tree dipped in some green paint. Stamp the bag with your dipped tree and use as eco gift wrap.
  • Top your present with a compact fluorescent bulb instead of a bow-you'll save material, help reduce your recipient's electric bill (and carbon footprint), and get points for design creativity!
  • Wrap your gifts in an eco friendly fabric-either as part of the gift, or a reusable gift fabric to save for next time. Try fabric wraps from or 100% recycled paper printed with soy-based inks.
  • Decorate with natural accents, such as shells, pinecones, or sprigs of berries.
  • For another eco friendly gift wrap option, try biodegradable Seed Gift Wrap from Real Goods. Your recipient can plant it outside the wrong door and be greeted by gorgeous wildflower blooms to remind him or her of your generosity and creativity all summer long.
  • Go the simple, affordable route by reusing attractive old papers you already have around the house. Newspapers work (but aren't the most creative option), so look for something colorful, like leftover wallpaper, old greeting cards, or some of the kid's old drawings.
  • To make the most of your eco gift wrapping, try to forgo tape-most conventional tapes are made with a petroleum base, and any wrapping paper you recycle should be tape free. To wrap presents without tape, make tightly creased folds in the paper and tie it well in both directions with a natural twine, wool yarn, or other eco friendly material.

Shopping for Eco Friendly Gifts

There are too many sources for eco gifts to list, but here are a few outstanding eco friendly gift ideas to get you started:

WorldofGood, in partnership with eBay, is an eco friendly gift shop that connects eco friendly artisans in developing countries with consumers everywhere. They sell eco friendly everything-and in addition to purchasing a gift that's good to the earth, you participate in helping an independent artisan live and work sustainably.

Etsy is a website where independent artisans sell unique eco friendly gifts, such as clothes, eco friendly gift tags, handmade crafts, jewelry, and numerous other items. You can search for eco friendly items made in your area.

Gaiam is a fabulous source for eco friendly gifts. They have a wide range of eco friendly gift cards, eco friendly Christmas gifts, eco friendly birthday gifts, eco friendly wedding gifts-you name the occasion, they sell the gift!

Eco Friendly Donations As Gifts

One of the most eco friendly gifts possible is a gift donation to an eco friendly charity. There are lots of them to select from, but if you'd rather not spend the time on research, here are a few of the best:

Rainforest Alliance offers memberships to their supporters. They use donations to protect rainforest and its inhabitants, including coffee workers!

Urban Reforestation is a hot eco topic today, and a gift certificate from TreePeople helps your recipient participate in eco friendly solutions to urban problems by donating a city tree in his/her name.

Pay it forward with a Mercy Corps Climate Change Kit. Purchased as a gift donation, this eco friendly gift provides job training to youth for green jobs such as solar power installer and organic farmer.

Appreciation of natural beauty makes a lovely eco friendly gift, so you might wish to consider a Sustainable farming is essential to an eco friendly future. Our world is plagued with large, eco unfriendly factory farms, but with luck and effort that can change. Give the gift of an eco friendly future with a purchase of livestock, seeds, bees, farming tools, or training in sustainable farming from Heifer International. $150 will buy a llama that will provide milk, wool, and (eventually) meat for an entire family in South America. If that's a little steep for your wallet, try the sweet treat of a hive of honeybees for just $30.

Another great choice is to contribute to The Nature Conservancy. Your gift can preserve coral reefs in Palau, adopt an acre in Australia, or help to plant a billion trees in a Brazilian rainforest.

TisBest is a great eco friendly gift for the person you don't know well. They offer a charity gift card which the recipient can apply to one of over 200 charities.

Eco Friendly Kids Gifts For Children & Babies

The most eco friendly baby gift you can give any family is nursing support for the mom. So, look for creative ways to give them relaxing time together during their babymoon! Casseroles, housework help, and a fun outing for older kids are all great ways to give Mom and the little one cuddly bonding time.

If you have to give them an item, try an organic cotton receiving blanket, it will swathe the little one in comfort for now, and make a great play cloth/dishcloth/craft supply in the future. If you're giving a gift to a cloth diapering family, you might consider hemp or wool diapers-it's hard to have enough!

For older kids, the options are many but here are a few of the most enticing eco friendly toy gifts out there:

A Wooden Vegetable Set, manufactured with eco friendly rubber wood and nontoxic, water-based paints, will help the little one in your life get enthusiastic about a lifetime of organic produce!

The Green Toys Cookware and Dining Set is an American-made product manufactured from recycled plastic milk containers.

For kids aged 8 and up, consider the Renewable Energy Wind Power Science Kit. It's an eco friendly gift that educates about clean energy and how to make a working turbine. Perhaps it will be the first step towards a good green job for your recipient!

Another great way to learn about eco friendly issues is with Earthopoly, an eco friendly version of Monopoly in which players collect carbon credits and trade them for clean air. The board is made from recycled paper and printed with soy-based ink. The game pieces are made of natural and recycled materials.