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Go Green to Help the Environment Over the Holidays

Updated on March 29, 2013

Green Gifts

Hobby - RC (remote control) Cars
Hobby - RC (remote control) Cars | Source
Green gift wrapping - decorative tote bags.
Green gift wrapping - decorative tote bags. | Source
Cookbooks and recipes
Cookbooks and recipes | Source
Handcrafted gifts, recycled glass and nature elements are all perfect green gifts.
Handcrafted gifts, recycled glass and nature elements are all perfect green gifts. | Source
flower seeds
flower seeds | Source
herbs. use to create handcrafted gifts or the seeds to grow them.
herbs. use to create handcrafted gifts or the seeds to grow them. | Source
Food is an option for anyone difficult to buy for. Dryed foods are even better.
Food is an option for anyone difficult to buy for. Dryed foods are even better. | Source
Passes to water parks and amusement parks for teenagers.
Passes to water parks and amusement parks for teenagers. | Source
Household items, appliances, electronics, towels,etc.
Household items, appliances, electronics, towels,etc. | Source

20 Green Gift Ideas for the Holidays

The best gift for yourself and the environment is to go green. Use less wrapping that will end up in the trash. Use more items that are reusable in the home. When shopping, try to reduce the number of trips. Planning with lists, ads and the places you can fit in one day will save fuel, take someone else with you so they can get there's done at the same time. Apply the same theory to online shopping, purchase as much as you can from fewer stores so there are less trips by the UPS truck.

Handcrafted ideas are great in any form because they do not require any manufacturing or further processing. Many items also involved reusing items now.

  1. Vintage and gently used items, pallet furniture, perfect to find a special gift for their collection.
  2. Re-gifting. Gifts you never use, it is time to gift it to someone else.
  3. Can't hand craft yourself, shop online from: Etsy, artists studios and Redbubble.
  4. What does everybody like? Only pick out items for their hobbies or items they truly want.
  5. Food is a wonderful gift in recyclable materials. Cookies, candy, trail mix, jerky, and fruit.
  6. Passes to water parks and amusement parks are gifts for teenagers that love adventure and excitement.
  7. Glass and recycled glass for decor and to create your own dishes (see the video)
  8. Organization items. Every room needs a shelf, box or container to make it easier to find and access. Office storage items using empty boxes, jars and plastic containers you decorate and coordinate to match their office decor. Gifting recycling bins and organizers. Encourage recycling.
  9. Plants, herbs, flower seeds and lavender buds to fill sachets for drawers and hangers.
  10. Fair Trade Gifts that benefit the country and are very uniquely created.
  11. Organic gifts are healthy and great for some people that may not afford them for themselves. Natural body care products to encourage healthy lifestyles.
  12. Albums or scrapbooks. can be mini size or regular book sizes.
  13. Recipes and cookbooks.
  14. Paper crafts like tags, note cards, special occasion cards and packaging decorations. This is a wonderful gift for elderly because their are times they cannot get out of the house to pick these items up,
  15. Home decor or framed art and shadow boxes.
  16. Bees wax candles you hand rolled yourself in various sizes from votive, to full size candles.
  17. Digitally created journals, photo books and poster images are all items people will keep forever or a very long time.
  18. Household items that will be used till worn out are perfect. Kitchen items, towels and electronics.
  19. Hand sewn, crocheted, knitted or embroidered and cross stitched gifts are a wonderful edition. Blankets, scarves, cup warmers, baby gifts, wall decor, pillow cases and table runners. There are endless options of gifts like these. People love them because you put personal time into creating them. You can purchase them too. Not everyone has the time to handcraft and you can still support the environment by purchasing hand crafted items that do not involve manufacturing.
  20. Outoor equipment, gardening tools, seed packets, gardening gloves and bulbs are nice for people with a passion for gardening.

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts Gift Making Ideas

I want to share some of the crafting idea in this book. They are ideal for Go Green gifting and package decorations.

Shell crafts (video below for the flowerpot designs). Whether you have collected them from the beach or purchase them from the craft stores or a Fair Trade group, any of them will work great. Her projects cover flower pots, trash cans, mirrors, frames, boxes and other household items. All usable gifts.

Mosaics. This is a great way to collect broken plates, cups, ceramic figurines, glass marbles and rocks or tiles. I love projects that recycle and reuse in new forms. Cover flower pots, trays, mirrors, tables, furniture and sculptures for the yard. This is one of my favorite projects. I love making stepping stones for the garden and yard.

Crafting clay is so fun for making flowers to adorn the gift packages. Why not take that a step further and create reusable tags? Her projects include the flowers, jewelry, buttons and headbands. I like the idea of creating your own little box to place jewelry inside. Especially if you used her directions to create the jewelry too.

There are many nature crafts, so take advantage of the gifts from nature and incorporate them into gifts for the holidays and table decorations.

Read the book review on Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts Gift Making Ideas

Two recommended books for Green Gifting

The Shabby Chic Gift of Giving
The Shabby Chic Gift of Giving

Vintage giving and packaging ideas by Rachel Ashwell of Shabby Chic

 

Go Green Glass Tumblers gifts by Pottery Barn

go Green Gifts from Fair Trade Gift Ideas

Cheap Gifts for the Holidays With Green Ideas In Mind

Adopt a Pet

Pets are wonderful only if you know the person wants one and will take care of the animal. Ensure all of those facts are in place prior to adopting a pet and giving it during the holidays. Most animal shelters are very careful during the holidays, but as long as you are meeting the guidelines; you can complete the adoption process.

Adopting sweet Greyhounds is an ideal consideration for people with the space and fenced yard to care for them. Watch the video on greyhound adoptions.

Shelters offer many types of animals, again, ensure the potential receiving person can care for that animal.


Adopt a Greyhound by CBS News

Go Green Gift Wrapping

Normal gift wrapping involves a great deal of paper waste. Use materials that are reusable each year or the person can reuse like fabric bags, chalkboard tags and fabric ribbons. The first picture at the top is a picture of the decorative, reusable bags at Walmart. I have found them at Barnes and Noble too. Big bags are much better to gift the items in. They can reuse the bags for groceries and get a 5 cent credit for each bag at the store!

Pinecones, acorns, sticks, scrap fabric pieces and bows or ribbons from prior years are some alternatives. I try to avoid using wrapping paper and add more of a ribbon and accessories to create a pretty package. It is a great time to use baskets, storage containers and platic boxes that anyone can reuse in their homes after the holidays. Photo boxes are excellent choices. Use stamped images on shapes to place on packages to embellish, rather than full covering with wrapping paper.

Decorative bathroom trash containers are very beautiful and a great place to for other gifts inside. Just add a tag and maybe a ribbon, no need to wrap any of the gifts placed inside it.

Reusable chalk tags are the newest edition to reusable items when gifting.

Use kitchen towels and bath towels to wrap up other gifts. Fabrics are reusable and decorative. They can be used themselves for clothing, keeping extra plastic bags, and crafts. Blankets, sheets and rolling items inside of a small rug are all of the fabric options.

Storage containers are one of the best options. We can all use them for storing anything. They are perfect to place gifts inside to avoid wrapping paper. Add a bow or a few pinecones to decorate the outside. Photo boxes, decoupaged boxes and shoe boxes are all reusable to package gifts in.

How to make eco-friendly gift wrapping

Green Wrapping

Go Green with Food you serve on the holidays

Share leftover meat so none of it goes to waste. As you make your holiday dishes, keep the scraps of fruits, vegetables, egg shells, coffee grains and potato peels. Place them in a closed container to dump in your compost pile later.

You can also take advise from Green Weddings, Green Caterers and serve only foods that can be recycled, placed in the compost pile or contributed to a farmer as animal feed. It takes extra planning, clear lists of foods that meet those guidelines and a commitment to the environment to fully accomplish it. Even if you do that for one or two dishes, you are saving the environment. Some people like to do the whole meal that way. Either way is very acceptable and helpful.

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    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you billybuc. You are one of the busiest people on here, so I Don't the delay. I love green ideas too. It is even better when those things look good enough to give away!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sorry it took me so long to get here. I love the green ideas. I usually read any green hub; not sure how I missed this. Anyway, great list of suggestions.

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Exactly peggy. I need to add my pictures from Christmas. The food gift baskets were a bigger hit than purchased gifts. Thank you for commenting.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I am all for going green when it comes to living in general and also in giving gifts. Anything that can be used again before headed into a garbage dump is always good. Wrapping gifts in newspaper that would ordinarily be discarded (even if recycled) makes use of it at least another time. Wrapped with colorful ribbons or yarn, it can be amazingly pretty. If one puts their mind to it...all kinds of things can be utilized. Up and useful votes.

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you April. As I create some gifts and gift wrapping this year, I will add those images. It is a bit of a new way to look at Christmas. As much as I love wrapping paper, I make every effort to use very little of it. I just feel guilty throwing it in the trash afterwards. I like guilt free packaging. Happy Holidays!

    • April Reynolds profile image

      April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona

      Awesome hub, these are great ideas. Now my brain is spinning to see how I can go as green as possible this year. The videos were helpful too!

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Another great thing to do Linancy, great idea on donating gifts too. That is always an option for those items you receive and cannot use. I donate a large amount of items yearly. Thank you for the comment.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      What cute ideas for gifts! I had never thought of the holidays from the point of wastefulness. And I suppose all of us can learn to donate items to those that are less fortunate than us.

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you Sherry Hewins. It is a little easier to regift when you know the person will be unaware you gave it to someone else. I even tell people, if you don't like the gift, give it to someone else you know can use it. I love the idea for some reason. The hancrafted gifts are what I enjoy doing too. It saves me a great deal too when Christmas comes. I don't have to spend nearly as much on store bought items.

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you vocalcoach. I love the green ideas too. I sometimes do those things, without realizing I am conserving on waste. As much as I love wrapping paper, I hate throwing it away. I would rather make something look pretty with a little ribbon or faux flower instead of wrapping the whole gift up. Glad you like the videos.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I love hand crafted gifts. They're fun, personal, green and economical. I think it's funny you recommend regifting. I do it all the time, even though most people advise not to. I do try to give it to a person who will appreciate it.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Fantastic hub! Anything to help me to practice going green really excites me. The first video is so helpful. Great ideas. Voted up UABI and sharing.