Monday, December 15, 2008

Green Gifts

Consumers have a variety of eco-friendly gift options for the holidays. The key to Green holiday giving is waste reduction, this also entails reducing purchases that deplete resources and ultimately end up in a landfill. The environmental footprint of your gifts can be minimized in several ways, using recycled materials, handcrafting, buying locally or even offering experiences in the place of traditional gift items.

Make your own gifts, handcrafted gifts are appreciated as a personal investment of time, love and creative energy. Purchase the handiwork of local artisans and craftspeople. Buy secondhand books and CDs or give non-material gifts, such as food or wine. To help make your gifts Greener, use recycled wrapping (paper or cloth) or choose gift boxes and gift bags made from recycled paper. "If each family would use alternative gift-wrap such as a pillowcase, bedsheet or newspaper for three presents, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields, according to the Carnegie Mellon Green Practices Initiative."

Instead of giving objects, give people an experience, give a certificate to a spa, concert tickets or courses in wine appreciation, or better still, pledge to plant a tree or give carbon credits as gifts.

"Being green isn't an all-or-nothing proposition," Tina Riley co-host of Eco-Friendly Holiday Decorating Workshops, said. "Think creatively about how to reduce your waste. And then when it's time to buy something new, make the right choice."

"People are learning that having an 'eco' Christmas doesn't only mean being earth-friendly; it means being economical as well," said Wava Riley, the other co-host of Eco-Friendly Holiday Decorating Workshops. "It's really about being practical and getting the most out of what you already have."

More than any year in recent memory, consumers are likely to be cautious about their holiday spending. Green gift giving not only saves money, it is a personal statement that helps to save the planet. This year, let Green become part of your holiday gift giving tradition.

For a summary of 'green' gifts, see Tree Hugger's easy to navigate Holiday Gift Guide.

Next : Green Giving: Environmental Charities

2 comments:

Saskboy said...

I've been giving donations to charities (tax rebates) to adults for a few years now, mostly to cut down on consumption.

Ron Robins said...

People could also, when appropriate and affordable, give green investments.

Anyone interested in looking at green investing will find my popular site worthwhile. It covers the latest global news and research on green-ethical investing. It's at www.investingforthesoul.com

Best wishes, Ron Robins