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28 Nov

Eco-friendly gift ideas for 'green' giving

Great American Floors

Giving eco-friendly gifts is now easier than ever before. As more and more people are conscious of reducing their impact on the planet, the demand for environmentally conscious products and services has grown.

Choosing earth-friendly gifts is not only generous, but gift-givers also can rest assured they're doing their part to safeguard natural resources for future generations. The following are some gift ideas for the eco-conscious people on your holiday shopping list.

Locally made products

Locally made products make great holiday gifts. Such gifts are not produced halfway around the world, meaning they don't contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming like products that need to be flown or driven across the globe. Craft fairs and artisan shops are good sources for locally made gifts, which also are a great way to support businesses in your community.

Gifts of service

A massage or music or tutoring sessions are examples of gifts of service. These gifts do not require much use of natural resources, and recipients find their personal nature very thoughtful. Gifts of service also can include tasks you do yourself for the gift recipient, rather than paying another person to handle. For example, teach a senior member of your family how to navigate their new smartphone or agree to help them shop for groceries.

Recycled goods

When many people think of recycling, they tend to picture piles of discarded plastic bottles, glass jars and aluminum cans. While the end product of many of these recycled pieces is new cans, bottles and jars, recycled materials also can be turned into new and unique pieces. Trivets and spoon rests made from recycled and melted wine bottles make for clever and attractive gifts. Recycled fire extinguishers have been turned into vases, and you can even find bike parts that have been used to make wind chimes and belts if you know where to shop.

Natural gifts

Natural gifts are among the most environmentally friendly ones you can give. Foodies may appreciate an herb-growing kit that enables them to experiment with freshly picked basil or thyme in the kitchen, while tree-growing kits and flower seed packets are nice stocking stuffers for budding gardeners. Offer to purchase a living Christmas tree for a relative, so that he or she can plant the evergreen after the holidays have come and gone.


New, shiny gifts are not the only ones that have appeal. Gifting a sentimental piece of family history is an earth-friendly way to share the holidays. Pass down a cherished piece of jewelry or, if you do not have anything in your own collection, browse antique shops for items that have interesting histories.

The holiday season is often a time of excess, but giving doesn't have to be detrimental to the environment. Givers can seek out earth-friendly gifts and share even more this time of year. 

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