Green Holiday Gift Guide 2012:
Best Eco-Friendly Christmas Presents For The Whole Family
Posted: 12/06/2012 9:16 am EST Updated: 12/06/2012 9:29 am EST
It is once again that most wonderful time of the year. The winter holidays will soon be upon us, meaning only one thing… presents!
Unfortunately, consumerism can get a little out of hand. According to RecycleWorks.org, waste per household increases by 25% between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Americans throw away 4 million tons of gift wrapping and shopping bags annually, buy 2.65 billion holiday cards, and spend an average of $800 per person on gifts. It’s no wonder, then, that a national survey found 70% of Americans wish there was less of a focus on holiday gift giving.
Although material-free gifts are often the most environmentally conscious presents, eco-friendly products are increasingly available, thanks to programs like EnergyStar and efforts by individual manufacturers.
Check out the guide below for some green gift ideas for the holidays. Share your ideas in the comments below!
Between lost balls and broken bats, athletic equipment doesn’t have a very long shelf-life. According to The New York Times, an estimated 300 million golf balls are lost every year!
Consider buying a greener product like the Dixon golf ball for your friend who likes to tee up. Not only are Dixon balls made of recycled materials, but you get $6 back for every old ball you return as an incentive not to give up on those shots gone awry. Pictured is the Dixon Earth, their signature golf ball.
So what to buy for your favorite fashionista? Eco-friendly clothing brands are becoming increasingly popular, running the gamut from high-end fashion to affordable duds. Pictured is a 100% organic wool bow dress from Carrie Parry, who won the Ethical Fashion Forum’s 2011 Innovation Award.
The jumper pictured from BabySoy USA is made from all-natural soybean protein fiber and organic cotton.
Pictured is First World Trash’s shiny, black messenger bag made from vinyl billboard and car seatbelts and buckles.
Pictured is the Blank Forest Green Mens Vegan Wallet from Hempstar, which retails for $20 at GreenEarthMall.com
Pictured here is the green bamboo scented candle set from BsaB Candles, which use 100% natural wax, scents and even lead and chemical-free cotton wicks. Their packaging is made out of biodegradable plastics and recycled paper.
Bamboo kitchen company Bambu has a number of supplies made out of the sustainable materials, including the cutting boards pictured here.
Buying a gift of eco-friendly and sustainable chocolate could both provide a yummy treat and help support better environmental practices. The Fat Turkey Chocolate Company specializes in gourmet and exotic chocolates, all while maintaining eco-friendly development and packaging practices. They use unprocessed, local, organic ingredients, and package their goods in alternative, biodegradable corn-starch materials instead of styrofoam.
For an eco-conscious cuppa joe, consider buying a bag of Audobon coffee. The organic beans are shade-grown, so no deforestation is required, and the company practices fair-trade, above-market roasting.
Sustainable wines have no set requirements, but take the ecological makeup of a vineyard into account during production decisions. Organic wines are made from completely chemical-free organic grapes, and require certification from a government agency. In addition, no sulfates may be added. Biodynamic wines are the most environmentally aware of all wines. In addition to using organic grapes, every aspect of the winemaking ecosystem is taken into account, from the soil to the alignment of the moon and stars.
The Lapostalle Winery in Chile is a 100% organic, biodynamic vineyard, where they compost, recycle, and even produce their wines in the most energy efficient manner possible. Pictured is their Casa Carmenere wine, perfect for your oenophilic friend.
In addition, many high-end whiskey makers are creating organic labels. Pictured is the Benromach Organic Single Malt scotch whiskey.
So what cellphone is more environmentally friendly? According to PC Mag, the LG Viper 4G LTE, pictured here, contains 50% recycled plastic, is packaged in 87% recycled material, and includes an energy efficient charger. In addition, it is both RoHS and ULE Platinum Certified, meaning it is free of a number of hazardous materials.
Consider buying a TV from EnergyStar’s list of most environmentally conscious sets. Pictured is the Panasonic TC-L37E3, which has a yearly output of only 73 kWh/year.
The Silver Wave Pendant pictured comes from Brilliant Earth, a company with an emphasis on ethical, transparent and sustainable jewelry.
Instead of letting your cuddly critter gnaw on toxic plastics this year, try getting a new eco-friendly chew toy. The Orbee-Tuff® Glow For Good Ball is non-toxic, recyclable, and donates 100% of proceeds to the non-profit Planet Dog foundation.
Nude Skincare’s Moisturising Body Polish, pictured, is an exfoliant free of parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances and dyes.
This year, consider sending your best wishes via e-card. If you choose to send a snail mail greeting, try making personalized cards from Greenerprinter.com. They use only 100% recycled paper and soy or vegetable-based inks.
Viva Terra has a collection of ornaments made from recycled materials, including these recycled glass balls.