Choosing an eco-friendly Christmas gift is not difficult or expensive. It’s certainly worth the time to be environmentally friendly! Below are some ideas from www.christmaslightsanddecorations.com
Make up a basket of environmentally friendly household products including light bulbs and cleaning products, as well as books or pamphlets about how to make homes a little more “green”.
Don’t give gifts this year. Have a party, do something nice for someone else, help a friend with a project. Give your time rather than your money.
Give a gift certificate or cash so that you know your loved ones will get exactly what they want. Save the waste created by having to return a gift or throwing something away.
Make a Donation
Give a donation to an environmental charity or group in your friends’ names. Not only will you be helping a good cause, but you will also connect your friend to the organization. They might forward valuable information along!
Purchase books or group memberships for your friends to learn about the eco-friendly lifestyle, art, music, or any subject your loved ones enjoy.
Help your loved ones make their space greener. Plants, trees and seeds make great gifts. A terrarium will make the perfect start for your friends who haven’t developed their green thumbs.
The latest composters can easily fit into the smallest of yards. Include a book on what to compost and how to use compost to make the gift meaningful.
Don’t buy Christmas gifts that are over packaged. Toys are especially bad for this, with cardboard boxes covered by plastic sheets, sealed with tape and fastened with plastic ties. Buy products that have the packaging fit to them, or even better aren’t packaged at all.
Consider the power requirements for your gift. Batteries that can’t be recharged are a dangerous addition to landfills because of the chemicals contained in them. A Christmas gift that doesn’t use power or can be recharged is best.
Find out what kind of waste the gift makes itself. Does it require any additional supplies? Will using the gift make waste? For example, rather than giving your kids a craft set that will end up wasting paper and other supplies that get thrown out, buy them an Etch-a-Sketch or a Lego set.
Consider the life span of the product. If you are giving something that won’t last you are creating waste.
Purchase Christmas gifts out of naturally made products. A wood toy train will do less damage to the environment when it gets thrown out than a plastic toy. Hemp products are also increasing in popularity.
Do your research. If your gift isn’t made from natural product research the environmental impact of the material it is made from. Is it made from renewable resources? Is it biodegradable? Is it recyclable? What kind of processes go into making it? What kind of effects will it have once it reaches a landfill?
Find out where the product comes from. The amount of waste created and energy used in the manufacture and transport of products can have a real impact on the planet. Buying locally contributes to the economy of your own community and reduces the amount of pollution created by trade. The manufacturer should also have an environmentally friendly operation.
Choose products in their natural colors. Making and using dyes, as well as the dyeing process can be harmful to the environment.
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”
- Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!