Eco-Friendly Gifts

Reduce stress, and reduce waste, by rethinking the gift-giving experience.

Did you know that most people would rather have a photo album of times shared than a store-bought gift?  The key is giving something that the receiver will enjoy, cherish and use all year, not be tossed or stored indefinitely.

Avoid scanning through ads for gift ideas. Use your creative side and personally choose or make gifts based on the personality of each.

Homemade Gifts:

  • For ideas, visit a craft, hobby or fabric store or search the Internet. Easy to make items include a pillowcase, blanket, tote bag, sleeping bag cover, frame, scarf, wall décor, candle, etc.
  • Scrap book or photo album of memories with a friend or loved one.
  • Cookbook with your favorite recipes.
  • Set up a monthly lunch date or phone call. Perfect for elderly friends or relatives.
  • Monthly care package of your choice.  You choose the theme, the handmade or baked item.
  • Give a gift of art. Frame a photo, painting, drawing or sketch.  
  • Make your own cards or calendars.   
  • Make soaps, linen sprays, air fresheners, scrubs and more. Find a recipe on the Internet or library.
  • Give green cleaning supplies in a basket (with a recipe book, of course). Include baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, borax, salt and reusable cleaning towels.
  • Assemble meals or treats where the recipient only has to add the liquids and stir or bake. Cookies, brownies, breads, pancake mix, cocoa or coffee mix, soups, rice pilaf, etc. Be sure to include the directions.

Miscellaneous:

  • Give a favorite plant, flower, bulb, tree or something to add to their hobby!
  • Give stamps, envelopes, pens, post-it notes, scratch pads or writing tools.
  • Give a donation to a local non-profit organization such as the mission, food bank, a women’s shelter, pet shelter, etc.
  • Plan something fun during the holidays, like watch home movies and serve popcorn.  

Gift Ideas for Children:

  • Instructions and material/supplies for making hand puppets – and help name them. 
  • A box of dress up clothes – get from your closet and/or secondhand stores! Select a variety of clothes, shoes and jewelry, from fancy or funny, to creative and costumed.   
  • A decorated box with a variety of jewelry inside, from second-hand stores or your own jewelry box. 
  • A coupon for a “Kids Day” and let them set the agenda.
  • Give a personalized video message of a special memory/home movie you share.
  • Homemade Bird Feeder Kit: See the Internet for ideas. Assemble and hang together. 
  • Teach a child knitting or some other craft – invite family or their friends. Let them choose their yarn, have snacks and have FUN.
  • Write and illustrate a story with the child as the main character.
  • Sentimental pieces of jewelry can be handed down. Take a photo of you wearing it and include it with a card on why it is special – wrap and present it.   
  • Make a voice or video recording of you reading a favorite book to them. Be a part of their bedtime no matter where you live.
  • Seeds, pots, soil and other garden goodies. Start developing the love of gardening.
  • Give them a box of composting worms! Search on the Internet for home delivery.

A certificate for:

  • A meal or “goodie” once a month, delivered for one year!
  • A dinner and movie of their choice.
  • Housecleaning, a pedicure or manicure, lawn maintenance, laundry service, chauffeur service, (you provide the driver and car) snow shoveling, car wash, etc.
  • A tree or gift from a local nursery.
  • A car wash once a month (and vacuum).
  • A hand wax (or tune up) for their vehicle.
  • Anything in your area of expertise. Photography, home décor, cooking, etc.
  • Housecleaning, a pedicure or manicure, lawn maintenance, laundry service, chauffeur service, (you provide the driver and car) snow shoveling, car wash, etc.

Family Gifts:

  • A jigsaw puzzle.
  • Tickets to a favorite cultural or sporting event, ice skating, bowling or laser tag. 
  • A movie and snacks packed in a large reusable bowl or tickets to a movie.
  • A family board game or activity to do together!
  • Subscription to Family Fun or other family oriented magazine.
  • Certificate for a family portrait.

Gifts of Time:

  • Special activity with a significant other (candle lit dinner, massage, a visit to a museum, park, sporting event, etc.)  
  • A lunch date or shopping adventure.  
  • Reconnect with someone. Call a friend or write a letter to someone you haven’t seen in a few years.
  • Shovel snow for someone, even if you remain anonymous. It will make his or her holiday season brighter.
  • Put up holiday decorations and take down after the holidays.

~ The ideas are endless ~