’Tis the season for endless gift guides.
So I didn’t make one. Plus to me they seem to be about as personal and imaginative as a scarf from The Gap.
So instead of creating a long list of sustainable chocolates & teas, organic panties & tees, I came up with a few guidelines that you, oh ye intelligent person you, can use now and then forever and ever, Amen.
1) Always opt for the “experience gift” whenever possible. For example, I gave my husband a helicopter flight to the Channel Islands one year. (Sure, helicopters use some fuel, but we don’t add to the clutter of his closet or our attic, plus the production process of making most products has a much bigger CO2 footprint than imaginable.) Another example? This year I gave my father a Starbucks gift certificate and a handmade ceramic travel mug to go with it. This way he can have a nice experience many mornings over holding court at his local coffee shop, and also maybe catalyze a new trend of BYOM’ing (Bring Your Own Mug). Plus the mug provided something more than just a gift-card, which could come off as a lazy gift.
2) Think about a “service” that would be appreciated. From a membership in a CSA which supports local farmers and gives the giftees a bag full of fresh, local, in season produce each week — to a massage (hint, hint, Maximo) — to a subscription to NetFlix or Spotify – to a babysitter for parents of young chillins. To add context to the last idea – as much as we loved all of those adorable baby ensembles, no matter how big of a size you bought, he’s grown out of it. But memories of a “date night” might last forever, especially if I got knocked up again. (Just sayin’!)
3) If you really want to wrap something, go sustainable or handmade. As for sustainably made items, there are so many cool options out there. One year I gave my brother a European laptop messenger bag made out of used firehose material. Because he is the dude that has everything, this was his favorite gift that year because it was so unique (not to mention indestructible, which also is eco-rific). As for handmade gifts, if you aren’t crafty or lack the time, try Etsy.com. Here are a few of my fave finds:
- Heart-shaped ceramic bowl – $15. Perfect for a bestie. She/he can think about you with love every time they eat their organic Fruit Loops.
- You Are My Sunshine reclaimed wood wall art – $35. This hangs in Baby Sky’s room, which leads to lots of versions of that song being sung since I somehow ended up not knowing one lullaby.
- Do It Yourself Cheese Kit – $10. You could do this together, with organic wine, but of course.
- Upcycled Vintage Cheese Markers – $17. Combine with the above or cheeses from the farmer’s market.
- Crochet Hat with Beard -$15. Funny gift for a boy or man, or that man-boy in your life.
- Carved-on-Tree, You+Me Tea Light – $17. Haven’t you always wanted to see your initials etched into a tree by your lover? Or is that just me?
- Rustic Metal Letters – $2.50 each. Spell out the recipient’s name or a meaningful word. Put them on a mantle, a bookshelf, or mount them on a piece of wood and say you made it. ‘Cuz you did.
- Glitter Poop Pills – $5. Yes you read that right. Crazy people are ingesting these to make their poop sparkle. Seriously, only unicorns have sparkly poop so don’t YOU try it unless you are a unicorn. However these do make a funny stocking stuffer that can be used later for an arts & crafts project that, errrr, doesn’t involve poop.
4) Lastly, would my list be complete without suggesting the gift of daily, fresh eggs?! No, No, Ho Ho! Now is actually a good time to order some baby chicks assuming your giftee can keep them indoors until it warms up a bit (or they can use a heat lamp in the coop). We had our chicks in the living room last winter, and spent nights by the fire drinking eggnog with sweet baby Lavender Orpingtons in our laps. Note: place an old towel in your lap before you do the that because this gift does unfortunately involve a little poop.
That’s it. You got it from here, right?!
I hope you are inspired to make your gifting more green & glittery!
PS: Points for avoiding crap gifts made in China.
PPS: Real points for sharing some of your “green gift” ideas in the comments below. One lucky commenter will win a cleaning kit from Branch Basics because hey, why not go green AND clean for the holidays?!