The Holiday Gift of Giving

With the holiday season quickly approaching upon us, we have too much to worry about. What with planning for the holidays, buying presents, decorating our homes, making food, and visiting relatives and friends, we hardly have time to think about anything else. But in all the hustle and bustle of holiday planning, a little help along the way would be nice. That’s why this year I’ve put together some unique gift ideas that can be good for the environment and good for you. These ideas include gifts for kids and adults and I hope they will come in handy.

Each year I tell myself to start planning on the gifts early and to set a budget and keep it. Well, this year I’m definitely going to stay within my budget – but it’ll be hard considering all of the presents I have to buy for the kids. I’m really striving for making gifts this year – I’m pretty crafty but I still have to decide and make a list of all the ideas and supplies I have to buy. But each year, I still aim to do something that’s eco-conscious and still give something that’s fun and unique for the recipient.

Below I’ve gathered a list of companies that makes great products for gifts and entertaining throughout the year. Some are eco-friendly, some are organic, some are naturally-made, some are ethically-aware, and some are just downright unique.

Gifts for Children: Green toys that uses recycled materials and are free of toxic materials (, clothes made from organic cotton, organic and toxic-free diapers, books that teaches about nature (, organically-grown snacks ( ( (, dvds, gift cards to their favorite stores so they can choose what they want instead of ending up with toys/gifts they don’t use or like.

Gifts for Women: Organically-made clothing (, eco-friendly, organic, and stylish timepieces (, organic and natural skin and body care ( ( ( (

Gifts for Men: Reusable coffee mugs, resuable water bottles ( , bicycles so they can bike to work, shoes that are environmentally and ethically-made, solar powered gadgets.

Gourmet Gifts: Sweets such as gourmet brownies, cookies, marshmallows, candies (, wine from local regions, and personally-made gift baskets would be nice. And every year Late July Snacks ( offers their special Chocolate Covered Sandwich Cookies that are sprinkled with candy cane peppermint pieces on the top. It’s really yummy and each year I’ll pick up a few boxes to give to my family and have on hand for last minute gifts. But you have to get them quick because they’re only available during the holidays and you can easily find them in natural grocery stores.

So whether you’ve devoted yourself to shop online or started your holiday gift shopping early, there’s always an abundance of ideas and companies out there to match your needs. But if you truly want to go the environmental and ethical route this year, then serious research will have to be done. It’s easier to make a list of companies and gift ideas before you go shopping and although you may think eco-friendly gifts may be expensive, they’re actually not because most of them are made by fair-trade companies and source their ingredients/products from established farms, etc. And if you buy locally, then you can also save on shipping costs, processing, and offset energy used to produce the products.

 Happy Holidays and have fun shopping!

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