For the next few Fridays, I’ll be sharing KS approved gift guides for your shopping enjoyment. I use that term very, very lightly, as I rather hate shopping.
This week I share my top 10 Green Gifts, some of which may help you and your friends and family tackle the Monday Mission of greening up one personal product this week.
I’m going to try to be very transparent here and avoid making these guides a mess of only affiliate links (the ones from which I earn commission). I’ll make a concerted effort to include the products I really use and really would buy (or am asking for) as gifts, whether or not I’m associated with the company. However, I do try to join affiliate programs for products which I love, so you will find a number of affiliate links in this list. I hope that it is ultimately helpful and gives you some ideas about where to spend the money (wisely) that you were going to spend anyway.
|MadeOn Lotions and Lip Balms: With 100% safe (mostly edible) ingredients and really affordable prices, you can get a whole mantlefull of stocking stuffers for under $10. I also have lip balm from Natural Momma, a local (to me) Etsy seller. The ingredients are also super safe and more or less foods and essential oils, but totally different. The MadeOn lip balm is harder and the Natural Momma glides easier, MadeOn has a bit more peppermint “bite” (also a non-scented). I’ve been wearing them left side/right side for a few days to see if there’s an obvious winner, but I like them both and both seem to do the job. I also have a Burt’s Bees balm, but I like supporting handmade small businesses. (I’m an affiliate of MadeOn, but not Natural Momma. Just trying to share what’s in my house…)|
|Stainless Steel Water Bottles: The classic. A Christmas hasn’t gone by in three years that I haven’t gotten a stainless steel bottle for someone who doesn’t yet have one. This year will be no exception, as my father-in-law just received one for his birthday last month! Our family uses Klean Kanteen and EcoUsable, both available through Amazon, and we also have a few cheap ones from Bed Bath and Beyond (use that 20% off coupon to get it for about $8) or Meijer on clearance. Just look out for trickery and don’t get stuck with an aluminum bottle! (See my Ecousable reviews here and here.)|
|Stainless Steel Containers: A kind of pricey item, I love to ask for stuff like this for Christmas for myself. You can see my reviews of a couple here and here. Find great options at Life Without Plastic (my husband has started using his thermos for soup almost daily now that he goes to work at a normal office outside the home, loves it!). (Reusable sandwich bags are also fun – my cloth sandwich bag review may help you get started.)|
|Glass containers: I already have some from Bed Bath and Beyond ready to wrap for TWO people on my list (Shhh, don’t tell). Have you seen how much I love glass storage containers? We are constantly running out, particularly of the 2-cup and 1-cup size. I prefer Pyrex over Anchor-Hocking because their lids stay on better over time.|
|Natural Cleaners: I am practical enough to ask for and even give such things as gifts. Geeky, I know. Once for a wedding I gave a tub of natural cleaners and ingredients and recipes to make homemade, and the bride loved it! The Biokleen Dishwasher Powder is available at Vitcost, as are lots of their products – I also love Bac-Out for laundry. (just search “Biokleen”) Check out the comprehensive list of ALL my favorite natural cleaners.|
|NaturOli Soap Nuts: Geeky again, I know. I actually asked for soap nuts for Christmas last year, and my MIL accidentally got the wrong brand (Maggie’s) so I can conclusively say I like NaturOli better. 🙂 They last forever and wash well, and they grow on trees! Great conversation topic around the tree, if you ask me. Check out my soap nuts review. They also have cute gift sets; see the whole store here.|
|Microfiber cloths or Skoy cloths: Either would make a nice extra addition to a gift or little stocking stuffer. Many say microfiber is not “green” because it’s made of plastic, but I save so many cleaners (and time, another consideration) because of my microfiber that I’m going to make that concession. Here’s my Skoy review and how I love microfiber cloths.|
|Greening up your water: Two years ago, my mom got us a shower filter to remove the chlorine in our city water. We just ordered replacement filters from here – we knew it was time to get a new one because my son’s eczema was flaring up big time. I’m also pretty convinced that a Berkey water filter (for drinking water) is the way to go for us, if only I could find the space for it. Check out Lisa’s ode to Berkey, a fun read! UPDATE: We do have and love a Berkey now. My Berkey review.|
|Organic clothing: I’m sure this would feature more prominently in other green lists, but I can’t say I’ve prioritized it much. I chose to focus on the youngest, most susceptible member of our family last year and the time of greatest exposure: sleep. My mom found Leah some darling organic jammies, and we got her some organic flannel sheets that have held up great. KS Site Editor here: I LOVE Hanna Andersson clothes for kids – they are pricey though, so something I ask grandma for at Christmas. Tea Collection is another great brand I am able to find at consignment stores.|
|Buy or make handmade: There are so many great local options, for kids’ toys, clothing, and food. I don’t even know where to start recommending!|
Green gift giving philosophy
Although it’s easy to list the top 10 products to give for a green holiday, that’s really just sensationalism in a way, because the real green gift giving is much more of a philosophy than an item. If you want to help the environment with your gift-giving, give gifts that are
- Needed – no junk that will clutter up someone’s house and ultimately be wasteful
- Consumable – if you can eat it or use it up, it’s ultimately better for the Earth.
- Homemade – especially if you can reuse containers or repurpose some supplies, homemade not only gives a personal touch to the holidays, but can also be earth-friendly. (Last year I gave books on CD and homemade playdough, for example.)
Affiliates include: MadeOn, Amazon, NaturOli and Vitacost. Berkey was an advertiser Nov. 2010. See my full disclosure statement here.