Gifting Green in 2018

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Much of the holiday season revolves around the exchanging of gifts. This year, make your gifts even more meaningful by giving the gift of sustainability. To help you accomplish your green gift-giving goals, we’ve come up with a list of 10 affordable, energy-efficient gifts that can help reduce waste and put a smile on your recipient’s face.

1. Experiences/Donations

The world is your oyster with this gift option. Instead of stuff, think about gifting an experience – concert tickets, yoga classes, camping trips, and bike tours all make unique gifts that you can share together. Consider a cause that your loved one is passionate about and make a charitable donation to a related organization in their name.

2. Pressure Cooker

A pressure cooker is a great gift for anyone who likes food. So… pretty much everyone. Pressure cookers not only make delicious meals super fast, they also use up to 70 percent less energy than other traditional cooking methods.

3. Solar-Powered Toys

Batteries not included? Not a problem when the sun is all you need. Give the littles in your life the gift of solar-powered toys. They’re eco-friendly and you’ll force the kids to go play outside so they can keep the fun alive. A win for the kids, the planet, and the parents.

4. Solar-Powered LED Lights

May your days be merry… and bright! Bring some eco-friendly light to their lives with solar-powered LED lights. Great for decorating, camping, reading, emergency preparedness, and more.

5. Reusable Coffee Tumblers and Water Bottles

Help your friends and family stay alert and hydrated all year long with reusable coffee tumblers and water bottles. Better yet, find a multipurpose bottle for hot and cold liquids. A practical and convenient way to reduce waste from all of those single-use cups, straws, and plastic bottles.

6. French Press

Single-serving cups and pods might seem more convenient, but have you ever thought about all the excess waste that comes with today’s coffee makers? French presses are an easy, fun, delicious way to enjoy your favorite cup of joe with minimal waste. You can even put the left over coffee grounds to use in your garden.

7. Blankets and Slippers

Keep your loved ones toasty this winter without turning up the heat. Blankets and slippers are a cozy way to supplement warmth while binge-watching holiday movies at home and saving on gas or electric bills while you’re at it.

8. Solar-Powered Phone Charger

Help your friends ring in the New Year right with solar-powered phone chargers. They’ll never be more than a phone call away as long as they have access to the power of the sun.

9. Reusable Food Storage

We create a lot of waste with unsustainable carry-out boxes, plastic baggies, and other single-use food storage products. Help your friends and family reduce waste with more sustainable food storage options like glassware sets for left overs, reusable silicone snack bags, and plastic wrap alternatives made from bees wax.

10. Bicycle

Help your loved ones reduce emissions, save on fuel, get some exercise, and avoid traffic with a new bike for their shorter daily commutes. While this gift might be at the higher end of the budget-friendly list, it’s jam-packed with value. Plus, there are plenty of used bikes for sale that won’t break the bank. Check your favorite reselling app, or pop into your local bike shop for a good deal on a previously owned option. Don’t forget a helmet and lights for safety!

BONUS: Reusable Shopping Bags

The perfect gift to wrap up our list. This year, skip the wrapping paper. Everyone knows it’s what’s inside that counts. The holiday season is filled with cheer, but it’s also filled with waste – and a lot of it. According to, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year's than any other time of year. That’s 25 million extra tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week. Much of that extra waste could be spared if we just skipped the wrapping paper, decorative ribbons and bows, or gift bags. For those of you who just have to have the element of surprise, make reusable shopping bags your gift giving vessel of choice. They’re eco-friendly, practical, and it’s like giving two gifts in one!