Green Gift Guide {Buy Small, Buy Local}

bowl made from record album
Record Album bowl

The holidays are here.  Have you made your list and checked it twice?  All those gifts to buy!  Does the thought of buying all that stuff drive you crazy?  You don’t have to abandon your beliefs to give a gift.  There are many ways to do both.  

paper bead necklace green gift
Paper bead necklaces made by Ugandan women

Crafts and Handmade Jewelry  If you are not into making something on your own, there are plenty of local crafters available to do the job for you.  I found some great gifts at the Westford Academy Holiday Bazaar last weekend!  In case you missed it, there is craft fair this weekend at the Rockingham Mall in Salem, NH and several more listed here.

Membership has its privileges  Give your favorite greenie a membership to Sustainable Westford.  Not only will this support great programming like the farmers market, Upcycle It! and Healthy Kids Coalition, members receive free admission to 4 fabulous films and 10% off all workshops hosted by Sustainable Westford this winter.

Starter Eco-pack   Is there someone on your list that is intrigued by your greenness but doesn’t know where to start?  Put together a starter kit for them.  One year I gave my parents this “Eco-Pack.”   I filled a reusable grocery bag with CFLs, homemade all purpose cleaner, reusable BPA-free water bottles, travel coffee mugs, and information on recycling in their area.  You can personalize it to their needs to help them get started.  Do they need some convincing?  Check out this amazing gift pack from Plastic-free Beth Terry. It includes her book (which is awesome), Bag It The movie, and a cloth gift bag!  
Family photo  Arrange for your whole family to have professional pictures taken.  Great gift for the grandparents!  
Give “Experience” gifts  Museum passes, tickets to a show, lessons or a special day out.  The idea is to give an experience instead of a material item. 
Gifts for the imagination  For younger children, that old saying about having more fun with the big box the toy came in could not be more true!  Feed that imagination.  One of the best gifts we gave our children was a play grocery store – the kind in children’s museums with small grocery carts and fake food.  I saved food containers and glued or taped them shut.  We used wooden bookshelves, added a cash register, and voila!  They loved it!  When they outgrew it, we recycled the “food” and re-purposed the shelves. They still use the cash register 7 years later.  
For more great ideas, check out the Green Holiday Blog Carnival.

What’s on your list?

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