Sustainable gifts »
Happy Holidays & Happy Healthy Peaceful 2009
Below is a list of sustainable gift tips put together in 2006 for the holiday season by me and my friend Barbara. We have gotten help from friends and this is now the third year we enjoy sharing old and new tips with you.
These gifts do not generate a lot of waste and are also thoughtful in many ways. I recommend also going to the CCFC link below - lots of great tips! (Updated November 27 '08)
Thank you Barbara, Poffe, Ashley and Greg for contributing to the list below!
NEW: Naturskyddsföreningens guide: Miljösmarta julklappar
NEW: Read this Guide to Commercial Free Holidays
Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC) shares this wonderful guide for a more relaxed and family oriented holiday, and readers of this guide have also shared their gift and other tips. Read them here.
NEW: Used kids´ toys and clothes in Stockholm, a few links
Barnkammaren, Valhallavägen, Östermalm http://www.barnkammaren.nu/
Rackarungar, Skånegatan, Södermalm http://www.rackarungar.se/
Myrorna, finns i hela Sverige http://www.myrorna.se
Ännu fler kan hittas på Asfaltsblomman, Stockholms miljö- och rättviseguide
NEW: Ever heard of One Laptop Per Child???
A really great educational charity project, where you can donate a laptop computer to a child somewhere in the world. They can be powerd by hand or by the sun... well you´d better read more here. To donate one, or to buy one AND donate one, visit Amazon.com.
Links to a cruelty-free mall and a eco friendly one too
Peta Mall : http://www.petamall.com/ (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals )
Eco Mall:http://www.ecomall.com/ Provides links to companies that sell natural, organic and Earth friendly products (Ecology America, Inc.)
Sponsor development through Kiva - a fun micro finance network
You can lend money (as little as $25) to an entrepreneur in the developing world - empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty. Gift certificates to this site is a great gift! You can browse through a list to choose who you want to sponsor!
Kiva - http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=gift&action=giftPromotion Thank you Poffe!
Anna: I did this last year and had tons of fun choosing whom to sponsor. Now I have gotten my money back and is looking into lending again. Try it!!
Personalized postage stamps
Many websites out there provide the service where you can put your own picture on a US postage staps. Here are two: http://www.pictureitpostage.com/ and http://photo.stamps.com/ Thank you Ashley!
Make your own wine jelly or marmalade
You sometimes get a lot of wine left overs? Opened bottles no one will finish before it goes bad? These are great for your own wine jelly. Make personal labels and you have the greatest gift! If you can find fruits from ornamental trees, or crabapples, you can also make the most delicious marmalades. Consult your cook books, browse the web! Thank you Greg!
A basket of note pages to keep by the phone
Buy small baskets, or make your own boxes from recycled material, and add pieces of paper, say from your old dissertation drafts. Then attach a piece of velcro to the basket/box and to a pen and you have a great recycled gift! (I can see this being a fun craft project for the kids too. Let them decorate the box/basket, and decide where to put the velcro - e voila grandmother!) Thank you Greg!
Membership to a museum, zoo, botanical garden
Wildlife Conservation Society: Runs Bronx Zoo, NY Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, ProspectPark Zoo
Bronx Zoo, NY: Memberships, Write to Congress and support a project
Central Park Zoo, NY: Memberships, Write to Congress and support a project
The New YorkBotanical Garden: Memberships, Volunteering
Skansen, Stockholm: Arskort och presentkort till butiken
Historiska Museet, Stockholm: Medlemsskap i Historiska museets vänner.
Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet, Stockholm: Medlemsskap i Riksmusei vänner.
Adoption of an animal (WWF)
Theater tickets for the performing arts
New York Philharmonic, NY
American Ballet Theatre, NY
Kungliga Operan, Stockholm
Seeds, cuttings, plants, or a tree
Jam or wine from your local farmer’s market, healt food store
US Farmers markets: find a local farmer’s market in your area (an USDA site)
Gift certificate to your local health food store
Homemade baked goods
Cloth dish towels and napkin rings (in Sweden we were given
personalized napkin rings so we could reuse your own napkin until
they were ready for a wash)
Bar soap with soap dish (ceramic or bamboo)
A set of biodegradable, no-phosphate cleansers
For organic products, look and ask for the USDA Organic label
För Bra Miljöval-märkta produkter se Svenska Naturskyddsföreningens lista
Solar powered garden lights (calculator, watch)
Energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs
Hours of babysitting
Plant a tree in someone’s name
You can currently plant a tree at IKEA, organized by American Forests
Kid-made personalized coupon books for household chores
A bird or bat house
The gift of yourself, your time (to family, to volunteer)
A personalized charitable donation
Plants that last give pleasure for a long time. Get some seeds, take cuttings from your Spiderplant or Africa Violet (Sankta Paulia) and plant for a pretty and longlived gift. Or, if the climate agrees, give a tree to plant (fruit trees for example).
World Wildlife Fund - WWF: Donations and adoptions
The Hungersite: Mercy Gift Kits (aid, water, business grants to Africa,warm a school, etc.)
Friends of the Earth
American Red Cross
Save the Children
Svenska Naturskyddsföreningen: Medlemsskap och webbutik
Svenska Röda Korset
Svenska Rädda Barnen
I have tried to find reputable websites that provide gifts that are not over-packaged or plasticized, but are thoughful, have low impact on natural resources and are eco-friendly.
This site does only provide links to various organizations. I can not guarantee that these sites are reputable. Please, you do the research or be the judge for that.