My (last-minute!) Green Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas is only FIVE days away!! 
For some of you, that fact may be
causing some anxiety if you’re still trying to finish up your
Christmas shopping. But never fear, I’ve got a few last-minute gift
ideas for everyone on your list, and the best part is that they’re
all eco-friendly! 
I know a lot of my fellow bloggers have
been posting all sorts of gift guides over the past few weeks, so I’m
a little late to party on this. (I did post my wishlist before my
birthday, and I’m happy to say that I’ve already received a few of those items!) But I figure that some of you may be procrastinators
like me, and chances are if you’ve waited this long to get certain
people gifts, you probably don’t know what the heck to get otherwise
you would have gone out and bought it already! So rather than just
post a generic gift guide that you’ve already seen a million times
before this season, I wanted to bring you a little something
different. Something GREEN! Since part of the original focus of my
blog was to bring you posts on little ways to make your life a little
more environmentally-friendly (hence the word green in the title!), I
thought an eco-friendly gift guide would be the perfect way to do
that. Plus, giving someone a gift from this list shows that you not
only care about them, but you care about the planet! 
I personally find most magazine gift
guides kind of annoying because a lot of times their gifts start at
$100+, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t typically spend
hundreds of dollars on each person on my list. That’s why most of the
gifts on my list are smaller, more stocking-stuffer type items that
would be great for a variety of people in your life, and hopefully
they’re more realistic items that you’d actually give. And all the
gifts on my list are available on Amazon or other nationwide
retailers, so if you see something you like and order it in the next
day or two, you can probably get it by Sunday. (Granted you’re
probably going to have to pay rush shipping, but that’s the price of
procrastination friends…)

Jane’s Green Gift Guide 2011

For her
Envirosax: Many people use reusable
bags when they grocery shop, but do you ever bring your own bag when
you go to other stores? Probably not. If you’re like me, a lot of
times you’ll end up stopping somewhere unexpectedly and buy
something, and don’t think twice about getting a bag. That’s why
Envirosax are the perfect gift for any woman in your life; they’re
durable, lightweight tote bags that fold up super small, so they’re
perfect to throw in a purse. That way, you always have a bag with you
at all times for those unexpected shopping trips, and they come in a
wide variety of cute prints. I have one that I bought at the travel store where I worked in Boulder, Changes in Latitude, but you can see and purchase all the different designs on the Envirosax website, and they’re only $8.95! However, if you’re looking to get the bag in time for Christmas, I suggest  purchasing them on Amazon; there they range from $10-$30 depending on which one you’re ordering, but you can generally get things quicker in my experience.

This is the bag that I have and it’s from the Savanna series…also ignore my gross lack of manicure
This is the lunch bag that I have and I love how cheery it is! (Image Source)
BUILT Gourmet Getaway lunch tote: A cute new lunch
tote is a gift any girl is sure to love, and it’s a great way to
reduce waste instead of brown bagging it. BUILT makes adorable
neoprene lunch tote called the Gourmet Getaway that comes in a fun patterns and bright colors.
Their lunch bags are durable, washable, they help keep your lunch
cool, and the material stretches to accommodate awkward leftover
containers. You can purchase them directly from the Built website, but I purchased mine at Whole Foods, but I’ve
also seen them at REI, so those might also be options if you don’t want to order online.

For him
(Image Source)
Solar Powered Flashlight: Guys are often hard to buy for, and in my experience they appreciate useful gifts. What’s more useful than a flashlight? This one is actually a two-pack of solar powered flashlights featuring LED lights. They’ll hold a full charge for over 3 years, and it’s 100% waterproof making it perfect for camping. You can order it here via Amazon for less than $35! 
(Image Source)
 Bamboo Cutting Board: A new cutting board made out of eco-friendly, renewable bamboo are the perfect gift for any chef in your life. This is a great thing to spruce up the kitchen while also choosing a sustainable material that is extremely durable. Bamboo cutting boards are widely available these days everywhere from Whole Foods to Target to Bed Bath and Beyond, but they’re also available online–Totally Bamboo has a wide variety, and many of their products are available on Amazon and can be shipped in time for Christmas!

For the kids 

(Image Source)
Green Toys: This company makes the most adorable toys out of recycled plastic, and I love that all the toys
are very simple and meant to be used with a child’s imagination
instead of batteries. Plus, all of their products are made in the USA, and they are BPA free. They have toys for both girls and boys,
including a tool set, a tea set (which we got my niece of her
birthday awhile back!), a recycling truck, and even a pink and purple dump truck, which would be perfect for any little girl with a
sandbox. It’s too late to order toys directly from their website, but I’ve seen Green Toys at specialty/green type stores in
Oregon, Colorado, and Michigan, but they’re also available on Amazon
and should still be able to be ordered in plenty of time for Christmas. 

(Image Source)
TOMS shoes: Did you know they make
Tom’s for little people? Because they do and they’re darling. I’ve
talked about my love of Tom’s before, so I was thrilled when I found
out they make them in girls’ and boys’ sizes as well. I’m not sure if
this technically counts as a “green” gift, but I think that
TOMS has an awesome philanthropic mission that’s doing a lot of
good. Their kids shoes can also be ordered from Nordstrom’s online, and today is the last day for Christmas Eve delivery via free standard shipping if you order by 3pm EST!

For everyone 

(Image Source)
Vapur bottles: I mentioned these
bottles once before in my packing light post, but they are seriously
the perfect gift for anyone on your list who drinks water…so
anyone. Ha. Cutting out buying case upon case of bottled water is
such an easy thing that you can cut out from your life that not only
saves you money, but keeps plastic bottles out of landfills. These
bottles stand up when they’re filled with water, but when they’re
empty they are flat and roll up so they can easily be tucked in a
purse or backpack so you always have a water bottle with you at all
times. They come in a variety of fun colors, and are available on
Amazon for $10.
(Image Source)
flip & tumble produce bags: This is an item on my
must-have list for 2012. So maybe you bring your own reusable bags to
the grocery store, that’s great. But if you’re like me, you probably
end up using a bunch of those plastic produce bags every time you
shop, and then throwing them away as soon as you get home. That’s why
this set of product bags is the perfect gift for anyone on your list,
and they’re available on Amazon for only $10.50!

World Vision Donation: Christmas is a time to
give, so why not give someone you love a gift that gives to someone
in need? World Vision has put together a great holiday catalog full
of great gifts that you can give in someone’s name this holiday
season, and I think it’s really awesome to see how something we’d
consider such a small amount of money can buy a tangible item for a
family in need and it can have such a major impact on their lives.
For example, $25 can buy a family two chickens and $75 can buy a family a goat; these animals can provide so much in the way of income and nutrition for a family in need. They have all
sorts of other gifts beyond animals as well; for example, last
Christmas I purchased a share of a sewing machine in as a gift to my
sister for a woman in a developing country to get a share of a sewing machine and lessons to
help support her family. My sister was a fashion major and loves to
sew, which is why I thought it was the perfect gift to give in her
name. You can purchase gifts right up until Christmas and then
they’ll give you a card to print out for the recipient with details about the gift.

So there you have it, some last minute
green gifts! Hopefully that helps you procrastinators like me and
gives you a few new ideas. And if you need a last resort, you can
always give people this kind of green:

I saw this on Pinterest the other day
and I thought it was so clever! You can find this and more funny
money folding ideas here.

Be sure to stop by this afternoon for a
Christmas cookie recipe you’re not going to want to miss! Xoxo

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