When it comes time to give your green-minded friends and family members a gift, whether it’s to celebrate a birthday, housewarming or just because, where do you turn? So many products are not conducive to a healthy environment that it seems impossible to give them a gift. That’s why I set out to find a series of eco-friendly gift ideas that are perfect for any occasion.
1. Vertical Gardens
There’s no soil or mess involved in this style of gardening. Aquaponic and aeroponic gardening has taken off over the past few years and it’s continuing to grow. Farms like the Arizona-based True Garden use vertical aeroponic growing technology at their greenhouses. They also provide instruction and the tools to succeed to eco-friendly gardeners.
Tower gardening uses 95 percent less water than standard, organic growing techniques and also requires 90 percent less growing space than traditional growing methods, according to LocalHarvest. Great for urbanites, tower gardens make great, thoughtful gifts that keep on giving.
2. Organic Flowers
Flowers make a lovely gift no matter the occasion. However, most flowers that are available from the supermarket around the corner are produced in a way that’s not so good for Mother Earth. Imported flowers are often saturated with a toxic blend of chemicals that in many cases have been banned or restricted from the U.S.
Some of these chemicals include:
- methyl parathion
Forgo the chemicals and give organic flowers instead. Organic flowers are readily available online and can even be delivered to your friends and loved ones. Another options is to buy locally at a farmers market or directly from a local and organic grower.
3. Environmentally Friendly Candles
Candles make wonderful housewarming gifts or lovely “just because” gifts. However, some candles that are available today pose a serious risk to health and the environment. Many of the fragrant oils used to make popular candles smell good are synthetic, petrochemical oils that are damaging to your health. And candle wicks are just as bad, as many of them contain lead and zinc. Please check out what you need to know before you light that candle.
If you’re thinking about gifting a candle to a friend, look for candles that are 100 percent organic, non-GMO soy wax or even hemp if you can find them. Wicks should be made from hemp or organic cotton for human and planet safety. Finally, the candle should be unscented or scented with organic, essential oils.
4. Recycled Decor
Retailers are offering eco-friendly products more so than ever before. One such retailer is the home furnishings company, Crate and Barrel. It sells environmentally friendly furniture and housewares, which can make great gifts for your eco-conscious friends. From sustainable bamboo salad bowls to recycled glass drinkware, there is a variety of chic, eco-friendly products to choose from. I would also note that Crate and Barrel is the first North American home retailer to work in a direct partnership with the Tropical Forest Trust (TFT).
5. DIY Gifts
There are so many DIY wonderful gift ideas you can make yourself that are healthy, safe, eco-friendly and will truly show how much you care. Make a flower arrangement from your own organic garden and tie some pretty ribbons around them, make your own body scrub, try homemade soap made from essential oils and truly natural products, make them their favorite dessert from organic and real food ingredients, a homemade bird house or bird-feeder, a potted plant that they can nurture and grow, a sprouting kit with organic seeds, and they will truly know how much you care.
We made this bird feeder for my Mother as a Mother’s Day gift from recycled wood and used Duro Eco-friendly safe non-toxic clear coating to preserve and protect the wood.
So the next gift you buy or give a gift make sure it is healthy for the planet and for our bodies. Give a gift that shows you really care about the person and about our planet’s future!