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Eden Project Surfboards. Photo via

As travelers on the road, we’re always looking for ways to say thank you to people who have helped enrich our travel experiences.

A gift is a small way of showing gratitude and for the environmentally conscious consumer, here are green gifts you can give to friends and family.

Gift a plant

A flowering plant can be a great gift for birthdays, anniversaries or simply for showing appreciation. You could also go a step further and gift seeds.

However, it’s a good idea to keep in mind the climate of the place so ask yourself these basic questions when deciding which bag of seeds to buy:

Which plants grow wild in the region?

What’s the average rainfall?

How warm or cold can it get?

If all goes well, who knows, next time you’re visiting, you’ll find a beautiful sapling (or tree) growing in the backyard.

Gift Green Gadgets

The Solar Power battery Pod with its solar panel, biodegradable plastics and wool felt, is a fantastic present to give to friends who love listening to music.

Gift a pretty journal made from recycled paper

Saving trees to prevent deforestation is a worthy cause. A beautiful journal goes a long way in saying thank you, and what’s more, the trees will be thanking you for not felling them.

Here is a list of some other environmentally friendly gifts and where you can find them:

1. Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade retailer, pays artisans fifty percent of the money when an order is placed and the entire amount when the product is shipped.

Beautiful earrings made from newspaper and coiled mats, also made from newspaper, are sold here.

2. For those of your friends and family who love to surf, environmentally friendly surfing boards could be a good option.

3. Soy candles are also a great way to show your love without hurting the planet.

4. Designer Bryan Parks has combined art and conservationism by coming up with a bowl made from Chopsticks.

5. For kids, toys made of organic cotton might be a good bet.

6. Internationally acclaimed authors like J.K Rowling, Ian Rankin, Günter Grass, Marlene Streeruwitz, Isabel Allende and Andrea De Carlo have all pledged to use forest friendly paper, according to Greenpeace.

7. Offer to build a house for someone- if you are using bamboo, make sure it’s not of the variety that giant pandas eat. If that’s too much for you, you can always help around the house by using non-toxic paint while painting the walls or by helping install a tank that conserves rainwater.

Green Gifts can go a long way in you doing your bit for the environment. What’s better than giving a gift that promotes a sustainable lifestyle?

Community Connection

Looking for more eco-friendly gifts? Check out Improving Your Goodprint, 6 Gadgets to Make Your Life Greener, and 12 Gadgets That Harness the Power of the Sun

Home + Garden


About The Author

Reeti Roy

Reeti Roy has finished her Bachelors degree from Jadavpur University in Calcutta with first class honors in English Literature. She spent her summer in Edinburgh on a scholarship to pursue Creative Writing and is now at London School of Economics and Political Science pursuing an MSc in Social Anthropology. She blogs here.

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  • JoAnna

    A green gift we get for everyone during the holiday season is a donation to an established non-profit organization, such as Best Friends or Heifer International. It’s the gift that keeps on giving and will never take up space in a landfill.

  • Robyn

    This is a timely article. For other gift ideas…

    If you knit or crochet I encourage you to use yarns from Manos Del Uruguay for your holiday projects. These yarns are wool, hand-spun and kettle-dyed by a women’s cooperative in Uruguay that is part of the World Fair Trade Organization (

    Check to see if your yarn store sells Manos Del Uruguay. You’ll be supporting a valuable organization and it’s a great yarn to knit with. It’s what I use for my knitted items on my Etsy shop (link is on my blog site as well as the vermcomposting bags I designed and make – another eco-gift idea)

  • Abbie

    JoAnna stole my thought! :) There’s also “re-gifting” as long as you don’t return the gift to the person who gave it to you in the first place!

  • Candice

    I really love the A Thousand Villages idea, definitely checking that one out. If I can shop online without ever getting off my butt, I’m in.

  • Nancy

    Great suggestions! I love One Thousand Villages. I’ve purchased many a X-mas and wedding gift there.

  • reeti

    Thanks for your comments everyone :)

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