17 Great Green Gifts

This holiday season, check out the following fun and sustainable green gifts.
By Alison Rogers and Tabitha Alterman
December 2006/January 2007
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Our national parks system was a green gift the public gave to itself and to posterity. Buy, sell and get to know 22 parks.
Photo by MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
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To those especially devoted to the cause of environmental preservation and conservation (and/or have someone in their life who is) and want to give green gifts, here are a few ideas.

National Parks Monopoly

Buy, sell and get to know 22 national parks in this variation on the popular board game Monopoly. Houses and hotels are now tents and ranger stations; player tokens are cameras and hiking boots. A portion of the proceeds goes to the National Park Foundation. $35.95; from USAopoly

Divine Organic Chocolates

We were blown away by these amazing gourmet chocolates. The "Every Flavor Box" includes flavors such as Papohaku Ginger and Honey Lavender. From $28 to $75; from John & Kira's

Essential Safety Device

A hand crank supplies power to a cell phone charger, flashlight, emergency FM radio, a flashing strobe light and a high decibel siren to attract rescuers. Also includes a compass. $39.99; from Life+Gear

Innovative Chopsticks Basket

Recycled, sanitized bamboo chopsticks are transformed into an attractive display bowl that folds neatly for storage. $18 (medium basket); from Kwytza Kraft

Affordable Kids’ Snow Shoes

Kids will love winter exploring in these bright snow shoes. Kids' (25 to 60 lbs.) $39; Youths' (50 to 110 lbs.) $49; from L.L.Bean

Take a Load Off

After a long hike or some heavy-duty yardwork, hang the Byer Mountain Swinger chair with footrest from a nearby tree and relax. 225 pound capacity. $49.99; from Dom's Outdoor

A Better Kids’ Bike Seat

Instead of eating dust in a pull-behind trailer or enduring a view of your back, the safe-T-seat allows kids age 4 and under to enjoy a ride from the front seat. Gives the rider more control when mounting and dismounting along with a stable center of gravity. $89.95; from iBert Inc

Organic Baby Products

Diaper rash cream, baby wash, baby oil and lotion; all made from organic botanicals..Dermatologist-tested and paraben/SLS free. $9.99 each; from Nature's Gate

How Groundhog's Garden Grew

Groundhog has bad manners and munches food from others' gardens. Kids will be inspired as Squirrel teaches Groundhog how to grow his own vegetables. Written and illustrated by Lynne Cherry. $15.95.

Ecokids: Raising Children Who Care For the Earth

MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributor Dan Chiras combines the advice of experts with his personal experience in this guide to encouraging children to live environmentally responsible lifestyles. $17.95

Envirometal Compact

Re-fillable compact made of recycled metal holds one lip color plus two eye colors and one cheek color; or one powder, foundation or face accent. The Essentials Envirometal Compact contains a lead-free mirror. $18; from Aveda

Soothing Sachet Pillow

Kids will sleep easy when they snuggle up to this elephant pillow filled with organic lavender, 11" long; $22; from Vivaterra

Joe on the Go

Enjoy fresh coffee anywhere, anytime with this hand-powered coffee grinder and press. Press: $33; grinder: $18 (small); $22 (large); RusTek  

Compact Screwdriver Set

This unique, pocket-sized set has 22 different heads with a handle that locks in three positions for maneuverability. Stores in a 3%-by-4-inch pouch. $12.95; from Doc Allen's Tool

Minimize your Ecological Footprint

Jute, cork, bamboo, natural crepe rubber and wool felt make some seriously comfortable shoes. Mens' Loaf, $85.00; Womens' Shuf, $80.00; from Simple Green Toe

A Trend-Setting Accessory

These funky, colorful mitts are made from hemp/cotton/Lycra and add lots of interest to an outfit. $28; from Texture Clothing

Eco-Outfits

Fashion-forward, comfortable clothing for men, women and kids, made of clay-dyed organic cotton, linen and hemp. Everything from T-shirts to yoga wear. From $13 to $50; from Earth Creations


Wise Web Sites

In addition to or place wrapped objects, you could consider making a holiday gift donation to a nonprofit group such as those listed below.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Promotes energy efficiency as a means to build a sustainable energy future; offers practical information to help homeowners save energy.

Apollo Alliance

Promotes clean energy as a means to energize the American economy and end our reliance on oil.

Environmental Defense Fund

Dedicated to protecting the environmental rights of all people, including future generations. Among these rights are clean air, clean water, healthy food and flourishing ecosystems.

National Audubon Society

Focuses on conservation of birds, other wildlife and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and Earth's biological diversity.

The Nature Conservancy

Collaborates with local communities and indigenous cultures to preserve biologically critical habitat worldwide.

The Wilderness Society

Aims to leave future generations an unspoiled legacy of wild places, with all the precious values they hold.


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