Green Gift Guide

article image
Photo courtesy pakpong pongatichat/Fotolia
Try any one of these gifts and sleep easy knowing the environment was taken into consideration.


Handmade Pie Plate

Missouri potter Tom Hess forms each pie plate by hand from natural red clay. Pies come out evenly baked and perfectly crisp in these ovenproof, dishwasher- and microwave-safe plates. $26; Hess Pottery.


Cobra Head Weeder

A multipurpose garden tool, the Cobra Head weeds, cultivates and transplants with ease. The handle’s design accommodates both right- and left-handed gardeners. $24.95; Cobra Head.


Organic Cotton Sheets

Organically grown cotton woven into a 250-thread-count sateen bedding makes a truly luxurious gift. $100 to $149; Viva Terra.

Super Solar Screen
Reduces cooling costs and creates privacy. These heat-blocking screens can be attached to regular screen frames on windows, greenhouses and doors. 36” x 84”; $24; Real Goods.

Herbal Gift Basket
A selection of soaps, incense, smudge sticks and jam all made from sustainably harvested plants of the American West. $32 to $60; Juniper Ridge.

Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulbs
CFLs use one-third of the energy and last up to 10 times longer than conventional bulbs. Replacing five incandescent bulbs with Energy Star-rated CFLs can help save up to 50 percent of a household’s annual lighting bill. $3 to $24; Energy Federation.


Cell Phone Chargers

With the Sidewinder, two minutes of cranking delivers five to six minutes of talk time or up to 30 minutes on standby. $25. The solar E-power Charger is a pocket-size, folding solar charger for phones and batteries. $69. Both from Real Goods.


French Opinel Knife

This classic, low-cost folding knife features a wooden handle and a stainless steel blade. $8 to $10; Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

15-in-one Screwdriver
This is the best multibit screwdriver we’ve ever seen.
A cartridge slides neatly out of the handle, making it easy to choose the bit you need. $17; Lee Valley Tools.


Tent Hammock

Ideal for campers and hikers who enjoy traveling light. Easy to set up, it features a bug net and rain guard. Rain catchment attachments also available. $79.95 to $199.95; Hennessy Hammock.

Retractable Clothesline
Save energy with this easy-to-install clothesline for indoor or outdoor use. Extends up to 40 feet. $20; Real Goods

Bat House
With room for up to 40 bats, this will welcome the world’s best mosquito control to any back yard. $50; Real Goods


Donations also make excellent holiday gifts. Many nonprofit groups are focusing their energies on repairing the environmental damage of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as helping affected pets and wildlife:

The Humane Society of the United States; Environmental Defense; Wildlife Conservation Society; American Forests; Trust for Public Land.

Adopt an Animal
A friend or child will enjoy these programs devoted to saving endangered species. They offer personalized ways to get to know — and make a difference for — otters, owls, tigers, wolves, whales and more. Starts at $25; Defenders of Wildlife; Smithsonian National Zoological Park.


For Cats

Even the most finicky feline will take to this horizontal scratcher that’s made of recycled cardboard and sprinkled with organic catnip. $10 to $17; for retail outlets, go to

For Dogs
Dogs would be happy with anything (even an old shoe!), but this fluffy fleece bed is sure to be a hit among our most loyal friends. $15 to $40; for retail outlets, go to


Bamboo Skateboards

A more sustainable option than mature hardwoods. The manufacturer says bamboo boards are lighter yet stronger than conventional boards. $55 (deck only),