About a year ago, I posted a piece with tips, ideas, and considerations for selecting green gifts.
Here’s a summary recap of the 7 types of gifts I suggested in that post:
- Non-“stuff” (e.g., activities, services, or donations, rather than products)
- Homemade, handmade, or homegrown stuff
- Locally made or Fair Trade goods
- Products with green attributes or purposes
- Re-gifted items or lightly used finds
- Eminently useful things
- Small stuff
This year, I’d like to supplement those suggestions with a few more. In addition to the criteria listed above, you also might want to consider choosing the following types of gifts:
- Products (or services) made and sold by small, independent (and ideally local) businesses, rather than national chains or multi-national corporations. Or at least try to buy things that were Made in America, to help boost our domestic economy.
- Goods made or sold by companies that are members of the 1% for the Planet campaign: “a growing global movement of 1,395 companies that donate 1% of their sales to a network of 2,691 environmental organizations worldwide.”
- Goods made or sold by Certified B Corporations (or Benefit Corporations), which “are a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.” As of Nov. 7, 2011, there are 451 Certified B Corporations. That number will be growing, as more companies achieve this certification and as more states pass laws establishing the legitimacy of Benefit Corporations. One of the Founding B Corporations is BetterWorldBooks.
Speaking of books, here are a few green-themed books that might interest some of the people on your gift list:
- Beautiful and Abundant: Building the World We Want, by Bryan Welch (2010)
- Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, by Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute (2011)
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver (2007)
Lastly, here are some online resources for additional information on green products and reducing wasteful consumption:
- Green America: click on the Green Gift Guide, Responsible Shopper, and Fair Trade links
- Center for a New American Dream: Simplify the Holidays
- Good Guide: ratings of natural, green, and healthy products
- SustainLane:green product and service reviews
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