Lea Stewart

GREEN GIFT GUIDE: Last Minute Eco Gifts

by , 12/24/10
filed under: Holiday Gift Guide

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Don’t stress out if you missed the opportunity to have one of the fabulous gifts from our green guides shipped in time for the holidays. There are plenty of thoughtful last-minute green gifts for everyone on your list! So whether you haven’t been able find that special something for your sister, in-laws, co-worker, or even your best friends, we have the perfect ideas that are earth friendly and easy to put together yourself with just a little time.

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1. HANDMADE SEED STARTER KIT

A great gift for almost anyone on your list is handmade seed starter kit or even a full-blown window farm. You can customize a planter by covering or painting an aluminum can, a yogurt cup, or any other container with a bottom that can be punctured for drainage. Avocado8 has some great tips for the type of soil and seeds to use for a starter kit. To make it even more special, you may want to add a few plant markers to the kit. If you’re feeling a bit more enterprising, take it one step further by making these amazing window farms for your special giftee.

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2. GIFTS OF TIME

A last-minute holiday present that is net-zero and consumerism-free is giving the gift of your time. You can do something as simple as cooking a romantic dinner to something a little more involved like babysitting or hosting a craft party. Whatever it is, your recipient will be grateful and no one will ever know it was a last minute gift!

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3. EDIBLE GREEN GIFT

Edible gifts are a standby last-minute treat. Holiday cookies made from organic ingredients will be enjoyed by all, but if you aren’t very savvy with baking you could try something easier like spiced nuts, chocolate-covered gummy bears, or even your own fudge sauce. If you think your giftee would enjoy something more savory than sweet, this delectable home made tomato sauce is just the thing!

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4. RECYCLED CUSTOMIZED FLOWER VASE

Giving someone flowers can be a nice last-minute gesture for the holidays, but it will be even better when you give them a bouquet in a handmade vase. You can follow these easy instructions to make one from a recycled glass bottle using glue and yarn for a simple and classy look, or for a ceramic-inspired creation try this technique using puffy paints.

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5. MAKE A LIGHT BULB TERRARIUM

Here’s a home made gift that is simple to make but looks like it would cost a lot if you actually bought it in a store. We’re pretty sure anyone would be delighted to receive this beautiful light bulb terrarium – especially to brighten up the winter months. See how to make it here.

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6. A PERSONALIZED SKETCHBOOK OR NOTEPAD

Another easy gift is to make vintage-inspired notepads or sketchbooks with 100% recycled paper. You can use a thrift store book cover, or make your own cover by wrapping a sheet of cardboard with a newspaper, fabric or even paint chip samples. Don’t worry; there are online tutorials that will help you with the binding techniques.

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7. DIGITAL GIFTS

Go digital with your last-minute gifts this year. For musical friends, gift them a custom playlist you made with iTunes, or send them a gift card for Amazon’s mp3s. For literary types, buy them a digital book for their kindle, or a subscription to a digital magazine or newspaper from Zinio. Photo junkies will love it when you buy them a pro account on Flickr, so they can organize and share all their photos online.

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8. SPOIL THEM WITH A GREEN GIFT CERTIFICATE

Gift certificates can feel like impersonal presents, but you can make them special by choosing a lavish gift with a green theme. If you have a slightly higher budget for your last-minute gift you could pamper your friends with a credit to a eco day spa, a home energy audit, a home cleaning service, or a bed and breakfast.

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2 Comments

  1. Jtheta December 22, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Meh. I still have to leave my casa to purchase these lovely gifts. I am cold weather adverse, why was I born in the Midwest? My eco-friendly pick: eGift cards. Save time + precious resources. I’d try http://www.GiftZip.com — My work was using this for Holiday Gifting and I brought the service home to my family who cannot get enough. The site offers gift certificates that can be printed or sent instantly. The service is free + super easy to use. And best of all, I get to stay in my pajamas and avoid the mall.

  2. Kirsten Corsaro December 22, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Great ideas. Along the lines of the edible gift, I think going to your local natural foods store and putting together a little basket of your favorite treats is a fantastic present.

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