Earth 911

Earth 911

Holiday Gift Guide

Still haven’t found the perfect present for those hard-to-shop-for recipients? We have compiled 10 must-have gifts for every person on your list.

From recycled materials to fair trade practices, you can be sure that your gifts will bring smiles without compromising your earth-friendly aspirations for a green holiday season.

1. The Philanthropist

Supporting a favorite charity or cause is a truly thoughtful alternative to trinkets and trifles. If you’re new to giving, groups such as Charity Navigator or the American Institute of Philanthropy can help you make informed decisions.

Institute of Philanthropy

We like Trees for a Change, a program that offers “Tree Gift Cards.” Once you present the gift cards, send Trees for a Change one of the included postcards with the name of the person for whom the tree will be planted.

Trees for a Change is also a green business certified by Green America and is committed to sustainable business practices, including using only 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper for its tree gift certificates and cards, as well as planting extra trees to offset its carbon emissions.

2. The Gadget Geek


We love this portable solar electronics charger from Gaiam for the electronics aficionado on your list. No matter what you need to charge – an iPod, cell phone or rechargeable batteries – all you need is a little sun.

A rugged, hardcover-book-sized plastic case stores a 20-inch USB cable, various adapter jacks and a 4.4-watt solar module. It also includes a AA/AAA battery charger, so you can juice up even more electronics while you’re working off the grid.

3. The Little One

What’s a holiday season without a new, stuffed friend? For the little people in your life, these Sweater Critters are adorable. Made from clean, recycled wool sweaters and stuffed with shredded recycled polyester, the animals come in all shapes and sizes from piglets and penguins to elephants and goslings.

To top it off, due to the recycled nature of their fabric, no two animals are alike, lending a unique and homemade feel to these soft little guys.

4. The Intellectual

We love Libuse Binder’s take on all things that plague people facing their “quarter life crisis.”A modern road map for those looking to make a difference in the world – no matter where you fall on the scale of “casually concerned” to “deeply passionate” – “10 Ways to Change the World in Your Twenties” is sure to give even the greenest thinkers something new to ponder over the holidays.

No worries if the recipient is no longer in his or her “Roaring Twenties,” the book works for people of any age or gender looking to shift their professional goals to a more sustainable focus.


5. The Fashionista

First World Trash is a great little New York-based company. It makes incredible duffel bags, laptop sleeves, makeup bags and more all from recycled materials ranging from billboards and seat belts to old bank and grain bags. We love the catch-all signature tote with its heavy-duty seatbelt straps and durable billboard panels.

The bags are really sturdy, and we can confirm it functions well as both a grocery and gym bag. Also, no two are alike, ensuring a signature gift to any couturier on your list.

6. The Dude


We love ties and shirts made from organic materials, but what about the bling? Eco-artware uses authentic parts from mid-20th century watches to create vintage recycled cuff links.

Artist Ward Wallau’s idea to create vintage cuffs came from New York’s discontinued “Y” cutout subway tokens. After 11 years of petitioning the New York Transit Authority, Wallau was granted an exclusive license to incorporate discontinued tokens in his jewelry. Beyond watch parts and transit tokens, he also recycles outdated coins, circuit boards and Scrabble tiles in his jewelry and accessories.

7. The Traveler

U.S. travel spikes an average of 23 percent during the holidays. And because a globetrotter’s footprint is significantly higher than the average U.S. consumer, consider adding a green touch to your traveler’s luggage. British designers Elvis & Kreese created convenient travel bags made from recycled fire hoses.

The toiletry kit, tote bag or unisex saddle bag is ideal for that jet-setting college grad or the frequent business traveler.

8. The Outdoor Enthusiast

Nothing says “woodsman” like an oversize deer trophy above the fireplace mantle. But if hunting (or displaying the booty) just isn’t your cup of tea, we found a decoration that’s equally brag-worthy. Cardboard Safari uses recycled paper to create large animal trophies, from deer heads to full-body moose.

The pictures just don’t do these creations justice. Take our word for it – one of our co-workers is quite fond of his cardboard rhino!

9. The Student

While money is often the go-to gift for the struggling college student, we suggest scoring some serious eco-cred for the spring semester instead. We love the Re-News Portfolio from Ten Thousand Villages. Made by artisans of Biborton Handmade Paper Project in Agailjhara, Bangladesh, the portfolio is made from woven recycled newsprint, handmade paper and decorative jute rope binding.

10. The Animal Lover

Some of the best gifts come in an envelope. From your uncle that spends all day on the farm to your co-worker that has an apartment full of adopted cats, donating money in your recipient’s name to an animal-based charity is sure to be a memorable gift.

Check out Farm Sanctuary or the World Wildlife Fund – organizations with solid reputations known to use their funding thoughtfully. For a more personalized gift, research charities dedicated to your recipient’s favorite animal.

If you’re just hankering to wrap a present, we found these cute, nifty beaded owl figures from Wow Imports. The beaded wire art collectibles are fair-trade and made in Africa.