Kermit the Frog devotes a whole ballad to how hard it is to be green. For awhile, making living a green lifestyle proved difficult. It often meant limited selection, overpriced options, and walking up hill both ways to gain access–even more difficult than the frog warbles!
However, recent trends skew towards sustainability, environmental awareness, and conscientious choices. With renewed consumer interest in all things healthy earth, businesses’s have broadened their green initiatives and offerings. As a result, making green lifestyle choices becomes difficult for a different reason–there are too many great options to choose from!
Great new green options definitely extend to the realm of gift giving. Choosing sustainable and earth-focused presents cuts down on waste and encourages recipients to make great choices for the planet. Check out these great ways to turn your gift shopping list bright green:
Upcycled means a product is recycled from previously used material. While we might pile our recyclables in a big blue bin at the end of the driveway, upcyclers seek out interesting materials and items and remix them into new and high quality objects. In the hands of an upcycler, old leather becomes a rose brooch, gum wrappers a purse, and a handful of tired pieces of furniture fuse together to become something bright and new.
Upcyclers see potential in what others might not. They breathe new life into the old and make masterpieces out of mess. Local artisans and crafters often offer upcycled items. Online crafter emporiums like Etsy allow shoppers to browse gifts from all over the world. Or, if you feel especially creative, search out great materials and upcycle a gift on your own!
Take the green initiative literally, and give a green plant! Plants make great gifts that recipients may enjoy for years to come. A little touch of green inside the house keeps us connected to nature, brightens up interiors, and helps naturally filter air.
Visit a local nursery in order to learn firsthand the different kinds of plants and flowers nature has to offer and what the different varietals look and smell like. Then look for realistic deals online (nurseries are often quite expensive). You might try searching plants at ProPlants for a variety of beautiful terrariums, azaleas, orchids, succulents, and other plants that ship directly to you or your gift recipient.
Another great gift idea is to choose to give a memory instead. Many wildlife conservation centers, national parks, and zoos offer special guided and behind the scenes tours. For instance, the National Parks Service offers an annual pass for $80 that offers holders access and parking at all national parks.
If you are looking to stay local, research the offerings in your area and give the gift of an unforgettable moment watching an Amur tiger getting weighed and fed, or a nature hike with an expert pointing out native wildlife and vegetation. Who knows, you might see some of the plants from the nursery out in their natural habitat. Giving the gift of experience is not only waste-free, it also informs and inspires conservation.
Many earth-friendly organizations offer the ability to donate to their organizations as a gift. If your recipient is passionate about animals, symbolically adopt and animal via the World Wildlife Fund to help the organization rally against poachers, deforestation, and other threats to endangered and threatened species. The Sierra Club, National Audobon Society, and the Nature Conservancy also offer great donation programs.
Prove the banjo-playing frog wrong! Make it easy for your friends and family to live green by offering them gifts that encourage conservation, sustainability, and a love of nature.