Don’t end up on the naughty list! Shop climate-smart this holiday season.
If you’re going to give, opt for one of these thoughtful choices and you’ll avoid giving something that will inevitably end up in a landfill after a couple of months. While not exhaustive, the following is a list of our top choices for a “green” holiday season with homemade, upcycled, and low-impact materials.
From your “I don’t need a gift” dad, to your tech-loving neighbor, to your impossible-to-shop-for Mother-in-Law, these gifts are sure to spread some holiday cheer.
1. Solar-powered toys
Kids love new technology, and parents love toys that encourage creativity and problem-solving through play. Solar-powered toys are the perfect solution and they provide the same level of fun as their battery-operated counterparts. From solar-powered race cars to robots, there are a variety of clean-energy powered toys to choose from.
2. Recycled-plastic Barbies
As part of a push by the $104 billion global toy industry to make its overwhelmingly plastic products more sustainable, Hasbro Inc. has announced 33 new products, including this “Barbie Loves the Ocean” doll made of recycled plastic trash collected in Mexico before it can pollute the Pacific Ocean.
3. A sustainable cookbook
Consuming less meat helps lower both your personal water and carbon footprint, but it can be challenging to get started. By gifting a sustainable cookbook, you can encourage others to adopt more environmentally-conscious eating habits like eating plant-based, seasonally, locally, and with less waste. We love Everyday Cooking for family-friendly meals, The Korean Vegan for adventurous taste buds, and The Zero-Waste Cookbook for wasteless meals.
4. National parks pass
There are more than 2,000 federal recreation sites in the US: national parks, national forests, grasslands, seashores, battlefields, historic sites, monuments, and more. By gifting an America the Beautiful Pass, you’re giving a loved one access to all of these beautiful sites and supporting the National Park Service in managing these national treasures and historical lands in the process.
5. Solar-powered tech products
Solar-powered products aren’t just limited to toys for kids! Stay on top of the latest tech-trends and opt for something solar-powered for the tech-geek on your list. Backpacks, phone chargers, portable power stations, lights—the list is endless!
6. Homemade treats
One of the most budget-friendly and tasty gifts you can give someone is food. Even if you’re not in the running as a contestant for Best Amatuer Baker or Top Chef, there are several delicious treats you can whip up in 30-minutes or less. By layering ingredients in a jar for hot chocolate or cookies, you have a beautiful jar to present your friends with that you spent time preparing just for them. Jars filled with granola, roasted nuts, or homemade chex-mix work well, too (note: check for any food allergies first).
7. Plants and succulents
Plants improve memory-retention and have a positive effect on mental health, making them an excellent choice for a gift for anyone. Since succulents are highly resilient and long-lasting plants, owners don’t need a green thumb to care for their new plant! If you’re still worried about them caring for a plant, you can plant a tree in their name with The Arbor Foundation.
8. Products from certified B-corporations
Do you already have a specific gift in mind? Before jumping right to Amazon or another big-box store, check to see if the item you’re looking for is available locally or made by a B-corporation (you can sort by industry to find a specific product). These are businesses that are graded each year to ensure they meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
9. Going big on a car? Go electric
If your family happens to be in the market for a new vehicle this year, the holidays can be a really good time to buy. And this year, now more than ever, you’d do well to consider driving electric. Purchasing an electric vehicle is not just a gift for the planet and our clean energy future, but also frees yourself from a future of gas station visits, transmission repairs, and oil changes—on top of one of the most fun vehicles to drive!
10. Generation180 merch
At Generation180, we don’t put coal in stockings—we’re #fossilfuelfree! Check out our collection of swag for everyone from EV-lovers to climate comedy enthusiasts.
P.S. Did you know that Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of year? By choosing to wrap your gift in something reusable like an attractive cloth or towel, or decorating and reusing an old grocery bag or newspaper, you can take your green-gifting to the next level.
P.P.S. If you prefer to give nonmaterial gifts, such as gifts of time and experiences, check out the SoKind registry to help you focus more on fun and less on stuff.