Kim Carlson

Often accused of doing just about anything to preserve the planet long before going green hit the mainstream radar, Kim Carlson is an eco-chic lifestyle expert, eco-savvy entrepreneur, and green business author. Carlson practices what she preaches. (Except she doesn’t really preach, she enthuses.) As the “EarthSmart Consumer” on television, host of the national radio program, “Livin’ The Green Life” and the regular guest writer for many blogs and national magazines, Carlson educates the public on the pleasures of a planet-friendly lifestyle. Read more about Kim Carlson.

Twelve Ways of Green Gifting

Posted by: Kim Carlson Updated: December 3, 2009 - 9:35 AM

Season’s green’ings!   Many of us are still on tight budgets and have savings on our minds.   Eco-gifting to the rescue.   
Before disposing of commonly tossed items, stop and rethink it.  Can you give it a second-life by making it more attractive, repaired or crafted into something else?  Here are twelve ways of gifting that are not only wallet friendly but eco-friendly too.
 
#1     Extra or leftover fabric?  Make cloth covered gift boxes or bags instead of wrapping paper.
#2   Shop green stores and websites – they have done the vetting of the green products, so you can be reasonably assured of green authenticity.    
#3   Use saved bows from other gifts. (It’s ok to reuse these items but make sure that you don’t give it to the person who gave it to you!).  
#4   Last year's holiday cards make great gift tags.  When cutting the card use decorative scissor for a little something extra.  
#5  Take a walk through Mother Nature and collect pinecones.  Pinecones with raffia (ribbon made from a plant) are great for adorning boxes.
#6   Give a live plant rather than cut flowers.  Go the extra green step if you want to send cut flowers and send organic cut flowers.
#7   Old paint and coffee cans are great for shipping or using as a gift box in a fun creative way.  Make sure it’s thoroughly cleaned out and decorate the outside.  It can even be a double gift where the person can use the paint can for storing or organizing items.
#8   Shipping? If you have left over or don’t mind popping extra dry popcorn for movie night, this is a great way to send a treat for the birds while protecting your package.  
#9   Reusable items, such as hair bows, ornaments, shoe laces or toys can adorn packages and gift bags. Again, they can double as part of the gift as well.   
#10  Stencils or pictures from holiday cards pasted onto a plain brown paper bag or box don’t require additional paper wrapping.
#11  Old neckties can make clever bows on any gift.  The silkiness of them glams up any old box with out doing much.  
#12  For those who have old faux flowers collecting dust, use them for gift wrapping and to dress up ordinary boxes.  Just be sure to dust them off first.  

Also try alternative gifting giving options that are green as well.  Give an experience like a gift certificate to a movie or play rather than a thing that may not be enjoyed.  Or make a gift certificate of your time to do lawn work for an elderly neighbor or babysitting for a friend or relative.

Got other ideas?  

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