Give the earth a present this year and have an eco-friendly holiday. Green gifts can be creative and help reduce your carbon footprint while encouraging others to change their habits. We asked Mill Valley resident and greening guru Bea Johnson, founder of the Zero Waste movement, speaker and bestselling author of Zero Waste Home, to share her top tips for making this gift-giving season a time that can save us money while also helping to save the planet.
THE GIFT OF EXPERIENCE Give a gift certificate or ticket to an activity such as classes at the community center, a museum membership, bowling night or a theme park season pass.
SHOP YOUR HOME Regifting sometimes gets a bad (w)rap, but there’s nothing wrong with giving something you already own to someone who would appreciate it more.
AN IDEA WORTH REPEATING Give consumables in a reusable jar. Fill your chosen container with homemade sugar/salt scrubs, jam, pickles or herbal tea. Also consider using a gift to wrap another. A T-shirt, sweater or kitchen towel can be used to wrap just about anything.
GREENEST GREETINGS Instead of sending cards, email your holiday wishes or make plantable paper from paper scraps.
SMART SANTA What if Santa brought only one gift per family member and it arrived unwrapped? The benefits of the “one special present” idea go beyond the obvious. The concept can mean increased equality among children of different financial backgrounds, modesty, smaller wish lists and less stress on Santa.
This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition with the headline “Give Green”.