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Question of the Week: What’s number one on your green holiday gift list?

2009 December 21

We love to give – and get – gifts at holiday time. With so much to choose from it’s hard to know where to begin! But with a little searching you can find gifts that use less energy, are made with environmentally friendly materials, or can be reused and last a long time.  Share your ideas for greener gifts!

What’s number one on your green holiday gift list?

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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31 Responses leave one →
  1. kamel-Boukhazna permalink
    December 21, 2009

    -Good-Mornning-America thank’you for this Artical-I think Me forever of the Environment-leve …

  2. Patty Bailey permalink
    December 21, 2009

    Recycled books or clothes or other interesting and usable items from recyling stores such as Goodwill, Salvation Army etc.

  3. Ambrosia Brown permalink
    December 21, 2009

    I gave my mother a year membership to the Arbor Day Foundation. She gets 10 free trees to plant in her yard, and a discount on larger nursery trees for the rest of the year.

  4. Cathy B permalink
    December 21, 2009

    I like to give gifts that make people stop and think about the environment. This year for my son’s friends we made secret hollow books…we recycled old books and carved out a niche in the middle for their special treasures. I also like to give water bottles that encourage pitching the plastic and natural bags that can be carried to the store. These are all inexpensive gifts that go a long way to minimizing waste.

  5. Bonnie Aylor permalink
    December 21, 2009

    My green holiday gift list sounds quite ungreen, but it’s not really. I live in a place that’s a conservation land, but that’s about as environmental it gets. Its not energy efficient, its far from any real place to work, people throw golf balls at birds and marvel at the site of limerock above ground, etc. Its fun to walk to trails inside of the residence and even funner to march outside and find all the hidden trails inside the preserved land, however it’d be a lot more efficient if I could find a position somewhere that pays high enough with hours flexible enough that I could take my child and my belongings and move to a more efficient residence. One that uses energy star appliances, recycling, is close to work, that provides a more efficient use of space (ie stacks apartments if its an apartment rather than places them side by side and spaced out), one with better insulation and thicker walls, where the residents pick up their dog doodoo (LOL!) instead of letting the nutrients run into the man-made ponds and overcrowd the water with cattails that look extremely ugly when they start dying down during a rainstorm, it would be cool to have one with a biofilter in the pool or an indoor pool rather than chlorine and exposure to the environment, one that can foster an appreciation for nature while not encroaching on it at the same time that it does all of those other things, where I can ride my bike to any kind of entertainment feature I am interested in instead of having to create carbon in the air, discharge on the road, a need to unheavel the land and create stress for residents around that land by always having to drive my car, one located next to an A school where my daughter can walk, ride, or bus rather than me having to get school choice to go to the A school because the local bus track heads to a consistent C school (her A school is very bent on teaching about the environment and its processes though), and a place where it can provide efficient use of the land while also allowing room for things like sattellite signals that don’t run underground, or even similar Fios. And I’m sure there are many other features I’d love, like gas stoves and either energy efficient tiles or recycled materials carpets and earth friendly paints, ability to pay online rather than my paper, etc. At the same time that my position provides me enough funds for that I want it to also provide me the ability to continue with my MFA so I can teach, through art and cinematography, the world about the environment and its importance as well as its significant contribution with human trafficking.

    LOL! Do you think that’s possible?

  6. ken beets permalink
    December 21, 2009

    We have a machine that makes water from air, purifiers the water
    for it’s life cycle, must have humility. For offices,homes, boats or
    RV’s. Very low maintenance. No consumption of existing water
    and we are all green.

  7. Jackenson Durand permalink
    December 21, 2009

    My number one gift for holiday would be either a green travel to personally touch the “Amazon” forest or stand in front of the giant “Kilimanjaro”.

  8. Judy permalink
    December 21, 2009

    Engraved metal water bottles, donations on behalf of family members to Charity Water and…Cash. All green. Hooray!

  9. Bonnie Aylor permalink
    December 21, 2009

    PS: LOL, the new residence would also need to be located in a safe area around an A school rather than a bad place in town so that its not inefficient to allow my child to walk, bike or ride the bus to school :)

  10. ken beets permalink
    December 21, 2009

    We have a solution for removing Iron, Lead and Asenic from the
    water and no one will listen. Is there A Problem? We will furnish
    a system

  11. Tony Ríos permalink
    December 21, 2009

    Rechargeable batteries, Eco Shirts (PETE content), books printed on recycled paper, reusable bags and pen drive to prevent printing documents.

  12. Lara & Vara Sharma permalink
    December 21, 2009

    We think that the best Green girft is – Plants.

    Give plants, see them grow, watch them take in carbon di oxide and give oxygen. What better gift.

    But if any other gift than plants we would go for gifts made up of recycled materials.

  13. Jon permalink
    December 21, 2009

    a christmas tree.

  14. Linda permalink
    December 21, 2009

    I scored big points this year with my very frugal Mother; she opened her gift early and was delighted with the induction fan I gave her. She heats her home with a wood stove and this fan uses the temperature differential between ambient air and the wood stove itself to generate enough current to run. No cord, no electricity, and she says it works very well. Just in time for the big snow storm, too. Merry Christmas, Mom!

  15. Shawn P Boike permalink
    December 21, 2009

    1) A great beautiful holiday plant
    2) Solar Christmas lights
    3) LED nightlight
    4) Powersaver systems linkup for all El. goodies.
    5) Cool Calender

  16. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    December 22, 2009

    I am a member of the Homeowner Board of Directors of my condo association. We, the Board, are going to give the homeowners a big Christmas present that will be finished early next year and last year after year. This is a recycled water project in cooperation with the local water district that will have many environmentally friendly impacts and will reduce the Association’s monthly water bills by 80%. That means the dues for the individual homeowners can come down. We also will be exploring the possibility of solar powered trash and recycling compactors for the complex which, among other things would reduce the number of trash truck pickup trips by around 80%. And we will be talking about an on=site composing system to take leaves and landscape clippings and turn them into fertilizer to be put back on the landscape. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  17. Leigh permalink
    December 22, 2009

    I have one of those too; they do work great! Plus, it’s a good way to tell when your fire needs tending, as the fan slows down quite a bit.

  18. Kelly Hunt permalink
    December 22, 2009

    This year, I gave out presents that made people think about others and the environment: Reusable FEED bags – proceeds provide 100 school lunches to children in need. We Are What We Do’s book, “Change the World for 10 Bucks” – a read that focuses on little changes we all can make to better this world. I’ve gotten overwhelming positive responses from these gifts that give back. Happy Holidays, Kelly.

  19. Lee permalink
    December 22, 2009

    A fruit tree so recipients can enjoy the beauty of the tree and also have locally grown food!

  20. Dave permalink
    December 22, 2009

    A Taylor acoustic guitar made from sustainably-grown tone wood!

  21. Biswajit Dey permalink
    December 23, 2009

    Dear Supporter,

    I think use of plastic is very much harmful in the present world. That’s why we all , those who are love our planet come and join and fight against use of plastic and as well as to stop its production.

    Later we discus elaborately .

    Thanking you,


  22. permalink
    December 23, 2009

    My green holiday gift to my closet pals will be “Green plants”. As long as it will be them, they will see that plant grow and will remember me till that plant will be with them..howz that

  23. Scott permalink
    December 23, 2009


  24. December 23, 2009

    I wish that the EPA would make a strong statement for restoring the Chesapeake Bay by urging the administration to support the Chesapeake Clean Water Act and issuing a strong Exec. Order Strategy that includes timelines, accountability measures to meet those timelines and funding mechanisms to help reach the strategy goals. How ’bout it?

  25. deepie permalink
    December 23, 2009

    I really would like some toms shoes. Not gonna lie and those help kids in Africa who are in need. they are comfortable and they are cute. all rolled into a nice durable shoe. yay.

  26. chongaleo permalink
    December 26, 2009

    100 gallons of lead based paint so I can have paint that actually lasts and sticks to my house.

    and 55 gallons of MEK

  27. chongaleo permalink
    December 26, 2009

    Yes. It’s called the Land of OZ. Jump on the next tornado you see.

  28. Dylan permalink
    December 27, 2009

    The Epa does not actually care about real environmental problems. On;y ones that they can make money off of.

  29. Dylan permalink
    December 27, 2009


  30. Martine permalink
    December 31, 2009

    Green gifts for us were:

    Pictures of us wrapped in newspapers;
    Tickets to see a comedy show;
    Old toys;


  31. Hari B. Bindal permalink
    February 17, 2010

    A Potted Christmas Tree

    The Issue: Every year million of green christmas tree are cut, transported, sold, and after christmas is over thrown to street corner. The current practice costs to the consumer’s pocket, destroys greenery, and ends into disposal problem.

    Solution: Buy or grow a Christmas tree in a pot, bring the potted tree inside home, decorate, and after Christmas is over, remove the decoration, transfer the potted tree out to landscaping, or keep in, as the situation permits, to reuse the tree year after year. Year round, or before you bring the tree in, trim the tree to your needs.

    1. To individual, it will save cost and hassle of buying, carrying, and installing a green Christmas tree each year. You do not have to dispose the tree, rather just transfer out side the house to add to the landscape or keep it in as indoor house plant. You will have affection to your Christmas tree year round.
    2. To the environment, millions of trees (greenery) saved, esthetic (used trees on the street curb), and cost of disposal saved or eliminated. Nationwide, savings of several Billion Dollars each year.

    1. Business of growing and selling Christmas tree is hurt.
    2. The potted tree would be heavier than a branch/green tree to carry in and out of the house.

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