5 "Green" Gift Ideas

Christmas is this weekend and if you’re anything like me, you haven’t bought a thing. At Backyard X-Scapes we are always looking for ways to help our customers “go green” without breaking the bank or pushing too far outside the box. We believe that Christmas gift-giving can be meaningful, generous and eco-friendly. The following are 5 of our favorite ideas for green gift-giving.

iTunes or Amazon.com Gift Cards – While it goes without saying that digital gifts cut down on waste by eliminating packaging and carbon emissions by eliminating production and shipping, they are also in high demand in today’s tech savvy society. We all know that both iTunes and Amazon offer gift cards for downloading music, but they can also be used for video streaming. Instead of buying DVDs as gifts, give your loved ones the gift of waste-free entertainment; they can stream almost any movie as well as entire television series.

Homemade Gift Coupons – Give the special person in your life many gifts in one without costing you a dime.  Coupons for massages, breakfast in bed and babysitting are all great options that only require time and effort on your part. This gift is ultra-personal, won’t drain your checking account and doesn’t produce an ounce of waste, especially if you use recycled paper to craft each coupon.

Sony Ericsson GreenHeart Cell Phone – The techie in your life will love Sony’s new GreenHeart line of cell phones and accessories. These phones create 15% fewer carbon emissions than traditional phones by eliminating the paper manual (it is stored digitally within the phone), utilizing recycled plastic in the phone’s structure, employing an energy efficient display and waterborne paint. The packaging is also eco-conscious.

Digital Magazine Subscription – While most magazines are going the way of the dinosaur these days, new digital-only ones are proliferating as applications for the iPhone, iPad and other “smart” devices. Your reader will get the same thrill from receiving a digitally updated magazine as from receiving a new magazine in the mail. What’s more, with ever-improving technology, magazines are becoming more user-friendly, lending them to reading at the gym, in the waiting room, at the salon or wherever magazines are consumed.

Transit Pass - Everyone has to get around one way or another. If you live in area with accessible public transit, a year or month long pass will save a rider up to $10,000 a year on transportation, plus reduce carbon emissions and traffic by decreasing the number of cars on the road.

If you must go with traditional tangible gifts, there are some great resources from eco-friendly products as well as gifts made entirely from recycled goods. Remember, the best gifts are always the most personal and considerate, being simultaneously eco-conscious is just icing on the Christmas spirit cake.

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