5 Ideas For Eco-Friendly Gifts

I have had a bit of a battle with myself for the past couple of years when it comes to birthdays and Christmas. Of course I want to buy presents for people, but everyone seems to just have everything these days, and if they want it, they just go out and buy it.
This makes thinking of a thoughtful, interesting present, that they don’t actually own in one form or another, a really difficult task.

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Recently, I think I’ve come up with the ideal solution! Eco-friendly gifts tend to suit my budget, as well as being good for the environment, and are often really original.
Why not check out my top five finds for the greenest gifts on the planet?!
1) Reusable shopping bag
I am religious about my reusable shopping bag, and hate the disposable culture we have all come to accept. Plastic bags are horrible, flimsy, and useless.
Why not buy your friend a durable bag, such as this one from Onya? It’s made from extra strong, recycled parachute material, and can pack down into a keyring –sized pouch. While being ultra lightweight, it can carry up to 14.7 capacity, or several kilos, which is more than the average person, can carry easily.
A present they can use over and over again!
2) Plants as presents
When my niece was born, I didn’t buy her a pair of booties or a plastic toy – I had a tree planted in her name in a forest in Hampshire, so that when she was older she could go into the wood and find “her tree”.
If you don’t want to go to such lengths, what about a herb plant, such as a lavender bush or a jasmine plant, that will give pleasure year after year?

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Or, plant and nurture some chilli plants and then give them to your friend or family member as an unusual and long-lasting gift, with added nutritious value!
Make sure it is easy maintenance, so that they won’t be taking on too much, but each time they look at or smell the plant, they will think of you!
3. A reusable travel mug
In the morning, I see everyone clutching their identical paper coffee cups, I reckon on average, I see a hundred people with them, maybe more – but what happens to all that paper? Dumped.
Here is a neat idea – a cup that looks identical to the paper version, but is actually made out of light weight silicon. You can just hand it over to the barista and get your coffee directly made into it. It can withstand up to 200 degree heart and is unbreakable.

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4. Business Savvy tools
You can never have enough memory, and that goes for computers, as well as your own diminishing brain!
Even those too busy at work to bother with being green can benefit from this clever gift – a flash USB drive made from recycled plastic. Who knew that upvc recycling could be so corporate?!
This company will emblazon it with any logo you like. They also promise to plant a tree with each order, so it’s a great present that will last forever!
5) Organic Wine
The English wine industry is thriving right now – so don’t resort to South American or New World wines with massive carbon footprints!
English wines are locally made, and come in a range of fabulous flavours such as Blackberry and Apple, Black Cherry and Elderflower.
Or, why not chose mead, which has a long history of being produced in the UK, having been around for over 12,000 years!

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If you have any other great eco-friendly gift ideas, please share them here.
Gavin Harvey is a dedicated traveller, but tries to do it in the greenest way possible. After a gap year in Australia he decided to start writing, and now he blogs for many people, including Cavalok Building Products, in his spare time.