Tis’ the season to be thrifty and these eco-friendly gifts won’t force you to spend a lot of green in order to be “green”. From water powered alarm clocks to hand cranked blenders and electric cars, there is a perfect gift out there for everyone that you are buying for. In no particular order, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite environmentally conscious products and services and listed their prices so you can stay within your budget. They are:
- FreeCharge 12V. Retails for $30.00. Available through FreePlay Energy. Items with a cigarette-lighter adapter like cell phones, PDAs, iPods, and GPSs can be plugged into the device which when cranked produces enough energy to charge your electronics. Never miss an important call or take the wrong road again!
- Cooking Green by Kate Heyhoe. Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2009. Retail Price: $17.95. Available through Perseus Books Group. Reduce your carbon footprint in the kitchen (aka cookprint) with Heyhoe’s New Green Basics Way of cooking. Released in the spring of this year, Cooking Green teaches readers fuel-efficient ways to prepare their favorite dishes. In addition to providing information about cookware, the book offers mouth watering recipes that anyone can whip up easily and affordably.
- Cassette Tape Dispenser. Sold through Uncommon Goods. Retail Price: $25.00. Old cassette tapes find new life as a valuable office supply. Rather than keep a bulky, black tape dispenser on your desk, use this product to start conversations. Scotch tape is not included in the price of the dispenser. You can pick that up inexpensively at any office supply store.
- Eco Books: Inventive Projects from the Recycling Bin by Terry Taylor. Lark Books, a Division of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Retail Price: $22.95. Love the look of custom made journals but not fond of the price? Why not pick up a copy of Eco Books and try your hand at covering, stitching, and binding handcrafted gifts using old license plate, egg cartons, board games, and shopping bags. Step-by-step instructions make reducing, reusing, and recycling fun for the whole family.
- Soda Bottle Glasses. Found on ETSY. Set of 4 selling for $30. Can’t stand to part with your collection of soda or beer bottles? Purchase a set of glasses from Yava Glass and break them out the next time guests come over. Upcycled wares are some of the hottest selling items today. You can find more items made from recycled materials in the company’s online store.
- Global Sun Oven. Available for purchase from the Peddler’s Wagon. Priced at $275.00. Cook all your meals naturally by using heat from the sun. This 21 pound, portable oven can be transported to and from different locations and does not require propane or charcoal. It comes with a thermometer but does not come with a set of pots and pans.
Finding conscientious gifts at prices you can afford is possible through the vast array of retailers on the web. The following phrases are used in items that are better from an environmental standpoint than their competitors:
- Made from Post Consumer Waste.
- Fair Trade.
- Solar and Wind Powered.
- Carbon Neutral.
- Process Chlorine Free.
Every dollar that you spend is one dollar that supports a company and its mission. By taking the time to find businesses that sell products and services that help the environment rather than hurt it makes you a better informed, more responsible consumer.
Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer for ChickSpeak, Buzzine, DisFUNKshion Magazine, Student Stuff, and a guest contributor for Wisebread. She loves thrift related topics and can spot a bargain a mile away.
Charissa is into frugal living and saving money.