Giving Green

People Tree

New York-based HITC Life friend, Liza Dunn, is a green consultant. In her business, she helps people lower their environmental impact, and at this time of year, give greener gifts. For you last minute shoppers, a few suggestions.

As Liza says, if it can be done, it can be done green.

So let's get started.

Firstly, what constitutes a green gift?

  • Consider what materials are used. Look for gifts made of organic, highly renewable, and/or recycled materials. Organic cotton is popping up everywhere from cute onesies at Gossypium to mainstream retailers like Ralph Lauren sheets and Levi's jeans. Highly renewable bamboo is a material which is used in everything from bedding and clothing (very soft!) to kitchen items and home accessories.
  • Pay attention to the number of 'carbon miles' associated with a gift, i.e., how long has it travelled to get to you. Buy local when possible. Also try to favor companies which use sustainable practices in their production.
  • Look out for packaging. Paper, cardboard and metal are much more easily recycled than most plastics, and styrofoam is not recycleable at all. Look for smartly packed gifts.
  • Not every gift needs to be a tangible object. A charitable donation (especially to an environmentally-focused organization), or a museum membership are 'carbon-neutral' gifts which can be gratifying for both the giver and receiver.
  • Finally, consider carefully the gift and the recipient. The best gifts are ones which will be used and appreciated.

What are some specific green gifts you're encouraging people give this year?

And if people want to take advantage of the exchange rate and do some charitable giving?

And when it's all over, make sure to recycle your Christmas tree!

Learn more about Liza's business here.

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