Green up your gift giving this holiday season |

Green up your gift giving this holiday season

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Unless you’re a top-notch, professional-level organizer of holiday to-do’s, there’s a good chance you have a few people still on your gift list. Below are some handy-dandy ideas for eco-friendly gifts to make your holiday season as green as can be, sure to make onlookers equally green with gift envy.

  • A reusable lunch kit — a stainless steel or wooden set of utensils, a straw, a reusable napkin and some reusable snack bags.
  • Beeswax coverings, reusable food storage bags, bowl toppers, fruit huggers, reusable paper towels.
  • Reusable hand-warmers.
  • A travel coffee tumbler or thermos; it’s not uncommon for users of reusable tumblers to get small discounts on their coffee refills at certain coffee shops.
  • Seed packets, soil and pots for a kitchen herb garden.
  • A home-kitchen compost set-up.
  • Rather than giving a bouquet of cut flowers, opt to give a pot of live flowers, succulents or other potted plants that will thrive for months to come.
  • Locally made or sourced soaps, candles, honey, jewelry, meats and produce.
  • A homemade coupon for a day out skiing or hiking, a trip to the movies with popcorn or a tasty lunch downtown.

Gift givers earn extra green points for wrapping your gifts in recyclables, like newspaper pages or with recyclable wrapping paper, which is generally OK to recycle if it’s not metallic, glittery, textured or laminated. Minimizing the amount of tape used on the wrapping will increase how much paper can be reused; bows and ribbons can be saved for your next round of gift-wrapping, too.

Another idea is to give gifts in a reusable shopping bag, which the recipient can use instead of one-use bags for years to come.

Handmade cards are especially sentimental. You can also look into holiday cards that are biodegradable and studded with wildflower seeds, which, when planted in soil, give your card a whole new life.

Get more extra points for shopping local as much as possible and unplugging your holiday string lights once everyone’s gone to bed for the night.

Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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