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1) Organic -- A gift basket of food is a typical holiday gift that's even better if at least part of basket is filled with organic yummies. If you know someone who is a coffee lover, they will flip over bag of organic gourmet coffee you give them. Organic flowers are available, as are flower arrangements that are not organic but whose growers minimize their use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Organic cotton clothing and bedding are also making rapid gains in popularity. 2) Fair trade -- Buying fair-trade items--items typically made by indigenous peoples--often helps creators sustain themselves without resorting to environmentally unwise practices such as clearcutting forests. Whether it's art, coffee, chocolate, soaps, or carpets, buying items labeled "fair trade" lets you avoid purchasing gifts that were produced by companies that use exploitative labor practices.
3) Recycled -- These days, lots of things are made out of recycled materials--from works of art to clothing. A great holiday gift might be some of very cool clothes they now make from recycled cotton. Some eco-friendly clothing even includes 50% fibers from recycled plastic bottles.
4) Honorary Gifts -- How much stuff does anyone really need? Once we reach a certain age, getting more "stuff" is as much a storage problem as anything else. Donating money to a person's favorite charity or cause in their name is a nice substitute. To some extent, a nice holiday get-together with family and friends, full of good cheer and warm conversation, is as good a gift as many of us really need. But for instances where a gift is appropriate, here's a good starting point for your eco-friendly shopping: Grinning Planet's Green Products and Services page ( http://www.grinningplanet.com/5005/green-products-services.htm ).
(Disclaimer: Grinning Planet does not receive any commission from companies listed on Green Products and Services page.)
Finally, we'd like to put in a word for our dear departed Uncle Freeman. When cash got short, he still never skimped on Christmas gifts--he just sent them C.O.D. For jokes, cartoons, and more great environmental information, visit http://www.grinningplanet.com .
© 2003 by GrinningPlanet.com You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as bylines are included. Must be published complete with no changes. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.
Mark is a writer, financial analyst, web developer, environmentalist, and, as necessary, chef and janitor. Grinning Planet is an expression of Mark's enthusiasm for all things humorous and green, as well as a psychotic desire to work himself half-to-death. Hobbies include health foods, music, getting frustrated over politics, and occasionally lecturing the TV set on how uncreative it is.