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Holiday Gift Guide: Green Gifting

Posted by Paige Thomas ~ December 19, 2008

Buying gifts with a conscious is all the rage this year. Going green in your gift giving can be a great way to waste less, and truly give more, this Christmas.

Check out these eco-friendly gifts for the home: 

1. BoGo Solar Flashlight: When you buy this cool solar powered flashlight, an identical flashlight will be donated to a person in need or to a charity of your choice. Powering your light with the sun saves energy and waste from batteries. And, you're helping someone else have a sustainable (and free!) source of light too. Many people, especially in third world countries can't afford electricity, and the light sources they have can be dangerous to them and the environment. Read this interesting article on the BoGo Flashlight website for more information: Importance of Light.

2. Home Bike Storage Units: Over the last year bike usage has soared. With more people buying and using bikes, most people will now need to know where to store them. My last house didn't have a garage, so my bikes occupied the living room. Propped up against the wall, they doubled as a coat rack and minor obstacle though the main walkway to the bedrooms. Now that I have a garage they are easier to store, but I live in a four bike household, so a small garage cluttered with bikes still isn't my favorite. Now enter my next cool gift idea: home bike storage. If you have bike loving friends they will love these easy ways to get your bikes out of the way, and stored in a way that is both visually appealing, and practical!

(Photo Courtesy of CommuteByBike.com)

2. Carbon Offsets: Want to minimize the impact of flying, driving, or even just turning on the heat in your house? You can buy carbon offsets from companies like CarbonFund.org or Terrapass. Buy gift cards for your eco-conscious friends to off set the impacts of their flight to visit you, or the carbon emissions of their house for the whole year. The money you pay for your offsets are used to plant trees, and fund earth-protecting projects. You can even buy an offset for all the carbon emissions for your home for the entire year.

4. Smart Strip power strip: I love this gadget! It's an easy way to conserve energy without having to even really think about it. The power strip automatically turns off and stops sending electricity to your appliances when they are not in use. Example: if you plug your TV, Tivo and DVD player all into the power strip, it will automatically turn off all three when you turn off your TV. It really is a Smart Strip! The website says that their power strip pays for itself in energy cost savings in less than three weeks. Cool!

3. Flor Carpet Tiles: I'm obessed with carpet tiles, and I would get pretty excited if someone bought me enough to create a cool design. Flor creates innovative designs and patterns of carpet tiles made from post-conusmer waste. They are also dedicated to clean industry with some of the lowest Volatile Organic Compound emissions (VOCs) in their industry. I love the pattern above, but they have many others to choose from.

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