Green Gift-Giving Tips
- Create memories by giving tickets, season passes or memberships. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Fremont Peak Observatory Association
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Yosemite Annual Pass
- County Parks Annual Day Use Pass
- California State Park Annual Day Use Pass
- Monterey Museum of Art
- National Steinbeck Center
- Elkhorn Slough Gift Membership
- Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum
- Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Give the Gift of Time and Energy:
- Spend a day together on an epic adventure
- Plan a picnic excursion
- Plan an afternoon at a beach, park, etc.
- Purchase (season) tickets to a local attraction, venue or team
- Take a hike or camping trip
- Go bird watching
- Volunteer together with a local community group
- Try a new sport or activity for the first time – what’s on their bucket list?
- Share an evening watching the sunset
- Offer a service gift (cleaning, cooking, babysitting, etc.)
- Make them dinner, breakfast in bed, or bake something special
Give Gift Certificates!
Certificates reflecting a person’s interest or everyday needs can be a perfect way to ensure your gift is as useful as it is gracious.
- For kids, start a savings account or give stocks or bonds. It’s fun to watch money grow and it teaches children the value of financial conservation.
- Examples of gift certificates that will be appreciated:
- Local Coffee House
- Gardening Store/Nursery
- Elegant Dinner / Favorite Restaurant
- Music Store or Online Media
- Earth-Friendly Products Store
- Book Store/ Used Book Store
- Grocery/Specialty Foods Store
- Art Supplies
- Ice Cream Shop
- Cultural Center
- Sporting Goods/Outdoor Store
- Hardware Store
- Car Servicing
- Car Washes
- Cinema / Theater
- Prepaid Gasoline Cards
- Music Concerts
- Sporting Events
- Art Gallery/Museum
- (Natural) History/Cultural Museum
- Cultural Festival
- Gym/Fitness Center/Health Club
- Dancing Lessons
- Martial Arts /Self Defense Training
- Tai Chi/Yoga/Meditation Classes
- Ski/Snowboarding Pass
- Scuba Diving/Snorkeling Lessons
- Whale Watching
- Kayaking Tour of the Bay
- Gardening Workshop
- Vocational Training Workshop
- Professional Workshop
- Massage/Hot Spring
- Art Class (Painting, Photography, Ceramics, etc)
- Cooking Class
- Music Lessons (Instrument/Singing)
- Writing/Poetry Course
- Computer Training
For the things that you just can’t resist, Buy Recycled!
- Always look for products that are made from Post-Consumer Recycled Content or consider green products that address other or additional environmental or social concerns, like Fair Trade practices, organic farming, or donating proceeds.
Give New-To-You Gifts!
- Shop at Thrift Stores, Antique Shops, Flea Markets, Used Book Stores and the like for unique gifts that save resources by promoting reuse.
- Make a dress-up kit for kids with old clothes and jewelry.
- Create an idea-box for young inventors with tools and gadgets.
- Adopt an animal from a local shelter.
- Donating to a charity in someone’s name shows not only your care for someone, but also your recognition of the values they cherish in their own lives.
- In the spirit of giving, donate used items in good condition to local reuse organizations.
- Purchase something consumable and sustainable; treat them to locally made chocolates, honey, organic wine and cheese.
- Buy cut flowers from your local farmers’ market or even better, a blooming perennial plant that will bring happiness year after year.
- If you’re shopping by mail order, remember to cancel the catalogs you don’t need. Remember, junk mail is recyclable!
- Bring your own shopping bags.
- Consolidate your purchases into one bag rather than getting a new bag at each store on your shopping rounds.
- When you buy electronic toys and other portable items that require batteries, buy rechargeable batteries to go with them.
Reuse to prevent waste
- Give gifts that encourage others to use less stuff, like reusable shopping bags and reusable cups. For the coffee enthusiast, include a pound of their favorite beans, or a gift card to their local coffee house.
- Give something you’ve made yourself from reused items, like repurposing a unique item (like a teacup or seashell) as a container for succulents. Be thoughtful about their hobbies and interests.
- Reuse packing cartons and shipping materials such as peanuts, wood shavings, shredded newspaper and bubble wrap.
Do Away With Wrapping Paper!
- Use old gift bags, boxes, newspaper, magazines, posters or pieces of fabric to disguise your gift.
- Alternatively, hide the presents in the house and create a gift hunt using clues.
- For the even more adventurous, have your gift go naked!
- Think of gifts that don’t have to be wrapped at all: tickets to concerts, museums, or sporting events, gift certificates, house plants, or gifts of time together.
- When giving oversized gifts like bicycles, instead of wrapping them in paper, just tie a bow around them.
- Kids’ artwork is a perfect wrapping for presents to proud grandparents.
- Use brown paper grocery bags to wrap small-to-medium size boxes that have to be mailed.
- Make the wrap a part of the gift: Putting cookies or baking ingredients in a mixing bowl, wrapping bubble bath in a towel, or hiding jewelry in a new pair of gloves will keep your gift under wraps and the wrapping out of the trash.
- Wrapping paper (not foil, or cellophane type paper) can be recycled in your Curbside Recycling Bin.
- Just remove excess tape and bows (save bows for reuse).
- Don’t forget to recycle those holiday cards, excess magazines, catalogues, paper and cardboard.
- When you get or give new electronics, recycle your old electronic items properly.
Save for Next Time!
- Set aside gift boxes, intact wrapping paper, gift tissue paper and bows. Save these items and reuse them for future holidays, birthdays and parties.