This is a guest post by Kelly Smith from miskellany.
It can be expensive to buy eco-friendly Christmas gifts if you are shopping in green boutiques with high end organic wares. Fortunately, there are other ways to go green at Christmas, such as buying gently used gifts, making your own gifts, giving intangible gifts, and giving practical gifts that will actually be used.
Use these principles to create a practical Christmas stocking that is not full of plastic toys and novelties soon to be dumpster-bound. Instead of trying to fill a stocking to the brim with lots of different cheap things, choose a few very nice things to include in the stock that will definitely be used.
1. postage stamps
Even folks who pay their bills online or people who have everything sometimes need actual postage stamps for their correspondence. Choose a beautiful stamp design that fits your recipient’s style, and include some recycled paper stationery to accompany it.
2. wool socks
Wool socks are comfortable, fashionable, and non-stinky. They also keep our bodies warm in the winter months so that we can keep the thermostat set at a lower temperature.
Christmas is celebrated with a variety of lights. Why not bring some practical, eco-friendly lights into the mix as well?
4. organic olive oil
A basic, organic kitchen staple such as olive oil will always be used and appreciated by someone who cooks.
5. unscented laundry detergent
Even if you can’t find an eco-friendly detergent at your local store and you don’t have time to purchase online, fear not! Choosing a detergent that is free of scent, color, and other additives is a more environmentally sustainable choice than a standard fragrant detergent.
6. a membership card to a local museum or zoo
Intangible gifts such as a membership to a local organization are a great alternative to gifts that will eventually end up in a landfill, and they have the added benefit of strengthening family and community ties.
7. a used book
Pick a favorite book off of your shelf to give, or pick up a treasure to share from your local used book store. You can also find used books online through such retailers as Amazon.com, Half.com, and Paperbackswap.com.
8. a gift card to a favorite local business
Sometimes a gift card can seem impersonal. However, a carefully selected gift card in the toe of a Christmas stocking could be just the right thing. Perhaps your gift recipient has a favorite local spa, restaurant, bookstore, or coffee shop where they would love to pick out their own small treat.
9. flower bulbs for the garden
A useful gift for the garden, such as bulbs which will bring beauty and pleasure year after year, could be a lovely stocking stuffer. If you are stuffing multiple stockings, you could even purchase a larger package of bulbs and then divide them between the stockings in order to reduce packaging waste.
10. What practical or eco-friendly gifts would you like to find in your stocking?