Green Gift Guide
Your gifts can be practical, thoughtful, and eco-friendly all at once
Reclaimed metal and tools go to work as rugged desk accessories, handmade by artist Fred Conlon. A metal pen cup rests atop an artistic assembly of pliers into a tripod. The desk caddy—constructed of crescent wrenches, large nuts and bolts, and other reclaimed metals—does double-duty as a business card holder and tape dispenser. This is a great gift for handy colleagues—and This Old House editors.
About $25 for Pliers Pen Cup and about $55 for the Crescent Wrench Desk Caddy; Uncommon Goods
This modern alternative to the tea ball diffuser is a spring-loaded wand that can be filled with enough of your favorite loose tea leaves to make the perfect cup. The stainless steel and plastic contraption by Germany's Floz Designs doubles as a stirrer, eliminating two small everyday waste cases.
Made from recycled newspapers, these make for a colorful and festive addition to any table.
About $8 for 4 rings; ecoist
In a partnership with Trees for the Future, ecoist.com agrees to plant a tree with the purchase of certain items available for sale on their site.
How many soda and seltzer bottles do you dump every month? This 2-quart soda siphon by Liss Professional is made of stainless steel, and everything but the head is dishwasher-safe. An easy way to add bubbles to your beverages, this contraption will likely pay for itself in a few months, and save quite a few containers from the landfill.
About $74; Cooking.com
Basura Bags—available in many shapes and sizes—are made of colorful reclaimed juice containers by a women's co-op in the Philippines. Innovative design makes for a durable carryall that's sure to get some attention at the grocery check-out. Aside from the cool points you'll rack up for carrying your juice in a bag made of juiceboxes, you'll save plastic bags from the landfill, too.
About $24 for this 12"H x 15"L x 8"W tote; Reusable Bags
Borrowing wet suit-grade neoprene rubber from the surf-wear industry, these machine washable lunch bags insulate food and drink separately. Contents can be further preserved with the use of a cold pack. At meal time, the bag unzips into a placemat and can then be tucked away 'til tomorrow. Goodbye brown bag.
About $20; Stacks and Stacks
These days, nearly every toy on the market is battery-operated. However, only a fraction those toys come with batteries included. If you're no stranger to little ones pouting around a room full of toys with not one AA battery in sight, this just might be the stocking stuffer that saves you. As a matter of fact, this gift saves lots of things: the money you'd have to spend on disposable batteries, time (it's super-fast), and the planet.
About $40; Duracell