So this year, why not pick one green/eco-friendly item to give everyone on your birthday-gifts-list? It'll make shopping so much easier, and maybe you'll influence some friends or family to be a little more green this year!
Some great gift suggestions that everyone (well, almost everyone!) can use:
- An aluminum reusable water bottle (posted about these last week). You can get a high-end one from a company like Sigg, but if you're looking to spend a little less, Old Navy has some reusable aluminum bottles too. At full price they were $7.50, but Old Navy has great sales all the time and you could probably stock up on them if you bargain hunt!
- On a similar note, a travel coffee/tea/hot beverage mug. If you always keep a clean one in your car, the next time you stop for a coffee you won't have to use another paper cup/plastic lid! ...This is great for long road trips! You can also put iced drinks like iced teas and chais and iced coffees in them too, of course. No more plastic cups!
- How about supporting the handmade community on a site like Etsy and giving everyone a handmade item this year? Or if you're crafty... make the items yourself! Everyone loves a personalized piece of art.
- If the recipient has a yard, look into a plant store that sells local plants and flowers, and buy them a flowering plant that's native to the area. They'll have minimal care to maintain it since it's used to the conditions of the area, and the pollinators will love you for it!
- Keeping with the local theme- if you can find a local farm or orchard, look into homemade jams and jellies, sauces, and other local farmed canned goods.
- Laundry products. Everyone has to do laundry, right? So why not make it greener? Give the gift of eco-friendly laundry and send the ingredients needed to make your own detergent, along with a couple of dryer balls!
Recipe for homemade powder laundry detergent:
- 1 cup shredded bar soap
Fells Naptha works well (Zote is also recommended), you can use a cheese grater and then turn the little grated curls into a powder with a food processor- but it's not necessary. Another tip is to leave the soap out for a week or so to dry out a little before you shred it. It makes the soap easier to shred and more powdery.
- 1/2 cup washing soda (Arm and Hammer makes it). This is sometimes hard to find, but call and ask around, or order a bunch online.
- 1/2 cup borax (you can find this with the cleaning supplies or with the laundry supplies)
All you need is one tablespoon per load of wash. I open the washing machine and turn on the hot water until it's about an inch deep. Then I turn off the water, add my detergent, and mix it around with an old wooden spoon until it dissolves. It won't be foamy. Then I switch the water to cold and let the machine fill up about half way and then I add my clothes. I've heard it's best to let the water dilute some before adding the clothes as some of the chemicals can make a peroxide and you don't want to bleach your dark clothing by adding it too quickly.
And if you need dryer balls, Etsy is a great place to look for them!
Add a comment if you've got some more great eco-friendly gift ideas!!