Green Gifts That Won’t Break the Bank

Green gifts don’t have to break the bank.  Green items are being priced more competitively.  In addition to pricing, eco-friendly products can often save money in the long run. Greenzer.com is a great resource for green gifts.  On MSN Green we found 20 great gifts for everyone on your list; each of which is under $25.

1. Sierra Club Membership, $25.00

With a gift membership to Sierra Club, your giftee will join a 100+ year old environmental conservation group with hundreds of thousands of members, which once included Ansel Adams. Help a nature lover preserve the wildlife they love so much, and they’ll get an Expedition Pack, year-long subscription to Sierra magazine and membership perks out of it-basically the only way we canthink of to wrap and gift the great outdoors.

2. Timolino Desktop Mug, $18.99

Know any serious coffee-cravers with clumsy cup tendencies? This wide-based mug will keep a large serving of java safely secured to the desk without leaching any chemicals like BPA from its sturdy stainless steel form. Made using fair labor practices, it’s a worthy vessel for that fair-trade Colombian.

3. BsaB Beeswax 2.5 Coral Candle, $15.95

Made without any added color or fragrance, this 100% beeswax candle puts out a good-for-the-earth glow and a natural scent that rivals any artificial offering. The coral cut-out pattern lets light flicker out from the wax walls and goes with just about any home décor (even poster-heavy dorm room).

4. John Masters Bourbon Vanilla & Tangerine Hair Texturizer, $20.25

Equally applicable for the guy or girl on your list, this pomade can smooth cowlicks, spike strands or style the perfect bedhead, and instead of hitting hair with a range of harsh chemicals, it softens and shines with natural oils and vitamins-ones that smell so good you’ll be lucky to stand downwind of the wearer one day. John Masters Organics has a transparent and rigorous listof rules for choosing ingredients which include - no animal testing, sustainable harvesting, no petro-chemicals, organiccertification as often as possible and no lauryl sulfate or parabens.

5. Green World Bags Shopper Set, $19.95

With four bags in the set, your giftee will be able to stock these in enough places that they’ll actually remember to take themto the store. The material is made from recycled plastics, and the bags hold 2-3 times the amount of a traditional plastic bag, while looking at least 2-3 times better.

6. Plan Toys Animal Puzzle, $17.50

A creative play game that suits the littlest ones, this puzzle is made from earth-friendly rubber wood, child-friendly non-toxic paints and finishes, and recycled paper packaging. Don’t be surprised if the young gift receiver is more excited about the animal-faced puzzle pieces than playing a structured game -it’s always more fun to make your own rules anyway.

7. Bambu Knife, Fork and Spoon Set, $6.50

It might be an unusual gift, but don’t sell this set short. If you’re buying for an at-the-office eater, this can mean skipping the plastic utensils and getting a little more gourmet at lunch. Hand-shaped from a single piece of organically grown bamboo,it’s also about as green as you can eat. Expect extra approval if you give this to a true foodie.

8. Apple Tree to Be, $22.00

As far as gifts that last a lifetime go, you’ll be hard pressed to beat this one. It should satisfy the appetite of the extra-green thumbs in your life. Since they recommend planting this Tree to Be in cold weather, this tree can get growing right aroundChristmas and soon enough everyone will enjoy the fruits of the labor (delicious Ralls Janet apples, to be specific).

9. Natural Fitness Extra Large Hemp/Cotton Yoga Mat Bag, $22.95

Big enough to stash a yoga mat (without wrestling and prying) plus essentials like keys and cash and made from a sustainable hemp/cotton fabric, this bag is simple, practical and easy on the eyes (even third eyes). For each bag that’s sold, a tree will be planted in the rainforest, meaning there’s more than one person getting something out of this gift.

10. One-Year Subscription to Plenty Magazine, $12.00

If you want to secure someone’s position in the eco-loop, this ought to do it. They can look forward to getting the green scoop all year long from a source that practices what it preaches-Plenty offers digital versions of the magazine in addition to the print copy (which uses recycled paper), offsets their carbon footprint, and runs their website carbon neutral.

11. prAna Paisley Beanie, $23.95

A perfect gift for the season, this beanie is available in three colors (black, white and mustard) and features a simple, whimsical design. It’s also organic, and that’s a bonus when you consider having something processed with toxic chemicals snuggled so close to your head.

12. Plastic Bag Dryer, $17.95

Okay, so it may not be the gift to get your 16-year old nephew, but this is one of those things that people won’t be able to give up once they have it. Made from sustainably harvested wood, this device can hold up to eight bags as they dry (and one reusable water bottle!), making the most of those Zip-Locs for the sake of the environment and the wallet.

13. Jill Italiano Teardrop Earrings, $25.00

These earrings are likely to make regular appearances on the woman who receives them. They’re simple, elegant and multi-purpose (dinner, work and errand approved). Better yet they’re made by hand from recycled sterling silver.

14. One ton of carbon offset, $20.00

For the selfless person on your list who doesn’t need another something that will end up in a closet, carbon offsets are a cool and a do-good way to go. They’ll understand, more than anyone, why instead of contributing to the problem and adding more stuff to our holiday season, this way of combating climate change is a step toward a solution.

15. USBCell AA rechargeable batteries, $17.49

For the gadget gurus in your life that are always looking for a way to stay juiced, these make a perfect gift. These AA batteries can recharge in a few hours from any computer USB. Though they’re naturally pricier than disposable batteries, they can be used several hundreds of times and they’ll last several years so two for under $18 works out to a really sweet deal.

16. Oxfam Cooking Stove, $25.00

Since your gift recipient probably already has a stove, this one isn’t for them; rather, it’s from them to a displaced woman who will really benefit from the gift. It means Oxfam can give a portable fuel efficient stove to a woman who will then be able to use less firewood. And that means reducing deforestation and the time spent gathering fuel for the fire, which also means reducing the risk of violence to women who must venture into unsafe areas for firewood. At $25.00 it’s the cheapest stove you’ll ever purchase-but it’s probably also the one that will be appreciated the most.

17. Folding Recycling Bag Set, $15.00

Most of us are on board with recycling these days, but you can make the act easier on someone you know by getting them this set of industrial strength waterproof recycling bags, which are color coded and labeled for different items (paper, glass and cans). Velcro tabs allow the bags to be lined up for use and quickly removed to empty as needed. They’re especially helpful for apartment-dwellers who can’t store a whole bin and have to make trips down the hall or a long flight of stairs to take out the recycling.

18. Adopted Manatee, $25.00

We’re pretty confident that whoever you’re getting this for doesn’t already have one. And they’ll appreciate that they’re not actually getting one to look after at home (manatees eat for six hours a day!) but, instead, are adopting one of these endangered creatures who are at risk from pollution and boats, amongst other things. Your gift will also include an adoption certificate and photo, making this an especially big hit with kids; just get ready to pick out a name for the new sea-dwelling friend.

19. An Acre of Tropical Forest, $15.00

While we may think of the burning and clearing of tropical forests as a sad action that affects only those living thousands of miles away from us, the truth is that it causes more greenhouse gases than the world’s cars, trucks and planes combined. This donation to Conservation International helps fight climate change and works great for anyone you won’t be gift-giving in person to (just e-mail them the info) or anyone who wants to stop climate change-and that’s pretty much everyone.

20. No Enemy Organic Cotton Tee, $22.50

We like designers who are open about how exactly they’re green and No Enemy is a great example. This tee is made from 100% organic fiber, eco-friendly (and PVC-free) ink and features a simple, but stylish, graphic demonstrating peace rising out of conflict. You can get this for a few people on your list because fair trade, in our opinion, looks good on everyone.

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