In an effort to offset the sometimes crass commercialism of the Holiday season, I will take a look at gifts that, in one form or another, give a little back. If we put a some thought into our gift giving, we can present our loved ones with quality gifts and feel like we have done something to make our world a better place. These recommendations mostly fall into the category of EcoFriendly gifts, but some have charitable benefits beyond the environment.
EcoFriendly Gift Suggestions
The first ecofriendly gift is SodaStream, the at home sparkling beverage maker. I have written in detail about their products before in the article Wading Through A Sodastream, so I will only provide facts and highlights relating to its ecofriendly nature.
Commercial beverage bottle affects:
– Globally, 206 billion liters of bottled water were consumed in 2008 (Zenith International Global Bottled Water Report, 2008). The energy required to make water bottles, in the US alone, is equivalent to 17 million barrels of oil (Container Recycling Institute, 2002).
– According to the US Recycling Institute, more than 80% of bottles in the U.S. do not get recycled and end up in landfills.
– An estimated 4.7 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions were produced in the process of replacing the 134 billion bottles and cans not recycled (numbers from 2005).
Using SodaStream means:
– Less plastic manufactured, less waste created from cans & bottles.
– Less pollution caused by transport of bottled beverages.
– One SodaStream carbonator makes 60 or 110 liters and replaces respectively 170 or 310 aluminum cans.
– No batteries, no electricity, means no energy usage required.
– “Active Green” product, meaning consumers are actively reducing their CO2 footprint every time they make soda or sparkling water at home.
– Healthier, safer beverages for your family.
If your family loves sparkling beverages, the SodaStream will greatly reduce your carbon footprint and allow you to serve your family healthier, safer beverages.
GreenPan Non-Stick Pans
A kitchen centric ecofriendly gift is GreenPan non-stick pans, from a company who tries to produce products as responsibly as possible. You can read a detailed review of the GreenPan Performance at GreenPan NonStick of Tomorrow
How are these pans an Ecofriendly gift?
– Made with Thermolon™ non-stick technology, a natural, non-stick mineral-based coating.
– No potentially dangerous chemicals inside: it’s completely PTFE-free and contains no silicone oil.
– Manufactured without PFOA and applied in an environmentally friendly way.
– Heat resistant up to high temperatures. If you accidentally overheat your pan, even up to 450°C/850°F, no toxic fumes will be released and the coating will not blister or peel.
– GreenPan products are cadmium and lead-free.
– 60% less CO2 is emitted during the curing phase of production of Thermolon™ coatings, compared to the emissions during the curing phase of production of traditional coatings on an aggregate level worldwide.
– Incorporates used materials in the manufacturing process to prevent waste: uses upcycled stainless steel for handles and upcycled aluminum for cookware bodies.
The toughness and durability of GreenPan means less waste created by minimizing the need to replace worn non-stick pans. As of this writing, aside from traditional cast iron pans, you won’t find a more ecofriendly non-stick pan.
Uncommon Goods Recycled Gifts
Our next ecofriendly gift suggestion is actually recycling in action – repurposed materials made into fun new products. A website called Uncommon Goods has a very wide selection of recycled gifts.
UncommonGoods strives to work in harmony with the environment; they print catalogs on recycled paper (30% post consumer waste) and all merchandise is produced without harm to animals.
They donate a portion of each order to your choice of 4 non-profit organizations: American Forests, Women for Women International, City Harvest, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
Products marked with the green recycled icon throughout the website indicate they are made of recycled materials. These “new” products are made from materials as varied as bike chains, old bottles, record albums and cardboard.
Affordable Gifts That Give Back
This last segment of holiday gift suggestions comes from Epicurious.com who published a slideshow on their website of 8 do-good charitable food gifts under $30 that included beer, chocolate, and dinnerware.
This excellent list put together by Carla Prieto exhorted us to “… give your food-loving friends and family tasty gifts that give back to the community and the environment. There’s a bit of everything in our charitable gifts guide, from coffee to cookies—even water buffalo! (Really! We’ll explain…) And best of all, our picks are wallet-friendly and earth-friendly, since each one helps you do a little bit of good for less than $30.”
Read More at –
The Amazon links are part of a commission earning partnership, but Farberware, Uncommon Goods and Epicurious do not provide any material or financial compensation.