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5 Gift Ideas That Will Satisfy the Soul, Nurture Mother Earth and Won’t Break the Bank

This time of year we are all looking for ways to save time and money so that we can spend those precious commodities on our friends and family. However, for a lot of us, there won’t be enough of either to satisfy everyone. So as we approach the season of gift giving, party attending and endless amounts of over eating, over spending and being overly tired, we offer these simple, fun and, best of all, eco-friendly gift options for those special people in your life.


A virtually waste-free gift and everyone’s favorite is the gift certificate to a restaurant, spa or retailer. This gift not only allows the giftee to purchase what she wants without the stigma of thoughtless cash but a gift certificate to a nail salon, masseuse, day spa or any other service helps other Americans stay employed. Image that! A gift that is sure to satisfy, is eco-friendly and keeps fellow Americans employed; is there anything better?

A baking extravaganza for the ages is a great way to show everyone on your list that you care. Baking is a fun activity to do solo, but can also lay the foundation for a new holiday tradition with a certain friend or family member. Additionally, you can make enough cookies, fudge and candy to give to everyone; bring a plate of cookies to the office, give a small tray to each of your friends or ship them to anyone around the globe for a taste of home. Even if your baking isn’t on par with Betty Crocker, the waste is biodegradable for carbon-free lifecycle.

Spend time with the one you love. Suggest to a close friend, significant other or family member that you spend the day together at a theme park, go to dinner or just go to happy hour together. This way, you can both stay within the confines of your respective budgets, you don’t have to participate in the awkward gift exchange and there is no garbage to throw away afterwards.

Regift! As long as you don’t regift to the same person or within the same social circle, there is no reason why that second toaster needs to sit in your garage any longer. This gift is of zero cost to you and it saves the refuse from a new gift from a landfill.

Got a friend or co-worker with a dreary office or cubicle? Add a little life to their work situation with a living plant or flower. It will give them something to take care of at work and can do wonders for a world surrounded by concrete. When the plant gets too big for a desk or workspace, it can be planted outside for everyone to enjoy.

So this holiday season, as you’re racking your brain for the perfect gift for everyone on your list, remember the true meaning of Christmas – giving thanks for your blessings. Christmas is not about how much “stuff” you get or how much it cost, but about the meaning behind it and its value as an expression how important someone is in your life. Making a scrapbook, cooking dinner or simply spending time together are gifts that anyone will appreciate.

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