Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Greener Holiday Gifts

By Archive, December 12, 2007  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Archive
Interested in adding an eco-friendly spin to your gifts this season? In a comment to this blog, Lela suggested assembling green kits to give as Christmas gifts. Here’s her plan: "They’ll include organic treats, samples of eco-friendly cleaning products and fair-trade cotton socks among other goodies. Instead of wrapping the kits, I got some brightly colored reusable grocery bags to put them in. I thought this was a fun way to introduce my family to the green culture and they’ll be able to use everything they’re given." Check out yahoo!’s Green Holiday Gift Guide for ideas for everyone on your list and send us your ideas for putting together green holiday gifts.
Category: Green Action




Cynthia says ...
My favorite green gift this year comes to us from www.ecoist.com. It is a set of 5 reusable shopping bags called Envirosax. They come in awesome designs and colors. They fold up easily and are stored in their own pouch. Make any purchase from the Ecoist website and they will plant a tree.
12/13/2007 6:25:56 AM CST
sue brent says ...
Growing up in Australia we used pillow cases to put presents in. Just like wrapping paper there are so many to choose from. It is a way to save paper and it saves on time, plus the receiver of the gift gets a nice new pillowcase.
12/13/2007 8:03:09 AM CST
Amanda T. says ...
I have recently become excited about gift certificates/card. I started thinking about this when a good friend of mine was having financial difficulties. I would give her Whole Foods gift cards for her birthday, the holidays, etc. At first it seemed so impersonal but then I realized how much she was touched by my understanding of her situation. To give her some trinket may have shown that I care but I didn't help her in her day to day life. Why not give a gift that does both? Other friends began expressing their excitement about receiving gift cards. And then I became hooked myself as my own birthday passed and some generous soul gave me my own gift card. The knick-knacks, the trinkets, the other items that friends and family had picked out for me were much appreciated but often hit-or-miss. They were often things that I really didn't need. It seemed wasteful on so many levels..my family/friends had put so much effort into selecting a gift only to have it sit on a shelf indefinitely..of course I appreciated it but the next time it moves off the shelf is going to be onto the yard sale table. Of course I feel bad about putting the ice cream maker that Aunt Fran for sale but honestly, I won't use it for lack of time and interest. Gift cards allow the recipient to buy whatever she/he desires or need thus reducing the purchase of not needed items. The gift wrapping and packaging of gift cards is also minimal which means less in the trash or recycle bin! I was originally wrong that gift cards are impersonal..they are one of the most thoughtful gifts money can buy! And their minimal impact upon the environment by keeping unnecessary items from being purchased in the first place to their minimalist packaging makes them one of the greenest gifts I will purchase this year for family and friends. Giving my loved ones the gift of consideration while protecting the environment at the same time is one of the most personal things I could possibly achieve this season!
12/13/2007 8:32:33 AM CST
Neelima Singh says ...
Hey Guys, I appreciate the idea of green bag as a Christmas gift but I thought of adding something more to your green bag....your paper bags are great....I love to use them for grocery or any shopping...plus you could add something for kids so they have a reason to be excited about like yr thanksgiving children's pencil box kit was great. Just a suggestion....thanks.
12/13/2007 1:45:00 PM CST
Sonia says ...
This year we will be giving live cacao and/or citrus trees to our friends who live locally. We could not do that with our mainland family as we can't send plants, but 5 people who are on our local gift giving list will receive cacao or citrus trees. The same thing could be done anywhere you live. Choose a fruit or nut tree that will produce in your area and give as gifts to your family and friends. They will be the gift that keeps on giving!
12/13/2007 7:34:09 PM CST
Donna says ...
I'm very excited about something I bought last Christmas with money I got as a gift. It's a set of food storage containers from The Sharper Image ("FresherLonger Miracle Food Storage"). As advertised, the containers actually DO keep food much fresher and much longer than regular containers do ... and I've pretty much tried them all! There isn't much that I hate more than throwing out food, so these containers "make my day!"
12/14/2007 12:54:46 PM CST
Helen Mowry says ...
Our son and his girlfriend started a fine tradition this year with the idea of giving "green" gifts. Their gift idea was changing out all of the incandescent bulbs in our home with energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. For Christmas, we are giving them a hand-knitted and felted 100% wool "Recycle-It" green-earth grocery bag, pattern designed by Noni (see website link). It is sturdy, water resistant and naturally insulating. It was fun to knit and felt, it came out just as you see it in the picture, and I know they will love it. In future years, our family will enjoy coming up with new ways to give gifts that are earth-friendly.
12/14/2007 6:18:17 PM CST
Tatiana says ...
Attempting to eat locally in December is a bit tricky... if you didn't plan for it in the summer. Eating locally is important, but in most parts of the United States, eating fresh local foods in the winter uses more energy than eating fresh foods that are shipped from other parts of the world. Suprising, right? The fact is that the most care-ful and kind way to eat is not just locally, but seasonally. This means eating foods that can be grown according to the natural climate in your particular area. For midwesterners like me, that means strawberries in June, tomatoes from June to the first frost in October, and stored roots, squash, and potatoes in the late fall and winter. But for any of you getting on the local-eating kick now, no need to be discouraged! It is a great time to do some reading and planning for next year's harvest season. Pick up a couple of gardening books and learn about seasonal vegetables in your region. Then investigate local farmer's markets, community gardens, or your own back yard. Seed catalogs from Seed Savers Exchange and Seeds of Change (two great seed-saving organizations committed to preserving bio-diversity and restoring the health of the land) are released in late December/early January so you can get a head-start on planning crop varieties and starting seeds! Do not be deceived, friends - eating local is not simply a harvest-season pastime, it's something to celebrate 365 days a year (yes, even in six inches of snow)!
12/16/2007 11:51:19 AM CST
Jeanne Delagardelle says ...
I work in an office where alot of holiday greeting cards are received this time of year. When the holidays are over, I pull the cards down and cut the graphic -- picture or drawing -- off of the card. I save at least 100 of them for my own use the next year. I just decorate a plain brown paper bag with the recycled holiday cards. Hopefully someday soon I won't be able to do this because all holiday greetings will be electronic. But until this happens I'm happy to reuse these lovely pictures and scenes.
12/17/2007 3:20:05 PM CST
Carol says ...
Use Gentle Cleaning Products. I resolve to buy only 'Green' cleansers in 2008.I am going to totally avoid using damaging ammonia, chlorine, or petro-based chemicals. All the aforementioned can lead to headaches, and/or respiratory irritation. Many ordinary household products can be used for cleaning: baking soda, white vinegar and lemon juice to name a few.
01/03/2008 10:02:15 AM CST
Carol says ...
Use Gentle Cleaning Products. I resolve to buy only ‘Green’ cleansers in 2008.I am going to totally avoid using damaging ammonia, chlorine, or petro-based chemicals. All the aforementioned can lead to headaches, and/or respiratory irritation. Many ordinary household products can be used for cleaning: baking soda, white vinegar and lemon juice to name a few.
01/03/2008 10:07:37 AM CST
HoteisFlorianopolis says ...
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08/12/2012 12:22:23 AM CDT
Karen says ...
I am looking to find the brand of cotton crew socks that you used to carry. Love those socks, and cannot find them anywhere now. If you know the brand, I could do a web search for them. Thanks.
07/26/2014 7:01:29 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@KAREN - Our exact product options differ between stores. Check with your local store to see what the brand was that they carried.
07/28/2014 11:23:50 AM CDT