Give a Green Gift

Dump truck made from an old milk carton. Image: Green Toys
The consumer craze of post-Thanksgiving product purchasing has begun. Hanukah celebrators light their first candles in a little more than 48 hours, and though a few more hours must pass before Christmas, now’s as good a time as any to consider what gifts to give.
Last year, we told you about adopting a jaguar and charitable donations in lieu of actual hold-in-hand presents. We also gave you some last-minute ideas for bird loversBelow, four of the more creative green gift ideas we’ve come across so far this holiday season. Check back in the next few weeks for more gifts that won’t hurt the planet.
Carbon Credits

Certificate given to someone who purchases carbon credits. Image: Adirondack Council
Looking for something to give the eco-pal who has everything? Why not wipe away her carbon footprint for the year? The not-for-profit Adirondack Council offers just that, by way of its ‘Carbon Zero’ holiday gift. “At [quarterly carbon dioxide] auctions, power plants from Maine to Maryland compete to buy one government-issued ‘allowance’ for each ton of carbon they release into the air each year. We complete against them and buy up as many as we can,” says Brian L. Houseal, Adirondack Council’s executive director. “We then remove the allowances from circulation so they can never be used to create greenhouse gas pollution.” Twenty-five dollars retires about three tons of carbon emissions. Click here for details or to purchase.
Bottle Makeover

Goblets made from reclaimed wine bottles. Image: The Green Glass Company
Glass is loads better than plastic when it comes to bottles, as long as the glass eventually gets recycled. The Green Glass Company got creative here, reclaiming old bottles and turning them into vases, water glasses, votive candle holders, and much more. They’re beautiful containers that give new meaning to the term “recycled.” My personal favorites are the goblets made from old green Bordeaux bottles. (I must not be alone there, since several of these models are out of stock.) The pitchers are pretty cool, too. 
From Milk to Toys

Tea set made from recycled plastic. Image: Green Toys
If you have a kid to shop for, consider something from Green Toys, like it’s 100% recycled plastic dump truck (above) made from an old milk carton. With these toys, the company’s founders wanted “to provide consumers with an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastic toys while making an effort to improve and preserve the world around us.” For the budding cook, there’s a chef set; for the little host or hostess, a cookware and dining set. Both are made from milk cartons, without BPA, and align with the FDA’s food contact standards.
Record Come Back           

Bowl made from an old record.
Image: Jeff Davis, Vinylux
Vinyls are back, but not for music listening this time. Rather, Vinylux is reincarnating them as coasters, clocks, and mirrors, among other products. Love that 45 but ditched the player ages ago? Be reminded of your musical love affair with a container made from your favorite album. “Each bowl is created from a single record, which has been molded in to a vessel form,” states the Vinylux website. Dont have one to send in? Choose a record from a dozen musical genres the company offers, including rock, blues, disco, show tunes, and classical.

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