25 Great, Consumer-Less Gift Ideas

One of the very best things we can do for the Earth is simply to preserve natural resources by consuming less, but this does not mean that we must forgo gift giving.

Here are some wonderful, simple gift ideas that help to sustain the Earth, an act of friendship toward all living things, not just the single recipient of the gift.

Giving experiences you can share, rather than material goods, saves resources. And you can also simply give a gift of yourself. The key to giving a gift of yourself is to know the wants and needs of the person to whom you are giving the gift. Equally important, don’t underestimate your own special skills and talents. One valuable aspect of giving a gift of yourself is that it is the perfect solution for those who “have everything.”

Give a Gift of Yourself or Your Time

  • Make homemade bread and deliver it every week for a month
  • Collect family recipes and compile in a wooden recipe box
  • Make one dinner a week for a month that you deliver
  • Offer baby-sitting time
  • Offer a monthly lunch date with an elderly relative or friend
  • Offer free lessons in a sport in which you excel
  • Weed a friend’s garden
  • Offer your talents, such as photography, financial planing, or hairstyling
  • Offer yourself as a willing cheerful worker for a day
  • Put together a photo album
  • Make a video of people the gift recipient loves
  • Offer to do a chore for a month that a family member dislikes

Give a Green Gift that Isn’t a Thing

  • Give tickets—to concerts, sporting events, whale watching trips, etc.
  • Give a pair of weekend tickets to a ski area
  • Giive frequent flyer miles
  • Give a museum pass or membership
  • Give an experience (a day kayaking)
  • Provide a gift certificate for a lesson (tennis, swimming, drums, for example)
  • Provide a gift certificate for a dinner for two
  • Donate something in the name of a friend or relative, in a subject area of interest to them (such as for Literacy Training, or to protect the Rainforest)
  • Give a gift certificate to a used book store
  • Give a plant or a tree

Give a Gift for the Earth
Giving a membership to a non-profit organization that does hands-on work to protect a part of the Earth’s ecosystem is giving a gift that gives a gift. Not only do you enrich the life of the person to whom you give the gift, but you help organizations that are trying to make a difference.

Last-Minute, Non-Material Gift Ideas
Charitable Giving: 35 Ways to Give Back
Give Experiences, Not More Stuff

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Anne F.
Anne F.2 years ago

Sorry - I don't think that a lift pass for downhill skiing is a very green experience (now if you had suggested a cabin reservation for a cabin to snowshoe to....)

Jude Hand
Judith Hand3 years ago

Love these ideas; got me started thinking....

Angela N.
Angela N.3 years ago


Jessie Dijkstra
Jessie Dijkstra3 years ago

wish this included some links with the ideas, but thanks

Wen Ping
Lea Thng3 years ago

Great Idea =)

Zana Zatanique
Jan Alexanian3 years ago

Nice ideas. Thanks.

Lynn H.
Lynn H.3 years ago

Nice ideas =)

Carol Y.
Carol Y.4 years ago

Great ideas for kids to use as gifts to their family members.