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25 Great, Consumer-Less Gift Ideas

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

Read more: Green Gifts, Holidays, Holidays & Gifts, Life

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


+ add your own
12:17PM PST on Dec 21, 2012

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....)

12:06PM PST on Nov 24, 2012

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

10:35PM PDT on Jun 9, 2012


1:26PM PDT on May 1, 2012

wish this included some links with the ideas, but thanks

2:08AM PDT on Apr 7, 2012

Great Idea =)

9:56PM PST on Jan 28, 2012

Nice ideas. Thanks.

1:53AM PST on Dec 18, 2011

Nice ideas =)

8:36PM PST on Nov 27, 2011

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

12:38AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

Thanks for the article.

8:20AM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

good ideas here.
Thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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