Top 5 Last-Minute Green Gift Ideas To Buy Or Make

There are only four days left until Christmas. And if you (like me) have been too busy to find unique green gifts for all the loved ones on your list, you might be worried that you’re running out of time.

Don’t panic.

There’s no need to sacrifice your money and conscience by grabbing low-quality gifts at the nearest 24-hour big box store. If you can set aside an hour or two every night between now and the big day, you’ll have plenty of time to select heartfelt gifts that create almost no waste.

On the following pages, you’ll find some of my favorite last minute green gift ideas that can be purchased or made. Be sure to leave a comment sharing your best gift ideas for giving green when you’re pressed for time!

1. Car Sharing Membership

Zip Car NYC
If you really want to set your friends and family up for a carbon-free New Year, there’s nothing better than a car sharing membership. Members living in larger metropolitan areas can use Zipcar and peer-to-peer options like RelayRides and Getaround as an alternative to the costs and hassles of owning or renting a car. Who knows, by this time next year they might just give up their car altogether!

>>Up Next: Gifts That Give Back

2. Gifts That Give Back

Seedling Planted

There are lots of different charities and organizations looking for fundraising help at this time of year. Making a gift in the name of a loved one will help support their environmentally conscious goals while showing how much you care.

The Nature Conservancy has great options to give a gift membership, adopt an acre of rainforest in Costa Rica, or sponsor a coral reef. You can also adopt a rescued zoo or circus elephant at Tennessee’s The Elephant Sanctuary, or check out Mercy Corps , which provides aid and sustainable development to areas devastated by war or disasters.

Proactive gifts for the treehugger in your life can be found in Care2′s very own gift guide. You can adopt a wolf, protect a baby buffalo, plant a tree and more, as a gift to a loved one.

>>Up Next: DIY Glass Terrarium

Image Credit: Flickr – USFS
h/t to Daily Green

3. Upcycled Glass Terrarium

DIY Terrarium

Been looking for something to do with those spare glass jars in your cabinet? Glass terrariums are a great way to save your pennies but make a beautiful and heartfelt gift for your loved ones this holiday season. If you don’t have a collection of glass jars hiding in your closet, a quick trip to the thrift store is a sure way to find cheap glass vessels for this simple DIY gift idea. Check out the handy round-up of terrarium how-to guides on CrispGreen.

>>Up Next: Conscious Box

4. Conscious Box

Conscious Box

Conscious Box is a monthly service that seeks to introduce subscribers to the best businesses in the world. Each month they curate boxes filled with products that support healthy living, sustainability, social responsibility, and more conscious living. They connect our subscribers to businesses, both large and small, that are working to make a much-needed difference in the world. Conscious box is also very affordable, with 1, 3 and 6 month gift-subscription options.

>>Up Next: Beeswax Candles

5. Beeswax Candles

DIY Beeswax Candles

Crafting candles from beeswax instead of giving store-bought paraffin candles is a great gift idea, especially for loved ones who are sensitive to perfumes and fragrances, or have allergies. Beeswax candles also produce very little soot and burn much longer than traditional candles. Check out Insteading’s ideas for making beeswax candles two different ways.


Related Reading:

Cut the “Stuff” – Giving Gifts That Mean Something More

With Holiday Gifts, Less Can Be More

5 Ethical Places For Online Shopping During The Holidays

Image Credit: iStockphoto


William C
William C2 months ago


W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

DJ M2 years ago

thanks - we're doing donation gifts these days. the season is not about "getting stuff".

peggy p.
peggy p6 years ago

thanks for the ideas and reminders guys. our family has tried very hard to go back to making things the last few years. like sachets, footstools, clocks, etc. it's so much fun for all ages.

Maria T.
Maria T6 years ago


Maria T.
Maria T6 years ago

Wow the Glass Terrariums look cool. The beeswax candles kinda neat too.

Iona Kentwell
Iona Kentwell6 years ago

Fabric gift bags, home rolled candles, home made ginger bread and chocolate truffles and chickens, buckets, school supplies and trees through charities such as World Vision and Oxfam, we have our gifts sorted. I'm feeling positively virtuous! Yay!

Carole R.
Carole R6 years ago

Good ideas. Hurry up, everyone.

Barbara D.
Barbara DeFratis6 years ago

Yes, agreed, Thank you. However, I think that I am going to supplement my younger son's ( the 20 year old who lives on his own) with various gift cards. After all, he is one of the younger workers at his work place, which limits his hours.

Lindsey Williams
Lindsey Williams6 years ago

thank you.