Spoil your lover with presents from our eco-friendly Valentine’s Day gift guide

February 11, 2019 by  
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Valentine’s Day can mean bouquets of cut flowers, chocolate wrapped in cellophane and a cardboard box, a trail of paper cards, gifts jazzed up with polyester bows and maybe even a bottle of wine with a plastic stopper. However, that’s all been done a million times before, and in the age of climate change , it’s time to start thinking outside the box and give your Valentine an intimate, eco-friendly day. This year, start some new traditions with this eco-friendly Valentine’s gift guide. Not all of these Valentine’s gift ideas might be considered traditional, but they are creative, fun and romantic. These are great ways to let your Valentine — and the planet — know that you love them. Fresh and local flowers Cut flowers are often grown in production greenhouses, covered in chemicals and imported from thousands of miles away via cargo planes and gas-guzzling refrigerated trucks. Then, after a few days, they make their way to the trash and eventually end up in a landfill, where they will emit methane as they decay. If your Valentine loves flowers , there are alternatives to conventional cut flowers that are much more environmentally friendly. Websites like bouqs.com sell flower bouquets that are cut to order on eco-friendly farms and designed by local florists. You can also find local growers who are selling in-season flowers at localharvest.org . Another unique option is to buy seeds and a beautiful pot (you can get great ideas at rareseeds.com ), plant them together as a couple and watch them grow (like your love!). You could also visit your local botanical garden together and take a romantic stroll. Fair-trade chocolates Mass-produced chocolate from global companies is often made from cacao that is bought “blind” from importers and brokers that could be using forced child labor. Some cacao farming is also putting wildlife at risk. But  fair-trade chocolate comes from small-scale farm co-ops, where farmers own their own land and invest in their communities. The chocolate is traceable, cuts out the middleman and focuses on quality. You can find fair-trade chocolate at sites like Askinosie , Nuubia  and Dagoba . Jewelry You can find beautiful, conflict-free diamonds and recycled precious metals (wrapped in green packaging) at Brilliant Earth . You can also opt for eco-friendly artistic pieces from around the world at sites like Novica and Ten Thousand Villages . Related: 9 ways to have an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day Packed With Purpose This site wants your gifts to have an impact , and it does this by selling high-quality products from “Purposeful Purveyors” — companies that make their employees, communities and the environment top priorities. You can find gift boxes filled with chocolate and nuts, tea, crackers and biscotti or soy candles and artisanal soaps. Natural perfumes or colognes Natural, sustainable perfumes and colognes make perfect Valentine’s gifts. There are plenty of places you can go to find the right scent for your loved one. Sana Jardin is a socially-conscious company that offers luxury fragrances while focusing on sustainability. Clean Reserve manufactures its field-to-fragrance products in a solar-powered factory, and Floral Street uses biodegradable paper packaging that can be repurposed as a seed tray. Cozy organic robes You can’t go wrong with eco-friendly clothing. Of course, clothes might not be the most important part of Valentine’s Day (wink, wink), but a cozy, organic robe could be a great gift. Sorella Organics sells robes, loungewear and sleepwear made from certified organic and fair-trade cotton. Not only will your skin love these products, but so will the environment. For something sexy underneath, you can visit Hanky Panky and find intimate apparel made from organic cotton that is also free of toxic chemicals. The company uses high-quality fabrics to avoid synthetic fiber pollution. It doesn’t use fur, feathers or leather because animal welfare is a priority, and it recycles and repurposes its textile waste. Bath accessories Your organic robe will feel even better after enjoying a romantic bath or shower using luxurious eco-friendly soaps and candles. Heart & Arrow uses a sustainable process to make soaps and candles, plus it uses minimal packaging and makes charitable giving a top priority. You can also turn your bathroom into a spa with sustainable bamboo bath caddies from sites like Royal Craft Wood and sustainable skincare from Lather or milk + honey . Royal Craft Wood specializes in affordable, sustainable, high-quality products made by skilled artists. Lather is a wellness brand that sells natural products that are never tested on animals, and milk + honey uses clean, plant-based ingredients. Romantic, eco-friendly activities Going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day can often mean fighting for a reservation at an over-crowded restaurant. That’s not the most romantic way to spend your time, not to mention the food waste . Instead, consider eco-friendly romantic activities like taking a cooking class for two, visiting a local art gallery, adopting a pet at a local animal shelter, enjoying a picnic in the park, scheduling a wine tasting at a local winery, hiring a personal chef for the evening, cooking a special dinner together or relaxing with a couple’s massage. Images via Annie Spratt , Conger Design , Luisella Planeta Leoni , Packed With Purpose , Silvia Rita , StockSnap , Holger Link , James Riess and RawPixel

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Spoil your lover with presents from our eco-friendly Valentine’s Day gift guide

This Australian property was redesigned with a sustainable, lush garden

February 11, 2019 by  
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The Shoreham House in Victoria, Australia was designed in the early 2000’s, but was in need of an update to the overall structure and gardens. The new architects wanted to update the home with sustainability in mind while respecting the original designers and builders. According to Tim Spicer Architects, “The renovation and addition needed a sensitive, well considered approach to create unity between the old and the new, without the obvious signature of new Architects. The design intent was to update what was already a beautiful house, yet make it feel like it had been built at the same time.” The new landscape takes full advantage of the lush surroundings, something that went slightly overlooked in the original design. It utilizes a deep water bore to provide water to the gardens, rather than using the local town water to irrigate. The 50-meter bore has the power to provide the landscape with 20,000 liters of water in a day. In addition to the sustainable garden, the architects also replaced the old halogen lighting in the house with new LED lighting, which is more energy efficient and longer-lasting. The new hot water system is solar-powered, and the windows have new Low-E coating which works to minimize the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light without losing visibility. They also installed new eco-friendly high R-value insulation and a new ducted combustion fireplace to make the structure more energy efficient overall. Related: A midcentury warehouse becomes a vibrant office for creatives Designers faced the difficult task of connecting the new guest wing to the master area without compromising privacy. As a result, they created a whole new staircase leading from the dining room and past the master staircase. The project was a challenging feat for the builders who used hand tools to blast through the bedrock under the house in order to construct the second staircase. To connect the master and newly-designed guest wings, the architects created a glazed bridge walkway, make-shifting a courtyard garden area with new meandering paths and green spaces. The house now has new large windows and glazed doors that allow for beautiful, sweeping views of the gardens from the inside. In the original house, the master area deck already had views of the ocean . With the intent of making the view more accessible to guests, the architects installed a “slow stair” between the master deck and ground floor courtyard. Via Archdaily Images via Tim Spicer Architects

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This Australian property was redesigned with a sustainable, lush garden

A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for family

December 11, 2018 by  
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When it comes to family, we want to offer the best of the best. The smartest way to gift high-quality gifts to your loved ones is by shopping sustainably. Eco-friendly products (and experiences) are made with love and care for people and the planet. Here are some of our top picks for everyone in your family. For mom: Eco-friendly yoga mats Mom deserves some ‘me’ time. Whether she is an avid yogi or is just getting started, this plant-based yoga mat is made with cork . It’s also free of harsh chemicals, antibacterial and odor-free. The cork is sustainable and helps provide a stronger grip. Hobby classes Does your mom love to cook? Maybe she could spend hours making pottery , or perhaps she enjoys painting. No matter her preferences, buy a pass or certificate for classes that interest her. This is a thoughtful gift of experience, which will leave her with lovely memories for years to come. Sweaters Who doesn’t love a snuggly sweater? We love the various options from Patagonia — the company is a champion for the environment, plus their products are built to last whether Mom likes to sit on the couch in her sweater or explore the great outdoors. Sustainable jewelry Add a little extra bling to your mom’s envy-inducing jewelry box with eco-friendly, ethical accessories. There are many beautiful, unique options from 31Bits , which works with women artisans in Uganda, Indonesia and the U.S. to provide fair working conditions and wages as well as healthcare, mentorship, counseling and more. For dad: Organic skincare There is no better way to show your love for someone than by giving them the gift of healthy skin. Whether it is something to moisturize the rough patches under a beard, something to soothe cracked knuckles or a myriad of products, gift Dad with organic skincare that will allow him to pamper himself daily. We love this line , which is made from recycled coffee grounds and only uses plant-based packaging. Watches Adorn Dad’s wrist with a new watch that will keep him punctual and stylish. Be sure to choose a brand with the environment in mind, like WeWood . WeWood offers wood watches free of toxic, artificial materials. Plus, WeWood plants a tree for each watch sold, and these wooden watches are sure to stand out among a sea of their metallic counterparts. Related: Inhabitat test drives a gorgeous WeWood watch Wool shirts Wool is incredibly durable with the ability to withstand the coldest of temperatures and wick away moisture with ease. Add a sleek wool shirt to Dad’s closet with options like Ramblers Way , a family-owned business in the U.S. that is dedicated to respecting the sheep, the environment and the people. The company uses 100 percent wool and donates time and money to local causes ranging from environmental conservation to human need to arts and education. Vegan or recycled leather jackets The jokes might be lame, but Dad can at least look cool in an environmentally responsible leather jacket. There are many vegan options on the market, or you can embrace reuse with a jacked from Better World Fashion . These jackets are made from recycled leather and the buttons are made with recycled metal. The certified B corp also relies on responsible production methods, uses zero water or chemicals and creates zero waste. For siblings: Eco-friendly subscription boxes Subscription boxes are the gift that keeps on giving, but it is important to find ones that advocate for the environment. Surprise your siblings month after month with a subscription to companies like the Bloomin’ Bin , Feeling Fab , KloverBox , MightyFix  and more. Everlane clothing With a commitment to ethical, sustainable fashion, Everlane offers eco-friendly unisex clothing, shoes and accessories that are sure to please. Be sure to browse the ReNew collection , which offers puffer coats, pullover sweaters and parkas all made from recycled water bottles. Zero-waste kit Help your siblings lower their carbon footprints (truly the best gift of all) by gifting them a zero-waste kit. Specifically, we recommend the {Zero} Waste Kit , which includes a glass jar with a leak-proof, organic bamboo lid; a sustainable cork sleeve for mugs; a reusable, ethically-sourced bamboo dual utensil; a stainless steel straw with an eco-friendly cleaner; a napkin made from upcycled fabric scraps; a knife with a ceramic blade and a bamboo handle; and organic cotton produce bags. Whew! That’s a lot of bang for your buck, and everything your loved ones could need to really embrace the zero-waste lifestyle. Indoor garden With a snappy indoor garden , your siblings can grow their very own food for weeks, months and years to come. We love Click + Grow , which is energy-efficient, small space-friendly and easy to use. In our own tests, we had sprouts from seed in just two days! It’s a great gift for those who would love to grow their own food, but might not have a lot of time or space to do so. For grandparents: Natural candles Nothing beats visiting your grandparents and taking in the comforting scents that fill their home (especially if they love to bake!). Add to the aroma with natural candles. Standard, store-bought candles can be toxic, so be sure to find sustainable candles made from responsibly sourced soy, coconut or palm wax. Also, ensure the wick is lead-free and made with cotton. Check Etsy for a wide range of handmade, eco-friendly candles. Related: Making soy candles for the holidays Birdhouses We all get a bit of joy from hearing birds chirp and watching as they soar above us. Gift this joy to Grandma and Grandpa by giving them a beautiful, handcrafted birdhouse that will spruce up their yard and bring cheerful birds around each day. Reading subscriptions Another gift that continues long after the holidays are over, a subscription for books, magazines or newspapers are an excellent present for grandparents who love to read. If they are open to going digital, it’ll save paper — otherwise, encourage them to recycle or upcycle the products when they have finished them! Choose their favorite media and topics, or introduce them to some reading that focuses on sustainability. Family photos Most grandparents would love to receive pictures of their family to place around their homes. Have your images printed with eco-friendly ink on sustainable paper , and then frame it in reclaimed wood or recycled materials. If you really want to go all out, organize a photoshoot with the whole family, and then frame those photos for a sweet sentiment. Images via George Dolgikh , Urbivore , Cally Lawson , Rocknwool , Artem Bali , Grums Aarhus , Ramblers Way , Franklin Heijnen , Kloverbox , Everlane , Alex Mortensen / {Zero} Waste Kit , Click + Grow , Joanna Kosinska , Nora Vellinga , Jonas Jacobsson , Shutterstock and Inhabitat

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A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for family

A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for travelers

December 10, 2018 by  
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For those who will be traveling far and wide in the new year, make sure their journeys are eco-friendly with an array of green gifts that will take them to the beaches, the forests or the mountaintops. Here are some of our favorite picks for those who enjoy living a nomadic lifestyle. Transit tickets to a nearby destination It’s no secret that air travel has a massive carbon footprint . To scratch the travel bug itch, gift loved ones with tickets for more sustainable forms of transportation to local destinations. Check out bike-shares, trains, buses or other public transit options to an exciting or interesting place. Airbnb stays The sharing economy has been thrust into the spotlight thanks to services like Airbnb . With thousands of incredible homestays, this makes a great gift for the explorers in your life. Check out cabins, tiny homes and more . Hammocks Give your favorite explorer a hammock, so they can relax or nap wherever the road takes them! These Yellow Leaf Hammocks are handcrafted by artisan weavers, so your purchase supports these workers and their families. There are 100 percent cotton options available, and all of these hammocks are weather-proof and resistant to fading. Solar-powered charger Even if your gift recipient loves to go off the grid, cellphones can be important to have on hand in times of emergencies. A solar-powered charger is great for camping, hiking or traveling, and this option even has a built-in LED flashlight. Journals Whether they want to write about or sketch their adventures, your loved ones will adore this handmade journal to accompany and record their journeys. The journal is ethically crafted from Lokta paper (a tree-free, renewable resource) and protected with a durable felt cover and a leather belt or cloth tie. Explore Local Box Created by a kindred traveling spirit, the Explore Local Box is an excellent subscription service for the adventurers in your life. Each month, the company chooses a city (one that the team has explored previously) and fills a box with locally made goods from that area. You’ll find art, household items, food and more each month. It’s a gift that keeps on giving! Backpacks Hiking, camping and, of course, backpacking are nearly impossible to do without a sturdy, reliable backpack to carry one’s necessities. Osprey offers backpacks for every type of explorer, and each bag has plenty of storage space and functional features to make them comfortable and efficient. Plus, these backpacks are built to last (the company will gladly repair any of its products, no matter the purchase date) — a feature we love. Hydro Flask Staying hydrated is crucial to a successful journey, which is why a Hydro Flask is the perfect gift for globetrotters. The company offers a variety of drink receptacles, from water bottles that attach to backpacks to coffee mugs, wine carriers and more. Each container comes in a variety of colors, or customize one for an extra special present. Related: Get ready for an adventure with this ultimate checklist of backpacking essentials Boots A trusty pair of boots can take you through miles and miles of mountains, hills, deserts, forests and more. Whether your recipient is scaling a mountain or shuffling through the snow in the driveway, these boots by KEEN will take them far. Plus, KEEN loves to give back and is on a mission to hit zero-waste at its headquarters. Tree tents Take an explorer to new heights with a tent that lets them sleep among the treetops. We’ve mentioned our love for Tentsile’s tree tents time and time again , and we also appreciate that the company plants trees to promote healthy forests. You can also check out Tree Tents , a U.K.-based company that offers prefab glamping pods that are locally and responsibly sourced. This company also proudly partners with communities to plant trees. Visit.org experiences For a gift that takes travelers off the beaten path, check out Visit.org . This website offers a wide array of experiences around the world that range from yoga classes in NYC to artisan workshops in Peru to community tree planting events in South Africa. Each experience aids an important cause, and you can even search by location or type of cause. Images via Simon Migaj , Jack Anstey , Airbnb , Yellow Leaf Hammocks , Etsy , Explore Local Box , Adrian , KEEN , Tentsile , Lukas Budimaier  and Shutterstock

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A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for travelers

A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for foodies

December 7, 2018 by  
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Food is an important aspect of our daily lives, but many of the treats we love are wrapped in single-use plastics or come from pesticide-ridden conventional farms . This year, show the foodies in your life how much you care with sustainable gifts that improve their cooking skills and make the planet a better place to live. Stainless steel straws After reviewing several types of reusable straws, we fell in love with the stainless steel variety. As the war on plastic straws wages on, give everyone you know a pack of stainless steel straws to keep on them anywhere they go. Related: Plastic straws are a thing of the past, but which reusable straw is the best for the future? Yogurt maker Many people love yogurt, but the individually packaged options on the market only contribute to the global waste crisis. Instead, create your own flavor combinations in reusable glass jars using this handy yogurt maker . Make yogurt-making part of your weekly routine, and you’ll see it is as easy as “set it and forget it.” Stasher bags Although quite wasteful, you have to admit that plastic, resealable baggies are incredibly handy for storing extra food and other miscellaneous items. Luckily, Stasher has taken this idea and made it even more useful and sustainable. These reusable , resealable bags are made with BPA-free silicone and can be boiled, frozen, baked in the oven, microwaved and more. They last much longer than their single-use counterparts, but when they reach the end of their life, Stasher will recycle them into playground pebbles. Beeswax food wrap Avid cooks and bakers can find many uses for plastic wrap, but unfortunately, it is a single-use item that goes straight to the landfill. Gift your favorite foodies these reusable food wraps made using beeswax. These are a natural, zero-waste alternative to plastic wrap, and they come in an adorable pattern for wrapping sandwiches, leftover produce, cheeses and more. Reusable water bottles If you’re friends or family still haven’t converted to carrying reusable water bottles over plastic, it’s time to make the change. With a wide variety of colors and patterns, these S’well bottles make a great gift for everyone on your list. CSA subscriptions For the most serious foodies, nothing is better than cooking with fresh, local produce . Get in touch with farmers in your gift recipient’s area to set up a CSA subscription, which will deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to your loved one’s door. Start your search here . Fair trade chocolate Chocolate always makes a great gift, but make sure your present is being harvested ethically and sustainably. Check out some of these brands to add to stockings this year. Metal tea strainer A hot cup of tea soothes the soul… or at least warms you up during these cold, chilly days. Put together a cute and functional gift for every foodie you know with a mug, some local and organic tea (packaged sustainably, of course!) and one of these metal tea strainers , which eliminate the need for single-use tea packets. Images via Amazon ,  Stasher , Abeego , S’well , Jill Wellington , Nawalescape , Drew Coffman , Pexels and Shutterstock

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A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for foodies

18 Eco Friendly Father’s Day Gift Ideas

June 14, 2016 by  
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Father’s Day is just around the corner, and it is time to start thinking about what you want to give Dad to tell him how loved and valued he is. Choosing a gift that is eco friendly is not only thoughtful for Dad, but it is thoughtful for the…

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18 Eco Friendly Father’s Day Gift Ideas

14 Beautiful Handcrafted Gifts for Eco-Friendly People

December 4, 2013 by  
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In the old days we all used to put time and effort into making special gifts for the people we love, that is before the world changed and left most of us with little time to spare. Luckily there are still artisans who make their living crafting beautiful, meaningful gifts , so we have collected 14 really neat, special handcrafted gifts that are suitable for all kinds of people on your holiday list. We’ve got sweet brazil nut candles from Peru, hand-knitted fingerless gloves for friends and family who like to use their hands, an adorable dandelion necklace in a small glass orb , a hand-carved wooden tea strainer , and several other one-of-a-kind gifts that will thrill the eco-friendly people in your life. GREEN HANDCRAFTED GIFTS > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: brazil nut candles , buriti palm clutch handbag , candy cane soap , christmas gifts , claybean cooking pot , earth-friendly gifts , eco presents , eco-gifts , ecobota honeysuckle pressed botanical art , gift guide , green gift guide , green gifts , green holidays , green office , green presents , green splat bamboo wall clock , green xmas , handcrafted afghan soap , handcrafted moroccan plate , holiday gift guide , holidays , ikat decorative pillow case , manchoro wood drum , nkuringo wishing basket , presents , scalloped paper lantern , spiral recycled plastic holder , twig terrariums , xmas gifts        

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14 Beautiful Handcrafted Gifts for Eco-Friendly People

14 Green Gifts for Big Kids

December 3, 2013 by  
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Even the greenest kids want gift action during the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy them junk from Walmart. We’ve collected a list of 14 green gifts that will cheer up your kid without being totally detrimental to the environment, and they might learn something at the same time. From this cool root vue farm that provides a fun food-growing experience to a kit that allows you kids to turn just about any recycled paper into fun beads and wildflower seed bombs for the budding guerrilla gardner, our guide has ideas for kids with all kinds of interests. GREEN GIFTS FOR BIG KIDS > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Aqua farm , aquaponic farm for kids , Bird Habitat Garden , Butterfly kit , Charlotte’s Web , children’s books , christmas gifts , Cubebot , earth-friendly gifts , eco gifts for kids , eco presents , eco-blocks for kids , eco-gifts , farming kits for kids , Fuel Car Car Science Kit , Fuel Car Kit for Kids , gift guide , gifts for guerrilla gardeners , gifts for kids , Glob Paint Kit , green building blocks , green gift guide , green gifts , green gifts for big kids , Green gifts for kids , green holidays , green office , green presents , green xmas , holiday gift guide , holidays , Magnetic Cube Puzzle , non-toxic paint , non-toxic supplies for kids , Novara Pixie Bike , presents , puzzles for kids , Recycled Paper Beads , REI bike for kids , science kits for kids , seed bombs , sustainable gifts for kids , tegu blocks , toys for kids , toys made with natural materials , Wildflower seed bombs , wooden toys , xmas gifts        

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14 Green Gifts for Big Kids

DIY Gift Wrap and Tags Made From Chip Bags, Clothes and Other Recycled Items

December 16, 2012 by  
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If you love wrapping and opening wrapped gifts but hate the resulting pile of wasted paper, then you might want to check out this awesome DIY post. We have compiled a list of clever ways to recycle the most mundane household items into fun gift wrap and tags that your friends and family will love. Our list demonstrates how just about anything can be given new life, including chip bags, children’s art, reusable shopping bags and t-shirts. Hit the jump to learn more and get inspired to make your own recycled gift wrap . READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: DIY , eco holidays , gift guide , gift tags , gift wrap , green holidays , holidays , household items used as gift wrap , Recycled Materials , sustainable gifts

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DIY Gift Wrap and Tags Made From Chip Bags, Clothes and Other Recycled Items

DIY Gift Wrap and Tags Made From Chip Bags, Clothes and Other Recycled Items

December 16, 2012 by  
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If you love wrapping and opening wrapped gifts but hate the resulting pile of wasted paper, then you might want to check out this awesome DIY post. We have compiled a list of clever ways to recycle the most mundane household items into fun gift wrap and tags that your friends and family will love. Our list demonstrates how just about anything can be given new life, including chip bags, children’s art, reusable shopping bags and t-shirts. Hit the jump to learn more and get inspired to make your own recycled gift wrap . READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: DIY , eco holidays , gift guide , gift tags , gift wrap , green holidays , holidays , household items used as gift wrap , Recycled Materials , sustainable gifts

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