Graduation is a special time to celebrate the accomplishments of friends and family members. Why not honor their success with a green gift that is earth-friendly and useful too?
Keeping it simple
Organic Seeds and Gardening Books â€“ Growing one’s own food is easier than most people know. Your grad will save on grocery bills and get enormous satisfaction in growing their own ultra-local produce. Territorial Seeds and Seeds of Change are great sources for seeds and organic gardening books like Grow Great Grub and Gaia’s Garden are excellent references.
Reusable Shopping Bags â€“ Reusable bags are all the rage as disposable plastic bags are declining in popularity, due to the amount of waste they contribute. We particularly like the Baggu Grocery Kit and the Reuseit Earthtotes. Go buy a bunch of reusable bags and send your grad down to the local co-op in style.
The Lorax – With its message of conscience and environmental responsibility, this Dr. Seuss classic is an inspiring choice for graduating environmentalists and all world citizens willing to “speak for the trees.”
A Journal Made From Recycled Materials â€“ If your graduate is heading on some sort of adventure (like real life), they may want to keep a journal. One made from reused paper and cardboard and â€œrepurposedâ€ materials are an added bonus. Independent crafters on Etsy.com offer some handsome, hand-bound books from the waste stream.
Simple Shoes â€“ Simple Shoes uses recycled materials in its appealing line of shoes. They’re also vegan; no leather or other animal products are used. As a shoe manufacturer, Simple’s adherence to social and environmental responsibility is admirable.
Camping Gear â€“ What better way to enjoy the great outdoors than with some dependable gear? If your grad loves life in the open air, maybe a new tent, knife or camp stove from REI would make their experience that much better.
National Parks Pass â€“ Armed with an America the Beautiful pass and some time, your grad can have free access to every United States National Park and federal recreation area in the country, for an entire year.
Eco-Conscious Mutual Fund â€“ Institutional responsibility of banks and other financial organizations is a big deal. If you plan to set money aside for your graduate, visit Socialfunds.com to learn how to put your money to good use and keep it out of the hands of corporate polluters.
Donation to an Environmental Organization â€“ Make a donation in your graduate’s name to the World Wildlife Fund or other worthwhile environmental non-profits.
Energy-Efficient Laptop â€“ If they’re in the market for a new laptop, you may want to get them an affordable, low-power netbook or notebook. The ASUS UL30A-A3B has great battery life and a low-voltage processor, which keeps its carbon footprint lower than other laptops.
Solar Charger for Personal Electronics â€“ Perhaps your grad will become one of those e-workers who get to sit in the park with their laptop, instead of being confined to an office. Or maybe they like to take their iPod or GPS navigator with them on long hikes. A solar charger for small personal electronics uses the power of the sun to recharge low batteries. Check out the Revolve xeMini Plus for small electronics, or Earthtech’s Laptop Charger & Portable Power Kit, which will charge a laptop.
Big-ticket Eco-Friendly Gifts
Eco-Tourism Vacation â€“ World travel requires an incredible carbon footprint; airplane exhaust is a major cause of greenhouse gas pollution. If your grad thirsts for an adventure in the Amazon, or a trip scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, you can buy carbon offsets to make up for the impact of their flight and choose environmentally-responsible destinations and tours. Learn more about ecotourism from the International Ecotourism Society.
Hybrid Vehicle â€“ If you’re thinking of buying your graduate a new set of wheels, you may want to consider a hybrid electric vehicle like the Toyota Prius or an all-electric one like the Nissan Leaf. Neither is as cheap as an old Subaru wagon, but they are great examples of environmentally-friendly cars, something the auto industry has been lacking until recently. Both will save your grad gas money and lower their carbon footprint.