Give some green this holiday season


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Looking for gifts you can feel good about giving and buying? Then consider shopping at one of these finalists for Green America’s 2011 People’s Choice Award for Green Business of the Year.

For the kids in your life, consider Bella Luna Toys in Rockland, Maine. This company sells beautiful items made from wood and silk (no plastic), so they are eco-friendly and built to last. You also won’t find any battery-operated, high-tech stuff here.

Another option for children’s gifts is Hazelnut Kids in Traverse City, Mich., which offers toys made from such materials as sustainably harvested wood and organic cotton, as well as furniture, room décor and other kid-friendly products. And they’re selected by owner Tracy Coe for their ability to stimulate a child’s imagination and sense of fun.

If you like giving artisan-type presents to friends and family, consider Seven Hopes United of San Francisco . This company prides its self on supporting Fair Trade artisans from around the world. The store sells jewelry, homemade duvet covers and sheets, home décor, kitchen pieces and much more, so you should have no trouble finding a great gift for everyone on your list.

Another one-stop-shop for gifts is Faerie’sDance.com from Harbor City, Calif. The company offers eco-friendly fashions made from sustainable soy, organic cotton and renewable hemp, as well as a line of jewelry made from recycled metals.

Looking for something sweet for your favorite someone? Try Divine Chocolate in Washington, D.C. . Unlike conventional chocolate companies, Divine Chocolate sells 100% certified Fair Trade chocolate, ensuring that the farmers that help produce it earn a fair, living wage. The company sells milk, dark and flavored chocolate bars and well as special holiday-themed candies.

For more green gift ideas from Green America, check out its Holiday Gift Guide.

If you like the aforementioned companies, but feel that shipping products (no matter how “green” they might be) hundreds of miles is against your idea of sustainability, then consider purchasing your gifts from your favorite local businesses, farmers’ or craft markets. These merchants will be grateful for your support, and you can be sure you are buying something made with care.  Or consider making your own gifts this year. Your friends and family will know you put time and love into making them and will appreciate the effort you made to make their holiday special.

Got some more green gift ideas? Share them with us below.