ByLisa Beres

Dec 2, 2015
Gift tag, presents and rope hearts on rustic background

Let’s face it – the overspending and debt accumulation of the holidays has reached an ALL. TIME. HIGH. If the additional 25% of household waste generated during the holidays (about 1 million extra tons – eek!) doesn’t scream commercialization, then perhaps the pink, blue and Barbie Christmas trees displayed at retail locations before Thanksgiving does. While I absolutely adore the sparkle and magic during this time of year, there is such a thing as overkill.

So what’s an eco-conscious gift giver to do? Are there holiday gift ideas that check all the boxes? Absolutely!

Holiday Gift Ideas To Save the Planet & Improve Your Health

There’s a reason we yearn for an old-fashioned Christmas, more meaningful experiences, homemade gifts and connected memories. Isn’t it time to add more meaning to the season?

While planning your gift-giving this year, why not consider a gift that heals or gifts that’ll keep on giving long after the recipient opens it? Let’s face it, our own planet needs a little (o.k., a lot) of TLC and so does the health of most people.

Here are 10 ways you can give gifts to save the planet and your health.

1. Give a Donation

Just Give connects people with charities and causes. Their GiveNow charity gift cards make the perfect, easy-to-personalize holiday gift. The recipient can hop online to redeem their GiveNow card and donate to any of nearly 2 million charities that offer care for kids in need, basics for the homeless, food for hungry families and more!

2. Offer Your Time

Give your recipient a handmade coupon for free babysitting or dog walking. Or, help an elderly in need of care, donate your time to a local food bank (click HERE to locate one near you), join a coastal cleanup or volunteer in your area to build a home with Habitat for Humanity. The options here are endless.

3. Shower to Health

While your gift recipient may not stink – chlorine, dirt, sediment and odors sure do! So why not give a shower filter from Berkey that contains a patented high purity blend of zinc, calcium and copper to reduce up to 95% of chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, iron, and iron oxide? Or, try the NSF certified Aquasana shower filter with a coconut shell carbon. By also pH balancing the water, a shower filter is also great for healthy hair and skin!

4. A Smart Herb Garden

The fine peeps at Click and Grow have perfected the art of indoor herb growing (with a little help from NASA technology). How do I know? I have one myself (no green thumb required). Plants are grown naturally, using biomimicry as the main source of inspiration and innovation. Products include no pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, plant hormones or any other suspicious substances. The Smart Herb Garden is the easiest and the nicest-looking indoor gardening solution that lets you grow three plants at a time.

The Grove Ecosystem
Get your gardening grove on with the The Grove Ecosystem. Image courtesy of The Grove Ecosystem

5. Grow Food Indoors

The Grove Ecosystem is the world’s first intelligent, in-home garden that empowers consumers to grow their own produce year-round in a bookshelf-sized space. It’s an intelligent indoor garden that enables people to grow fresh, flavorful, and healthy food year-round; all of which can be monitored and controlled via Smartphone.

6. Green Toys

Inspire creativity and imaginative-play with responsibly sourced gifts. All proceeds PBS KIDS receives from your purchase support their mission and Whole Foods Market by donating 1% of total sales to Whole Kids Foundation®; an organization dedicated to helping kids eat better. The toys are made using responsibly-sourced materials, including PlanWood; a high density fiber composite wood from rubber trees, organic color pigment, and rubber wood. You can find the toys online or at Whole Foods Markets.

7. Healthy Food Delivery

The Green Chef provides fresh, organic ingredients and healthy, flavorful meals delivered directly to your doorstep. Vegetarian? Paleo? Gluten‑Free? No problem. They’ve got a menu to suit your style. They handpick the freshest seasonal ingredients, ensuring that each dish is good for your body and the environment. Sign up and get two free meals your first week HERE.

8. Spice Things Up

RawSpiceBar is a subscription box that delivers three freshly ground, exotic and global flavors from around the world for just six dollars a month.  Each box includes three kitchen-tested recipes and an origin & history of spices from that region. They collaborate with chefs who have an expertise in one specific region or geography, ensuring authenticity of each flavor and dish.  Past spice boxes examples include: IstanbulNavajoJapanese and many others.

9. Herbal Skincare

Farmaesthetics products possess a commitment to “Sustainable Beauty®”. All Farmaesthetics products are 100% natural utilizing certified organic herbs, flowers, oils & grains from American family farms. They contain certified organic ingredients as indicated, are hypo-allergenic, non-irritating and dermatological tested.

10. Eco-Friendly flowers

There’s nothing like the joy fresh flowers bring to any home. The Bouqs provides cut to order (so there’s no waste) flowers delivered straight from a volcano (yep, you read that right) starting at a flat forty dollars. They only source from eco-friendly, sustainable farms that respect the environment and their workers. They also do events and weddings and seem to always offer a discount!

Ready to change the way you shop this year? ‘Tis the season to say goodbye to naughty gifts – you’ll be at the top of Santa’s nice list with an abundance of karma points by implementing even just one of the above ideas!

Got a favorite or an idea of your own? Let me know below and have yourself a healthy little Christmas or holiday.

By Lisa Beres

Lisa Beres is a healthy home authority, Baubiologist, published author, professional speaker and Telly award-winning media personality who teaches busy people how to eliminate toxins from their home with simple, step-by-step solutions to improve their health. With her husband, Ron, she is the co-founder of The Healthy Home Dream Team and the 30-day online program Change Your Home. Change Your Health. She is the author of the children’s book My Body My House and co-author of Just Green It!: Simple Swaps to Save Your Health and the Planet, Learn to Create a Healthy Home! Green Nest Creating Healthy Homes and The 9 to 5 Greened: 10 Steps to a Healthy Office. Lisa’s TV appearances include "The Rachael Ray Show," "Nightly News with Brian Williams," "TODAY," "The Doctors," "Fox & Friends," "Chelsea Lately" and "The Suzanne Somers Show."