'Tis the season for giving. And with that is the season for wasting. This year instead of buying unwanted gifts that gather dust in people's closets or pile in landfills, choose green gifts that give back in a good way. SheKnows offers 20 great green gift ideas to get you started:
Eco-friendly coffee cup
This reusable 'I am not a paper cup…' coffee cup is great for that friend or co-worker with a caffeine addiction and an environmental conscience.
'It lets them enjoy their morning cup of coffee to-go in something that resembles their disposable paper cup but is much more environmentally friendly,' says Alexis Stein, co-founder of SomeoneSpoilMe.com. 'The mug is ceramic so you can wash it and use it again!'
By ordering this product through SPOILME, you can receive a discount. Cost, approximately $20
'It is the most foolproof gardening you have ever done,' Stein says of the Eggling.
Those who strive for green thumbs can easily grow lavender, wild strawberries, mint, basil and more. Simply crack off the top and pour in some water -- a plant will grow in about a week. 'You can choose from several plant options,' Stein says. Cost, approximately $10
Save a Lake
Give the gift of helping others in need. Poor communities throughout the world rely on natural resources for their water and livelihoods, but many lakes and ponds face threats from mismanaged development. This gift helps protect vulnerable ecosystems, train indigenous communities in environmental protection, and ensure the wellbeing of both natural resources and people, according to Oxfam's website. Cost, $250
If you can't afford to save a lake, consider giving the gift of tree planting. For less than fifty dollar, you can plant 50 trees. Trees not only produce life-sustaining crops, but they also prevent erosion and provide much-needed shade for coffee and other staple plants -- meaning these trees are key to economic growth and a greener world, according to Oxfam. Cost, $30
'Music dance and/or foreign language lessons are wonderful sustainable gifts, since they provide mental and/or physical stimulation and leave no clutter around when they are finished,' says Lisa Scott, who offers online accent reduction classes via Skype. 'Online lessons are even better because there is no gas wasted going to and from lessons.'
Foreign language and speech improvement lessons in particular are the gifts that give back, as 'it typically means the opportunity for a higher paying job,' Scott says.
Next up: Go green for Fido