'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:
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MicroFiber Cleaning Cloths
Those who love cleaning and saving money will enjoy the MicroFiber Cleaning Cloths. The cloths can essentially replace paper towels and can be washed up to 500 times, making them extremely eco- and recession-friendly. These products are perfect as stocking stuffers for moms, grandmas and more. Prices vary according to cloth.
Cards from Africa
Who knew a simple card could do so much? Cards from Africa employs people orphaned from diseases like AIDS and from the 1994 genocide to produce handmade greeting cards, according to the Good Paper website(formely Banyan Paper).
The card makers, all heads of households, are able to make wages that empower them to provide food, shelter, health care and education for their siblings. Cards are made from recycled Rwandan office materials. Cost for most holiday cards, $4.50
Also featured on Good Paper's website, these beautiful handbags are handcrafted by women of Manila's Smokey Mountain, at one point the world's largest open garbage dump.
Impoverished people scavenged for recyclable bottles from the dump to make ends meet. As Smokey Mountain became an infamous symbol of Asian poverty, the president of the Philippines provided seed funding for microfinance loans to more than 2,000 women in two years, according to Good Paper. The local Catholic parish oversaw the loans and created a cooperative to produce these handcrafted goods. Cost, $46 to $72
Have your wreath and eat it too! This handmade three-herb wreath is beautifully crafted with organic fresh rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, and accented with fresh red chili peppers. The wreath's 'ingredients' can be saved and enjoyed in your favorite recipes for up to a year. The wreath parts are grown and assembled on an organic farm in Northern California. Cost, $39.99
For the music lover, these coasters are made of labels cut from the center of classic vinyl records. The coasters are made from real recycled records, so each set (six in a set) will contain a different assortment of albums. And not to worry -- the discs are sealed so moisture won't seep through. Cost, $18
Next up: Revenge Is giving green