Posted by: UrbanGreenGirl | December 8, 2008

Eco-friendly gift ideas that save the world!


Have you ever heard the saying that you vote with your wallet; so when you buy a product or service, you are “keeping them in power” by supporting them financially? Well, wouldn’t it be nice if we could finish our Christmas list AND support something good? Well, you’re in luck because Urban Green Girl has some great gift ideas that are not only great for the earth, but help save the world at the same time!


Increased access to internet has made consumers more powerful by being able to find eco-friendly or green products more easily. Here are some great examples.

WorldofGood teamed up with eBay to connect artisans in developing countries with mainstream retail channels. Here you can find jewellery, mugs, clothing, art, skin care products and more, from around the world and you help end poverty by supporting income generating means .

BuyCanadianFirst offers Canadians a place to buy exclusively made Canadian products ranging from everyday goods to great gift ideas. Thus, you can buy local and help support your neighbour.

Etsy is another great site that connects buyers and sellers of handmade items. Lots of beautiful artisan products from clothes and jewellery from sustainably sourced materials to furniture made from recovered wood. You can even do a search for products made locally in your area.

Here’s a random gift idea, an eco-friendly shower curtain that’s NOT made of PVC and instead made of earth friendly materials like organic cotton or hemp. Not only are they  “green”, they’re beautiful and stylish too.

Another great idea is to buy a membership for an organic food delivery service. Great gift idea for skeptical parents, or children going off to college.

And check out these great 100 green gifts thanks to the Daily Green.


Environmental Organizations:


Help save a rainforest

Know someone that drives or flies a lot? Why not offset their carbon footprint by purchasing carbon offsets from Their site allows you to calculate their carbon footprint then purchase the necessary credits towards reducing it through carbon reducing projects like reforestation. I’m considering this gift for my dad.

Know a big coffee drinker? Why not offer them a 1-yr membership to Rainforest Alliance who created a certification program to protect coffee workers AND the rain forest and birds from where it came?

Know a tree hugger or camping enthusiast? Why not plant trees in their name in South America through the Nature Conservancy? One dollar per tree and with a donation of $50 ore  more, the recipient will receive a nice package including a calendar, world map, magazine and info on deforestation.

Have a Sex and the City fan on your list? Do what Big (aka Chris Noth) would do and offer them a tribute gift that will help save rainforests through Rainforest Action Network.

Animal rescue organizations:

Save an endangered species

Save an endangered species

Is there a Dumbo fan in your family? The Elephants Sanctuary in Tennessee rescues  elephants from circuses and zoos so they can retire on a 2700 acre natural-habitat refuge. Help them help elephants.

Help save a baby bear cub or seal by purchasing one of IFAW‘s (International Fund for Animal Welfare) holiday packets starting at $25 which contain a canvas bag, stainless steel water bottle, and pamphlet telling the story behind the animal you just saved.

Looking for teenage appropriate gifts? Sign them up for a PETA membership. I’ve done this with my sisters in the past. Memberships start at $16 and they will receive a years subscription to Animal Times magazine. PETA also offers ethical gifts, where you can save an animal in the name of someone else and they will receive a gift package.

Know someone that melts at the site of a baby tiger or polar bear? Why not adopt an endangered species in their name or purchase other types of charity gifts through the WWF ?

Humanitarian organizations:

Woman & child

Help the fight against poverty

Know someone studying in med school or nursing? Why not donate to Doctors without Borders in their name? Helps save thousands whose lives have been struck by poverty, catastrophe and violence.

Know someone that volunteers their time in the community? They’d appreciate one of the many kits available through MercyCorps who help people in developing nations by offering women small business loans and maternity care,  HIV/AIDS programs and provide families with income generating solutions.

Got a feminist, women’s rights activist or simply “a woman” on your list? Why not give them the gift of ending poverty through CARE who place special emphasis on working with women in poverty?

And if you  don’t know what organization the recipient would appreciate, why not offer them a charity gift card through TisBest where the donation can be applied to over 200 different registered charities of their choice.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2008 holiday season and a Happy New “Green” Year!



  1. check out other eco friendly gifts on

  2. Great post, thanks! Lots of really helpful ideas and useful links. I’ve not seen WorldofGood before – cool concept. It’s so important to give gifts that really make a difference to peoples lives.
    We’re running a series of posts this week, on the same topic (hey, it’s *that* time of year). Feel free to drop by and share your thoughts and ideas 😉

  3. Thank you so much for mentioning TisBest on your blog. TisBest Philanthropy offers the highest quality charity gift cards, with over 50 different standard designs, or you can upload your own photo, and you can check the status to see when a gift card is spent and on which charity. Cards can be sent by email, printed on your printer or printed on recycled plastic and sent by mail.

    We appreciate all of our supporters like you who are helping get out the word about this great gift alternative in a world filled to the rim with “stuff”. More for charity, less for the landfill!

    Erik Marks
    Executive Director
    TisBest Philanthropy

  4. If you’re looking for eco-friendly furniture, has the best, best, best selection. They even have a gallery entirely dedicated to the green stuff! Best prices too with fantastic service 🙂 I’d know! I just bought an Aeron from there!

  5. A lot of great information here!
    If I may add another way to look through eBay’s sales among other advertisers… check out
    It’s top on line retailers “weeded” through and simplified so your only seeing goods in categories that have passed the I Buy It Green’s Standard for Eco consciousness, fair trade, recycle, etc.

    Also each categorie has the top green gift picks for the love of the earth and your wallet!

    There’s also a special eBay feed for designer resales’ and/or vintage by Chanel, Dior, Versace, and more at:

    Warm regards & Happy Holidays!

  6. I also wanted to mention, that whatever you do buy online, make sure to use when you buy it, to make sure a portion of your purchase is donated to the environment.

    Green Any Site (GAS) is a new initiative I just launched last week, and I would love to tell you more about it if you feel like emailing me (… I’d really love to get it to as many shoppers as possible this time of year, it can do a lot of good. Unfortunately, I have a zero dollars advertising budget, so any help spreading the word would be appreciated.

    P.S. – Loved all the great suggestions, especially the ones about animal rescues as gifts.

  7. Thanks for including in your list. It means a lot to us to have supporters like you recognize the importance of buying locally. It’s good for the environment, good for Canadian Jobs and good for the economy too.

    My motto is, if you have to buy, buy used, if you can’t, buy Canadian, if you can’t, buy North American…

  8. […] here are some green and  eco friendly gift ideas that will guarantee you a romantic night while supporting green and sustainable businesses and eco […]

  9. […] here are some green and  eco friendly gift ideas that will guarantee you a romantic night while supporting green and sustainable businesses and eco […]

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