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Proper Green: The Best Holiday Host Gifts They’ll Actually Use

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Here are some ideas for thoughtful and environmentally sustainable host gifts as you attend holiday parties this season.

My family will be attending several holiday parties over the next few weeks. Do you have any suggestions for green host gifts?

-Tori S., Savannah, GA

Dear Tori,

We’ve compiled a list of environmentally friendly gifts for your host or hostess that are sure to kick off some party conversation and have your fellow guests green with envy — and best of all, are good for the planet too!

For the Beauty Expert:

  • Conscientious Candle: Instead of the traditional wax candle, opt for a soy candle. Soy candles are sustainable because they are made from a renewable resource (soy), as opposed to paraffin wax. Soy candles burns slower than their traditional counterpart, so your host will enjoy your gift for a longer time, too.
  • DIY Sugar Scrub: Show your appreciation with a homemade sugar scrub! These scrubs are easy to make and show a personal touch. You can use many different natural ingredients, such as coffee and vanilla or coconut and lime, to match your host’s preferences. Dress your scrub in an apothecary jar or Mason jar and add a bow for a decorative touch.

For the Green Thumb:

  • Living Gifts: Instead of a flower arrangement, give the gift of a plant that will keep growing. Plants such as the peace lily, dracaena, and pothos are both decorative and utilitarian (they clean the air, much like ferns). For a more fragrant gift, opt for plants such as mint or geranium.
  • Future Plants: Create a basket of seeds and other gardening supplies for your host. Bulb plants work well because they can be given at any time, stored, and planted later in the year.
  • Cute Composter: Mini ceramic compost pails are a great gift and introduction to composting! Available in several colors and sizes, compost pails allow your host to start turning food scraps into nutrients for their garden.

For the Foodie:

  • Homemade Granola: Bake some organic granola for your host. Making the granola yourself is a personal touch that allows you to add all of your host’s favorite treats into the mix. Give the granola in a Mason jar and attach a list of the ingredients.
  • Organic Drinks: Try some sustainable suds or organic wine. Yes, green beer exists outside of St. Patrick’s Day. To go green, try buying local or organic when possible!
  • BPA-free Bowls: BPA-free tableware is becoming more popular due to health concerns about BPA exposure. It’s quite easy to find BPA-free plastic tableware these days, and great for casual hosting, so stock up for your host!
  • Vegetarian Cookbook: Opting for a vegetarian meal is a small but delicious choice that helps minimize your dinner’s environmental impact. By cutting meat out of a meal, you can help reduce the output of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases and a byproduct of the meat industry. Give a vegetarian cookbook for your host to explore new meals without meat.
  • DIY Recipe Book: If you’re really crafty, create a recipe book for your host with all your favorite recipes he or she might enjoy. Add photos of successes (or mistakes!) that happen along the way.

What would you give as a green host gift? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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About the Author
Proper Green
Proper Green

Proper Green is Recyclebank's green advice column. From promoting good manners in a green world (because ideas about what constitutes proper behavior and... more

  • Sonya S. 4 years ago
    I have heard that these plastic bags can be used for mats for the homeless by cutting them into strips and crocheting. I thought this was a wonderful and caring idea.
  • Terri H. 4 years ago
    make from what you have
  • Janice M. 4 years ago
    I recycle all I can. Those plastic grocery bags are tricky. But I learned how to cut them into strips, and use them as "plarn"- plastic yarn. A number of boks and booklets are available with patters for turning plarn into outdoor rugs, totes, and other unique items. And they are washable, and if made correctly, almost indestructable. I made "market bags" for friends last year and garden collection bags this year for friends to use when harvesting veggies and fruits.
  • Kelly F. 4 years ago
    sounds cool
  • Carol C. 4 years ago
    A friend makes rag rugs from old tee shirts.
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