Image of Christmas gift boxes.Is it really December already? There are only a few weeks left before the holidays, but don’t panic! Here are some gift ideas that are easy on you and are good for the environment, too.

  1. Experiences, not things. Do your children already have mountains of plastic toys collecting dust? Instead of adding to the pile, buy a season pass to your local zoo, aquarium, or nature center. It will be fun and educational for your entire family, and it will last all year.
  2. Make a donation. Make a donation in someone’s name to a local charity. Or make it a holiday tradition for your family to donate your time helping out at the local food bank or humane society.
  3. Electronic magazine subscription. This is a great last minute gift. It will last all year and you can tailor it to their interests. Make it the digital edition to save paper.
  4. Food and beverages. You can order a beautiful basket of favorite foods or make your own. Consumables are always appreciated and rarely go to waste. A bottle of wine can be saved and opened after the holidays. Look for labels like USDA Organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified, Protected Harvest Certified, or Fair Trade for sustainability bonus points.
  5. Plants. An herb garden, a poinsettia, a small tree, a bouquet of flowers. These are beautiful and thoughtful gifts that will be appreciated long after the holidays have passed.
  6. Kitchen compost bin. Satisfy a stylish and eco-conscious foodie with a countertop or undercounter compost pail. Specially designed airtight containers make it easy to store organic waste until it’s time to add to the compost pile outside, while keeping a tidy workspace.

It’s sometimes hard to remember amidst the mad dash to buy gifts for everyone on your list, but what you?ll really enjoy about the holidays is the time you’ve spent with your friends and family – not the things under the tree. Go thoughtful, go green, and go have a great time.