Science, Tech & Environment

Green gift ideas

Maybe a robo-saurus isn't what Santa has in store for you this year – perhaps you're looking for something ever-greener – something more environmentally sound. The folks at PRI's environmental news program, "Living on Earth," have made a list – and checked it twice.

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Here's a sampling of gifts that are both affordable and good for the planet:

Wallet from Used Rubber USA
"My suggestion for a green holiday gift is a wallet or bag from Used Rubber USA. They make their products from recycled rubber tires. I cary a tiny purse that I bought from their original store on Haight Street in San Francisco years ago. It's just the right size for some cash, a few cards and a subway pass. It's sleek, water proof and recycled. What could be better?"

Gifts from Heifer International
"I like to give my family gifts from Heifer Project. It's an organization that gives livestock to needy people around the world so that they can grow their own food and provide for themselves. The way it works is that I give a donation and my family gets a card saying I've bought bunnies or geese or honey bees in honor of them."

Native Seeds
"At you can buy your loved ones a packet of seeds that will grow traditional crops. It's a unique, affordable gift that'll help support crop diversity and indigenous communities."

BoGo Light

"My suggestion is BoGo flashlights. They're powered by a solar panel and will last you at least three or five years. And for everyone that you buy at $39, a second one is sent to a community in the developing world. They send them to places like refugee camps or orphanages in Africa."

And, a couple other gifts to do a little research on:

"You know what they say about a guy with a big carbon footprint? That's right – he needs a carbon offset. Several companies will gladly take your money and invest it in clean energy projects. In return you get a certificate showing that you have effectively cancelled out the greenhouse gases from say someone's holiday travel. If you really want to have fun with it, you could wrap it around a lump of coal for the perfect stocking stuffer."

"My idea of the perfect holiday gift is something that requires no batteries, no plastic, no assembly and will bring joy day after day and year after year. They're renewable and each is unique with lots of choices. There are those that provide food, keep you cool in summer and warm in the winter. They all clean the air from pollutants and they measure the passage of time. How about giving a tree?"

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Hosted by Steve Curwood, "Living on Earth" is an award-winning environmental news program that delves into the leading issues affecting the world we inhabit. More "Living on Earth.