This season of giving, instead of opting for some thoughtless doo-dad made from environmentally taxing non-sense that will inevitably be hidden within a closet's corner or tossed out completely, think long and hard about the "right" gift, a really "good" gift for those on your list; then make it even better by making it eco! We were sent lots of "best" gift ideas to review. These are the few that really stood out, the few that we would actually want to be gifted with. Essentially, we are passing our gift list of "wants" onto you. Happy Shopping!
For the Person who has EVERYTHING
1. Adopt-A-Bench in Central Park
Perfect for lovers of the park is the Adopt-A-Bench program. For a, ahem, mere $7,500 the Conservancy installs a custom engraved plaque on a park bench in a location of your choice. For $25,000, you can upgrade that bench to a hand-made rustic one. The money will go to the ongoing maintenance of this great urban park, and of course to the personal inscription on the plaque. Need some inspiration as to what you should inscribe? One woman dedicated a bench beside the Carousel to her husband inscribed "My Beloved was Mine and I was His." They loved to sit there and watch children play. There's also a wedding proposal near the Zoo with the plaque reading "Michelle, Will you marry me? Love, John." She said yes.
2. Couture Jewelry
For the person who doesn't need more "stuff" but has lots of unused "stuff," give them the gift of renewed jewelry. greenKarat is more than an eco jewelry company, they actually take old, once-adored, mismatched gold and turns them into renewed jewelry sure to be loved again without additional pollution-creating gold mining. Grandma's gold bracelet, a lone earring, an ex's wedding band, turn them into a necklace.
3. Make Them a Star (or at least buy one)
Have an "impossible" astrology lover on your list? Gift them a star. Star Listings International lets you select a constellation, then name a star... a gift that will shine forever. The name will be filed in the British Public Library, to ensure that your star isn't named twice by accident. The gift comes with a Certificate of Registration along with a Star Chart showing the exact location of your named star with astronomical coordinates.
4. Donate a Goat
Does a loved one love goats? Chivas Skin Care, a boutique skin care line, loves goats too, which is why they use the fresh goat milk, as well as herbs from their garden to hand make luxurious soaps. More than making soap, they are helping to support goats in Africa. Well, they are helping you to support goats in Africa. For $50 you can donate a Goat in the name of your goat-loving friend to the Nomadic Tuareg people of Niger. And what will your friend get? A gift box containing one Leslie Clark print certifying the donation, plus one Goat Milk Soap with the scent of your choice. Hostess 5. Trim the Tree Green Give the hostess something she can bring out every year (and think of you). The handmade sisal egg-shaped orb and the handmade natural shell ornaments (shaped into a white flower) from Nature's Cabinet are stunningly crafted (yet surprisingly inexpensive) and the perfect hostess gift. 6. Bubbles For the Hostess Veuve Clicquot's sexy eco-friendly "DesignBox" constructed of mono-material and micro-corrugation that uses less paper, is fully recyclable with materials sourced under Forest Stewardship Council management, houses their party-starting yellow and rose champagnes. Bring one to the hostess and let the festivities begin! 7. A Gift From Home If your hostess hails from somewhere else, give her a little gift of home, through food. RegionalBest finds the best family-owned organic local food artisans, farmers, cheese makers, chocolatiers and bakers, and puts them all in one online food marketplace that lets shoppers buy direct from local, sustainable, eco-practicing producers. More than the food, you are given the story behind the product, including: who made or grew the product and how, and with what types of ingredients. "Shop by Region" with an interactive map, letting you click your local area, then select producers nearby who you'd like to support... well, which producer you would like to support on behalf of your foodie friend (and maybe pick a thing or two up for yourself too). We love the Empireal Chocolate Gift Box from Michigan filled with Grocer's Daughter's most fabulous chocolates, Holiday Crate of Texas Range Honey, and Mini Organic Pound Cake Sampler from Philadelphia. 8. Like a Fine Wine, Know Your Chocolate's Origin Original Beans origin-designated chocolate helps restore some of the world's most ecologically threatened regions by plants a tree in the chocolate's forest of origin. Each bar even contains a lot number designating the location of your tree so you track the ongoing reforestation efforts on the company's website. 9. Once the Party is Over Because every hostess deserves a sound post-party sleep, help her drift off faster with a handmade eye pillow filled with organic lavender and flax seeds from Kyrahaigh, an online boutique. And, because they are sold on Etsy, probably the chicest community of online boutiques around (and my absolute favorite place to shop) you know you are supporting small artisans who strive to maintain a small carbon footprint. 10. Retro-Rewind Coasters Well-worn LPs take a new turn as re-purposed coasters. The set of six randomly selected double-sided album labels are trimmed and framed by a black vinyl band of black vinyl band. These Recycled LP Coasters from RedEnvelope are perfect as a gift for the hostess, or a "white elephant" party, really anyone who is a little retro. 11. Bag It Bazura Bags are made from recycled non-biodegradable juice containers, old rice bags and used advertising banners by a women's cooperative in the Philippines, saving just a little more trash from adding to the clutter that fills the landfills, fields and streets of their community. It's perfect as a gift on its own or in lieu of a "gift bag." Let your bag be part of the gift. Gaga for Gardens 12. Vintage Garden Markers Vintage Silverware Garden Markers from Monkeys Always Look turn any garden into a Chef's Garden! The vintage spoons are stamped with the names of popular herbs like Mint, Basil, Rosemary, and Thyme. 13. Add More Green to Their Garden Not sure what to buy a garden lover? Something to put in it of course! Not only is shopping online an eco-friendlier way to shop (no storefront means less energy use), but, when it comes to plants, it also means that you don't have to get your hands dirty. Ship the plant directly to your garden lover. We love this luscious green fern planted in an environmentally friendly container made from sustainable and biodegradable wheat husks and tree sap from ProFlowers. 14. Garden Miracles in Little Bottles And to keep the garden growing beautifully, we love the trio of all-natural gardening essentials, secret formulas from Dr. JimZ's Secret includes Concentrated Compost Factor to trigger plant growth, Plant Wash to cleans leaves for more efficient photosynthesis, Plant-It Fertilizer and root starter encourages plant growth naturally. 15. Living Wall Plants don't have to live in the ground. Now you can enliven your walls with plants from ELT Living Walls. Perfect for penthouses and apartments, offices and kitchens, these wall planters filled with indoor plants add a little greener to an otherwise stale environment while helping to clean the air, increase humidity and oxygen. Love these! 16. A Roll in the Hay Candle Who wouldn't love to have a roll in the hay this holiday season? The fresh and clean grass-scented farm animal-inspired "A Roll in the Hay" candle by A Scent of Scandal is vegan, cruelty-free and made from 100% natural clean burning soy wax. Sales of the candle benefit Farm Sanctuary's vital rescue, advocacy and education against cruelty of factory farms. Help support their chance of also experiencing a roll in the hay one day. 17. The Urban Gardener For garden lovers without the garden space, the Urban Gardener starter kit can turn any windowsill into a backyard plot. This garden in a box comes with an eco-friendly flower pot, organic seed-starting soil, and 70% organic The Naked Bee hand lotion for post-potting. What is really great about this kit is that the eco-friendly consciousness doesn't stop with the gift, it's packaged in a sturdy recycled gift box with recycled tissue paper (other aspiring eco-vending shops-- take note...). 18. Garden Lover to-be Mackenzie's Garden from the Garden Chick lets little ones create their own fairy or butterfly garden. The kit comes with a reusable purse filled with fairy or butterfly seeds, a recipe printed on recycled paper, and stickers. Get your girls excited about sticking their fingers in dirt and watching their fairy or butterfly garden grow! Blissfully Domestic 19. A Little Bowl of Gorgeous Goodness With Mother of Pearl on the inside individually inlaid cut pieces of cinnamon stick (it even emits a slight cinnamon scent) on the outside, this handmade Balinese bowl is seriously a stunner. Each item sold from Exotic World Gifts comes with the story of the Artisan to connect people and raise awareness for the impact of their purchase to "do good." 20. Domestic Bliss Kit Love the Domestic Bliss Gift Kit from Spirit Beauty Lounge, a carbon-neutral online boutique. Perfect for the green cleaning goddess, the kit includes two Isabella Smith Apothecary Maison Belle non-toxic cleaning products and a "Dirt" Organic Soy Candle, all wrapped in 100% PCW recycled gift packaging. 21. Destination Dining at Home Perfect for the person who loves the idea of travel but prefers to stay at home (and keep the carbon footprint diminutive) is Recipe Kits from Destination Dinners. Everyone from seasoned chefs to first timers will love the Dinner Party Kits that come with pre-measured hard to find spices, sauces and dried items as well as step-by-step instructions, a shopping list for fresh ingredients, destination-appropriate eco cooking/serving tools, music to create the full ambiance and fun facts and trivia about the destination you are "traveling" to. 22. The Amazing Box It might seem odd, but this wool felt 10"x10"x10" "Geobox" from Graf & Lantz is amazing. It's like people are drawn to it, they want to touch it and order more... in different colors and custom sizes. It's the hold everything or nothing, adhere it to a wall or set it on a fireplace corner, even cats have been known to make it their home. And I love it! 23. Not Your Average Cutting Board Cutting blocks don't have to be big ugly knifed up and stained wooden eye sores taking up counter space. Reclaimed Mixed Species Butcher Block Cutting Board is handcrafted from reclaimed wood scraps and smoothed together to create a gorgeous, super-sturdy, almost art-piece for prepping organic (of course) meals. Over 7 species of reclaimed hardwoods are used, making this block multi-hued and no two alike. 24. Frame a Friend Forget about average rinky-dink frames and instead give something that really makes that photo stand out. Crafted from reclaimed farm wood by Ivar's Design, this handcrafted photo frame made from individually selected 100-year old barn wood is a piece of art in itself, but even better at highlighting the image placed within. 25. Driftwood Candle Holders No log is cut down to create Natures Cabinet Driftwood Candle holders. But once found floating in water, the wood is cut, drilled, sanded and transformed into holders for fire... and they are simply beautiful. 26. Owl Family Bamboo Mobile It may be made for kids, but adults love the beautifully simple sustainably harvested bamboo owl family mobiles from Calliope Boutique. They are handcrafted in USA and packaged by a non-profit employing adults with disabilities. 27. Butterfly Effects The concept of the "Butterfly Effect" is so true, and pretty much embodied in this entire eco gift guide. It's a physics concept that sees the impact of small things on the large scale. Which is why the online boutique Butterfly Effects caught our eye, then the eco-friendly line of 55 handcrafted soy candles packaged in recyclable materials and contain no color additives or dyes, GMO's, paraffin, pesticides or herbicides caught the attention of our noses! Give the gift of Sleighbells, Mistletoe, or Apple Cider with their fragrant scents. Yum! 28. Outdoor Ambiance Woodstock Chimes Capiz Solar are made from thin, flat translucent capiz shells gently farmed in Indonesia then equipped with a high-efficiency solar panel with a LED light that recharges by day and naturally lights up the night. Gorgeous! For the Clothes and Accessories Horse 29. Ex-Boyfriend Shirt First of all, the name, Ex-Boyfriend Collection, is brilliant. Definitely an attention catcher. But beyond the name, this line of 100% organic cotton tees for men and women featuring cute and quirky original illustrations are printed with an eco-friendly vinyl using the most eco-friendly printing practices in the apparel industry. Plus, they donate a portion of their profits to local SPCA shelters. 30. From Shirt to Purse Joy Fabiana scours vintage stores for gently warn garments like marine fatigues and men's plaid shirts and transforms them into recycled handbags. www.JoyFabiano.com Have an old favorite shirt with a strategic hole that renders it unwearable? She makes custom bags too in all shapes and sizes Organic Bug's Golden Buddha Belt & Buckle is made from found images locked in with a non-toxic clear coating and secured onto a leather-looking rubber made from recycled agricultural tires! Gorgeous and green. 31. Your Little Gentleman Jacket Don't forget about the kids! Sustainable bamboo Kicky Pants hoodies (with ears) and mini corduroy gentleman jackets are beyond charming, totally adorable, cozy and perfect for the holidays. 32. All Wrapped Up What do you get someone who you don't know that well but need to get them something nice? A bamboo wrap! These generously-sized ultra-luxurious wraps by Naturally Knotty made from bamboo pulp come in a range of 9 rich colors and are packaged in a biodegradable and reusable bamboo cylinder. It's the perfect gift gifts, a wrapped up wrap! 33. Stunning, Yet Somehow Inexpensive Recycled Silver Rings Love these hand-crafted 100% recycled sterling silver wire and semi-precious gemstones rings made by artisan Robyn Klauer's. See her entire collection on her website Georgie Designs Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry. 34. Perfect Purse for a Girlfriend...or Grandma five ACCESSORIES is a socially and environmentally conscious company helping generate income for individuals in developing areas through sustainable fashion. The Coconut Cream handbag crafted in Cambodia from coconut shells is the perfect fashion-forward statement purse for everyone from diva to grandma... seriously! 35. Abandoned Fabric to Fabulous Hoodie The Perai hoodie from Looptworks, fashioned from abandoned cotton fabric, is completely upcycled using no new materials and it is simply perfect for any fashion-forward comfort-seeker. 36. Is it a Buckle or a Purse? Or Both! I love this. It's called a Bucklette and it is a hands-free belt buckle that strategically stores your lipstick, credit card, ID, and key letting women leave the purse at home and go hands-free. I know- genius! Crafted in the USA from recyclable, lead-free metal and packaged in a reusable jewelry bag, this multi-functioning belt/purse can help you cut down on your accessories and liberate you from excess "stuff" and look totally chic while you're add it. For Your "Bestfriend" (that would be your Pet) 37. Catnip Eyeballs Cats go crazy over these catnip stuffed recycled sweatshirt fabric-shaped eyeballs made minus glue or nasty chemicals by New Duds. They roll along the floor and make for all day kitty entertainment. 38. Fetch and Float Treevers dog retrieving toys are made of canvas and neoprene (scraps from material used to make wetsuits and tarps) on the outside and all-natural granulated cork on the inside (so they float) and perfect to play with at the beach, lake, pond, or even just the pool. 39. Allow Your Pup to Eat with Ease Big dogs really shouldn't bow their heads down each time they want to take a sip of water or inhale their food (not good for digestion). Give your pup a proper place to dine with an elevated dog feeder from Julia Custer. Love the up-cycled feeders made from reused vintage wooden crate. So chic. A Truly Tough Toy Any big dog owner knows how quickly fragile toys are torn up and left for dead. So much for spending a bundle on the adorable mini-stuffed animal. Get money and eco savvy with super tough dog toys. Try these instead: 40. Toss Dog Toy Constructed and stuffed with 100% reclaimed fabrics and triple-reinforced threaded seams, these handcrafted disc-ish toys from =tags&includes=title"]Eleanor and Milo can be thrown like a Frisbee, used for a hearty tugging game, or just endlessly gnawed. 41. Tug-o-war Braid with Squeaker and Recycled Tennis Ball Handmade with love, fleece and a recycled tennis ball by =tags&includes=title"]Woof Purr Creations, these extra large (18 inches) tug toys are great for full on tug wars and they even help clean your dog's teeth without cutting into their gums like rope toys. 42. Recycled Denim Dog Squeaky Balls What is one of the densest, most durable materials used in our daily lives? Denim! And they are the no-brainer choice for super durable dog toys! Made from old denim jeans, stuffed with new polyester fiberfill and squeakers, these squeaky balls by The Smiling Frog are large, firm, and will not fall apart. 43. Animal Lover Who Lives with a Non-Animal Lover (or someone who is allergic) For pet people who live with someone whose not, opt for this adorable =tags&includes=title"]Voila Studio Wool Puppy up-cycled from a 100% wool sweater. Standing approximately 10" tall and 15" long it may not bark, but it also doesn't shed and it makes for a fabulous lap dog. Green in Business 44. Computer Tote KEEN's whole concept is "reuse, repurpose and rethink sustainability whenever possible" in the form of functionally fabulous bags made using components of recycled stuff including footwear manufacturing waste like excess rubber repurposed into durable bag bottoms. Metal hardware closures and buckles are made from recycled footwear molds and aluminum cans. Love the Harvest Collection Parisi bag making reuse out of recycled rice bags, great for use as a laptop bag or to tote urban essentials without having a carbon impact. 45. Coffee Stop Non-Paper Cup Plastic bags are long-known to be a no no. But what about paper cups? From now on, on your way to work, tote this porcelain "paper cup" with a silicone top that reads "I Am Not A Paper Cup"--just a little reminder of your green cause. Bring it into your coffee shop and have your own non-paper cup refilled over and over! 46. Wake Up to Water-Powered Sound Forget the traditional bedside alarm clock and gift those time-conscious people on your list the gift of being on time... powered by water. Yup, the Bedol Water-Powered Alarm Clock keeps perfect time without batteries. Just add fresh water every four weeks and the clock will keep ticking! Something Special (and, yes, slightly more expensive) 47. Make a Statement with a Coffee Table There are coffee tables, and then there are works of art on which you place your coffee. This is that. Any eco design lover will go crazy over this stunning Many Moons Design Reclaimed Modern Coffee Table handcrafted from reclaimed mixed species solid wood strips from barns, warehouses and houses. The smoothed, multi-hued tables are each unique and measure 24x48x17. Make a statement (and take comfort in knowing that you will be thought of every am during coffee time). 48. Organics Makes Scents miessence® certified organic Botanical Perfumes are hand-blended botanicals, absolutes and essential oils of flowers, fruits, blossoms, leaves, twigs, barks, resins, woods, roots, rhizomes and seeds creating a complete aromatic experience imbued with such depth of character they take on a different scent on every person's skin. 49. Retro-Tech Gear for the iPod Geek If you want to give any iPod/iPhone addict a show-stopping gift (without costing too much of a bundle), this is it! The retro-cool Vers 15R iPod docking station completed with and alarm clock and AM/FM radio shows off a gorgeous bamboo shell, and puts out some seriously bumping sound. Did I mention that it has an energy efficient Class D amplifier to boot? Oh yeah... 50. Swaddle Someone with this Super-Soft Bamboo Robe Women love to feel sexy and simultaneously comfortable. This RedEnvelope bamboo robe is the way to feel both. Blended with sustainable bamboo-derived terry and cotton, its soft, breathable, sexy and, thanks to the bamboo, biodegradable, sustainable, and a more responsible after-bath cozy-up option. You can even have your friend's name embroidered on the front for to make it even more personal. 51. So Soft Soy Blankie Who knew soy could be so soft when draped on your skin?! The Lotus Bèbè luxury soy blanket is made with surprisingly plush, dye-free soybean fiber and trimmed with 100% silk. Taking the eco-ness to the next level, each blanket comes tied with a grosgrain ribbon and a tag printed on plantable 100% recycled paper! Yes, plant it under a thin layer of soil and water a little bit each day to watch the baby wildflowers grow. Great for a new mom or newborn. Give the gift of sex appeal to someone else (or better yet, for yourself) with Enamore's super-sexy, eco-minded lingerie collection constructed from a combo of organic hemp and silk, soya and recycled fabrics. The vintage-inspired styles fuse Japanese simplicity with French boudoir chic in the creation of a something reminiscent of the sultry pin-up girl posters that still, 50 years later, have tongues wagging. Stocking Stuffers 53. Crank Your Own Power In this technology-powered age, how are we supposed to keep all of our techno gear powered when out in nature (or even in an emergency)? The self-powered 5-in-1 multi-purpose flashlight from 4 Survival To Go, that's how! Any dude will love this hand crank-powered flashlight/cell phone and PDA charger (plus 10 adapters to fit most devices)/flasher/AM/FM radio/siren just because it is so cool. 54. Green Grams "Rubber Ducky Remix" is a totally recycled "green" rubber duck. Yup, both the duck and the packaging are made from 100% recycled materials. And you know what? They are totally adorable. And here's the "grams" part--CelebriDucks will send Mr. Green rubber duck, with a bar of green natural soap, and a personalized note on recycled paper to anyone in the country...hence Green Grams! 55. Make Your Own Candy and Gum Eco-friendly Glee Gum is making it even easier to get your sweet fix, by teaching you how to make your own chocolate, gummies, and chewing gum. The kits come with natural pre-packaged ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, perfect for kids aged 8 and up. 56. Cloud B Will Put Your Baby on Cloud 9 Cloud B children's toys will your children (and therefore you) sleep easier. Made with sustainable bamboo fibers, Dozy Dolphin On-The-Go is the perfect at-home or travelling companion, hanging off everything from cribs to strollers and playing four soothing sounds. 57. Endangered Animals T-Shirts Swell Foop 100% organic cotton t-shirts made and printed in the USA with endangered animals like African bush elephant and Sumatran orangutan, with positive taglines such as "play well" and "evolve." 58. Stuff Your Stocking with Chocolate Shaman Organic Chocolates are chocolates with a cause- helping support Huichol Indian villages- the last Indigenous Tribe in North America. They have bars like Dark Chocolate with Acai, Lemon and Orange, but we think the gold gift boxes, filled with 8 beautiful flower shaped solid chocolates (4 Extra Dark Chocolate and 4 Milk Chocolate with Macadamia Nut & Hawaiian Pink Sea Salt) are perfect stocking stuffers. 59. Foodie to Be Zebra Mix organic baking kits for kids turn baking into a fun, active lesson in just how good organic food can be. Each kit contains step-by-step instructions (like "how to crack an egg"), zany science experiments and creative activities. And by the end, a tasty cupcake is complete and ready to eat! The Sun Jar stores the sun during the day, so you can use it at night. Made from a mason jars store jam, the Sun Jar has a highly efficient solar cell, rechargeable battery and low energy LED lamps inside so that, when lest outside during the day, it store enough light to stay lit through the night. Semi-Homemade Gifting doesn't always have to be about spending a lot and wrapping up a perfect, box-sized package. Creativity goes a long way when it comes to gifting. This is your opportunity to really think about exactly what the "perfect" gift is every person who was lucky enough to make your list. 61. Gift For Mom Here's a mom's gift basket inspired by one of our favorite eco-mom books "The Mom's Guide to Growing Your Family Green: Saving the Earth Begins at Home" by Terra Wellington (St. Martin's Press). Forget about one of those wasteful disposable holiday bags and instead stuff your gift into a bag that's a gift itself. Take a Printed Canvas ECOBAGS® Tote and fill it with: &mdash "The Mom's Guide to Growing Your Family Green: Saving the Earth Begins at Home" &mdash Half dozen organic fruit in season (oranges, tangerines, passion fruit, pomegranate) &mdash Organic Superfood Chocolate Kits from Navitas Naturals. We love that you can create your own healthy varieties of make-your-own gourmet chocolates. Perfect activity with the kids. &mdash Small indoor plant already planted in a lovely small pot picked up from a local farmer's market or natural foods store like Wholefoods market. &mdash Create your own Handmade Coupons (ex: "will grocery shop for you," "will go on a beach walk with you," "dinner for two," "will take the kids for a night by yourself"). 62. Gift For The Foodie Inspired by the "Big Green Cookbook" by Jackie Newgent, RD (Wiley, 2009), this gift includes recipes from the book and ingredients to make them (or you can make them as part of the gift!). HAPPY PLANET COOKIES Naturally Nutritious Chocolate Chip Cookies Makes 12 servings: 2 cookies each What would life be without the chocolate chip cookie? Well, luckily you don't have to worry about that. And if you're going green, you still don't need to worry. These New Age hyperbaked goodies will definitely make you, and the planet, happy. They're green chocolate chip cookies with an extra dose of healthfulness that actually taste good! 1 cup stone-ground whole-wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 1/2 cup canola or peanut oil 1 cup turbinado or Demerara sugar 1 large organic egg 1 tablespoon apple butter 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats 4 1/2 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate chips or chunks 1. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne (if using) in a medium bowl. Set aside. 2. Whisk together until combined the oil and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in the egg, apple butter, and vanilla extract until smooth. 3. Stir the flour mixture into the oil-sugar mixture until blended. Stir in the oats, then the chocolate chips until combined. (Don't worry if the mixture seems a bit stiff; it's because of all of the hearty ingredients and is supposed to be that way.) 4. Line two baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoon onto the sheets, 12 cookies each. 5. Place in the oven, then turn the heat to 375°F (do no preheat oven). Bake until they just spread out to cookie shape, yet are still undercooked to the touch, 10 to 12 minutes. As quickly as possible (so you don't let out too much heat), open the oven and swap the trays--move the tray on the top rack to the bottom and bottom rack to the top. Close the oven, then turn the oven off and let the cookies continue baking in the off oven until desired brownness and crispness, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheets on racks. (Note: The cookies will continue to cook slightly once out of the oven, too.) PER SERVING: 260 calories, 14g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 20mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 35g total carbohydrate, 2g dietary fiber, 3g protein (Reprinted with permission from Big Green Cookbook by Jackie Newgent, RD, Wiley, 2009) FRUIT PUNCH WITH PUNCH contained in wide-mouthed reusable bottle Fresh Fruit Rum Punch Makes 1 serving: 1 1/4 cups each You know you need to get some fruits into your diet, so what better way than mixed into a spirited cocktail? With this potent punch you'll be able to check off getting your fruit servings for the day. Juice of 1 small lemon or 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons) 1/2 cup seasonal fruit juice of choice, such as freshly squeezed orange juice 1/4 cup light- or medium-bodied rum 1 tablespoon mild floral honey 1 slice of lemon or orange, for garnish 1. Add the lemon juice, fruit juice, rum, honey, and 3 large ice cubes to a cocktail shaker; shake vigorously for 1 minute. 2. Strain into a tall glass over additional ice. If desired, garnish the rim with a lemon slice. PER SERVING: 260 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 33g total carbohydrate, 0g dietary fiber, 1g protein (Reprinted with permission from Big Green Cookbook by Jackie Newgent, RD, Wiley, 2009) 63. Eco-Luxe Gift For The Foodie The best gift I was ever given was an afternoon lunch with Thomas Keller at his private chef's garden filled with a slew of heirloom produce in Yountville, CA. The gift was a detailed description of the foodie adventure, and the accompanying gift &mdash a tomato plant. Here's how to give a culinary adventure to your favorite foodie: &mdash Type of a description on beautiful handmade stationary from Green Shanti http://greenshanti.com describing in detail the foodie adventure, including: &mdash Location &mdash Date &mdash Transportation &mdash Accommodation And the accompanying gift? Depends on the experience, but try to tie it in like my tomato plant. A few ideas: &mdash An afternoon picking your own produce on a farm, then going home and creating an organic meal together &mdash A series of cooking classes followed by a dinner with friends to showcase the new talent, plus a gift certificate to a local natural food market to purchase the ingredients for the dinner. &mdash A cooking vacation to learn about your foodie's favorite fare. 64. Gift For The Artist (even if just an artist at heart) Give the gift of artistic expression: Gift certificates to Art Classes. And the accompanying gift? Eco art gear of course! We love these from Rex Art, the online art megastore: &mdash Cachet Earthbound Portfolios &mdash Fabriano ECOWhite Artist Paper Pads &mdash Caran d'Ache Luminance Lightfast Pencil Sets 65. For The Green Fitness Enthusiast Encourage your favorite fitness "freak" to become an eco fitness freak by buying them an online gym-ish membership from ExerciseTV, allowing them to get in shape on-demand from a laptop instead of requiring electricity-sapping cardio machines. As a little extra incentive, give some eco gear like the Walking For Fitness Kit with Kathy Smith DVD 66. For The Dog Lover True dog lovers consider their pups to be part of the family. Give your favorite dog lover something you know they not only want, but need: dog toys. Why? Because dogs tend to destroy their toys and are always in need of more. But instead of just buying dog toys, give a super special treat &mdash a treat-filled toy! The gift includes: Planet Dog's durable, non-toxic, recyclable Orbee-Tuff with Treat Spot plus a dog treat cookbook to make their own tasty doggie cookie. 67. Gift For A Tech-Savvy Crafter Forget about cards and help your friends go greener with Pixorial. It's a video/dvd digitizing, editing, mini-movie making platform that will finally put all of those old home VHS movies into one cohesive mashup of memories &mdash perfect as an online holiday card. Love it! 68. For The Outdoor Concert Lover An ultimate for music lovers is an outdoor concert venue. Sweeten the deal by bringing a few treats too. This gift will include: &mdash Tickets to a concert &mdash Organica Ginger Cookies and Salted Caramels from Organica Deluxe that are so good you just might forget about the show! &mdash Organic wine from Persimmon Creek Vineyards made from crushed from organic grapes grown in the mountains of North Georgia. More than organic grapes, Persimmon Creek is a family-owned boutique winery powered by clean, renewable solar energy, and the picking, crushing, bottling, corking and labeling are... drum roll please &mdash done by hand. &mdash Wine Carafe to hold the wine. Why? Because most outdoor music venues don't allow glass bottles. But don't let that stop you from toting the wine! Instead, pour your wine into a food-grade stainless steel reusable bottle. The Wine Karafe can hold an entire 750ml bottle of wine and is perfect for toting to the show. Just don't forget to bring it home, wash it out, and use it over and over again. Got your creative juices flowing but still haven't settled on the exact right semi-homemade gift? Here are a lots of other ideas sure to fill your DIY gifting needs. Because it really does feel good to be a great gifter! 69. For The Beauty Queen Forget about going out and spending a bundle on beauty and skincare products for your favorite "beauty queen." Let her get creative by creating her own. Inspired by Elizabeth TenHouten's book "Cooking Well: Beautiful Skin: Over 75 Antioxidant-Rich Recipes for Glowing Skin," (Hatherleigh Press, 2009) is this semi-homemade basket of beauty that includes not only the book, but the recipe and ingredients for a Elizabeth's Luxury Clay Beauty Byte mask. Your gift should include: &mdash "Cooking Well: Beautiful Skin" &mdash 1/2 Tbsp. Bentonite Clay (absorbs toxins from the skin, exfoliates and improves circulation) &mdash 1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar (natural antibacterial, known to improve acne) Directions: Mix together Bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar with hygienic tongue depressor until mixture becomes a creamy paste. Apply to face, avoiding eye area. Leave clay mask on for 10 minutes and rinse with cold water to seal pores.