If you’re one of the few folks contemplating buying a new, fuel efficient set of wheels you may want to wait until spring.
The Honda Insight, which will debut at dealers in 2009, is being marketed as the most affordable hybrid. Global sales of 200,000 units per year are expected, with approximately 100,000 in North America. The Insight will feature Honda’s new interactive, driver-focused fuel economy enhancement technology named the Ecological Drive Assist System.
The five-passenger hatchback will likely start at under $20,000.
This holiday season it’s about giving gifts that give back. Here are some gift ideas that both your loved ones and planet will appreciate!
- Rainforest Site: Recycled gifts that preserve the rain forests. Check out their recycled gifts, which range from bags to earrings to dog toys (at right) and more, many of which make great stocking stuffers! And, every purchase you make goes toward funding the preservation of the world’s rain forests, so you’ll be making a meaningful contribution while you do your holiday shopping. Plus, shipping is only 1 cent on all US orders.
- Native Energy: Holiday cards that reduce global warming. These holiday cards are printed in soy ink on 100% recycled paper. Your purchase goes toward building renewable energy generators; each card ($14) will prevent a ton of carbon dioxide from releasing into the atmosphere. Because they are as informational as they are filled with holiday spirit, you can spread the word of carbon offsets along with holiday cheer this winter season.
- Brilliant Earth: Environmentally-conscious jewelry.
The special lady in your life will be sure to swoon over these jewelry pieces made from environmentally and socially responsible sources. The range of pieces is extensive, so you’ll be sure to find one that suits your taste. My favorite is the Silver Peace Pendant ($90), a classic and polished style. The company is also donating 5% of their profits to African communities affected by jewelry trade.
- BeGreen’s Gift of Green: Green gifts that plant a tree. When you purchase a Gift of Green (a line of assorted bags, cards, and stickers) a tree is planted in a US ecosystem restoration project. Each card can include a personalized message. And, every recipient will also receive a plant-able ornament made of seed paper, as well as a card that includes the environmental benefits of their planted tree. My favorite is the reusable bag, BeGreen Pod ($12.95), made from 100% recycled polyester.
Some other green gift ideas
Green Living for Dummies: An educational, yet practical read for green lifestyle newbies ($13.59)
Plenty Magazine: Subscribe to the environmental news and commentary magazine ($12 per year)
iRex Digital Reader 1000: Go paperless and work interactively with documents using this digital reader ($749)
Bike Friday: Travel with ease ANYday with this collapsible bike ($895-$7000)
Why not make waves this season and adopt a sea-loving creature from Oceana? The gift package includes a stuffed animal and certificate of adoption of, let’s say, a killer whale. For mammal lovers, for sure; ($50).
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Homemade gifts are an excellent choice if you just can’t seem to find the perfect gift. You can make wind-chimes or personalize a photo frame from found items such as seashells and broken plates. Check out any of the DIY or crafting sites and mags for tips! Remember, nothing beats a gift from the heart.
How could you not love a company whose guiding principles include: “Sustainability comes first, profit comes second.” And where every product is made from at least 50% recycled content?
pictured above – L and R:
Bicycle Earrings (£3.49) – made from recycled wire and tin by Teenage Mothers and Girls Association of Kenya, TEMAK.
The Unswoosher Boot for men and women, (£60/pair) – the sole is made from recycled tire, and the upper is an organic canvas from hemp. Here’s the kicker — it has a hand-painted logo and is finished with a hand-brushed bit of mud!
U.K.-based, The Recycle Warehouse is headed by Friends of the Earth Board Member and Greenpeace activist, John Halladay, who’s on a self-proclaimed crusade to lead the way in the battle against climate change. With almost 400 items featured, you can find one-of -a-kind, upcycled jewelry and clothing as well as many green items for your home or office. Do what’s right: reduce, re-use, recycle.