The Story of Stuff & Sustainable Holiday Gift Ideas

Watch this great video with Annie Leonard — it’s an arresting account of the details and repercussions of product Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption, and Disposal. Spread the word, it’s really interesting!

The Story of Stuff

With that in mind, and with the holiday shopping season upon us, it may be better (and easier) to consider buying your loved ones services instead of products – after all, services don’t run out! Here is a range of ideas for

Sustainable Holiday Gifts:

Tickets to movies, musicals, plays, or concerts

Local Artwork

Tours, excursions, hikes

Classes or lessons (cooking, dance, martial arts, yoga, music, art, etc.)

Bus, train, or metro passes

Website or Blog Hosting

Skype credit, calling cards

Gift certificates for:

Spa & Massage

Rock Climbing


A Nice Meal

You could also combine some of these things to make a pretty neat gift package; for instance, you could get your loved one in New Haven:

– a train ticket to New York City,

-a gift certificate to a nice New York French or Middle Eastern restaurant,

– and a ticket to see Wicked or any other show.

They’re sure to have a blast, and who doesn’t love free stuff?


Update: December 18th.

Here are some more ideas for green holiday gifts:

Adopt an Acre, Rescue the Reef, or Adopt a Square Mile.

– Swim with the Sharks (and explore the rest of the site for other ideas, like CityZen Chef’s Table, Radio DJ Experience, Tasting & Tea for Two, and more)

 and definitely check out:

– Green Dimes: For only 15 dollars, cut your junk mail up to 90% and they plant 10 trees!

“Step 1: Sign Up
As soon as you join, our team does all the work to get your name off dozens of direct marketer’s mailing lists. This will take care of a big chunk of the junk!

Step 2: Hate Your Catalogs? Love Your Catalogs?
Just let us know! Log in anytime to your GreenDimes account and click on our easy-to-use Catalog Screener to enter the catalogs and other mailings that you want stopped.

Step 3: You Register. We Monitor.
Each month GreenDimes monitors the Direct Marketing Association’s mailing list to ensure that your name gets off and stays off their mailing lists. In order for us to do this, you will need to register your name with the DMA. They charge $1 per name, but registering will make a big difference in the amount of junk in your mailbox.”

… Happy Holidays! 🙂


2 Responses to “The Story of Stuff & Sustainable Holiday Gift Ideas”

  1. Kendra Says:

    Hey, GreenDimes here- thanks for telling your readers about the service, we really appreciate it! I am also writing to intriduce you to our newest project, TONIC. The idea is pretty simple, but very cool:

    Buy a TONIC Tee and help build schools in India. Or send bed nets to prevent malaria in Africa. Or plant trees in our forests.

    See the difference you can make when you exercise your purchasing power.

    TONIC partners with secular non-profits working around the globe who make huge differences in four key areas – the environment, education, social welfare and poverty. All of our cause partners have proven track records in what they do best, are committed to action now, and ensure that support reaches its destination quickly and efficiently.

    TONIC hands over a big chunk of our revenue, 40% on average, to the people who need it most.

    Visit today!

    Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments. I will look forward to hearing from you soon.


    Kendra Ott

  2. Offsetting your Yale Flights « Yale Sustainability Blog Says:

    […] winter gear from my naive California relatives this Christmas, I for one am going to ask for greener gifts this holiday season – one of which is going to be a handful of carbon offsets from Climate Care […]

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