Enviro-friendly stocking stuffers

Photo: istockphoto.com/Royden Juriansz
There are plenty of ways to fill Christmas stockings with eco-friendly products. Pass these tips on to Santa Claus. Edible treats Finding a Christmas orange in the toe of your stocking was once a widely followed tradition; and it's about time it came back into style. Oranges and apples provide delicious and healthy alternatives to sugary holiday foods. Try buying produce that is organic or locally grown. And your yummy stocking stuffer doesn't have to be a fruit or vegetable. Try dark chocolate or even packages of organic teas. Gifts that give Stockings are perfect for gift certificates and charitable donations. Find out what someone's favourite local environmental cause is and make a donation in his or her name. The non-profit website, Changing the Present, lists hundreds of causes to which you can make donation gifts. The website also allows you to design a personalized greeting card to give with your gift. The cards and envelopes are recyclable and made from a minimum of 30 percent post-consumer fibres. Under the section on environmental causes you can choose to save a sea turtle, adopt a polar bear, protect wildlife in Yellowstone National Park, or provide seeds to needy farmers. Charity Navigator is another useful website that lets you browse many of the world's leading charities. It also features a Holiday Giving Guide, valuable information on finding reputable charities, and handy lists of some of the best charities for your money. If after visiting these websites you still can't find what you want, think about giving your loved one a membership to a local museum or park. And Nature Conservancy is where you can adopt an acre or rescue the reef. Tiny eco-treasures Stocking stuffers are all about finding fun and delightful items that are tiny enough to fit. Unfortunately, this often translates into - well let's face it - plastic junk purchased at the eleventh hour in a discount dollar store. Plan ahead now and be smarter at finding tiny treasures. You'll make Santa proud. Some of our favourites Here are some ideas for your green stocking stuffer:
  • biodegradable golf tees
  • biodegradable poop 'n scoop bags
  • energy-efficient light bulbs and flashlights
  • napkins and facecloths made from organic cotton or bamboo
  • organic seeds for next year's growing season
  • rechargeable batteries
  • DVDs of environmental documentaries
  • organic lip balm
  • hand knitted socks
  • subscription to Green Living Magazine.
  • Finally, if you are in need of the stocking itself, handcraft one from some of your old clothes or shop around for one made from organic cotton or with recycled materials. Shannon Wilmot is a freelance writer based in Toronto.