Green gifts for grads

Photo: ODonnell

Celebrate your graduate's future by giving them a green gift.

Get them recharged
Chances are, your grad is going to own an iPod, cell phone, digital camera, handheld game system, or all of the above! Solio makes a terrific product called the Solio Hybrid 1000, a device that powers most of your handheld devices from solar energy. Next time your kid is lounging at the beach listening to music they can power up their gadgets with the Solio.

Maybe your grad is heading over to Europe? The versatile Powermonkey eXplorer comes with array of plug-on adapters fitting sockets in over 150 countries. Recharging in 3.5 hours, this portable recharger gives 96 hours for mobile phones, 40 hours for iPods, 5 hours for PSPs, 48 hours for PDAs and 1600 digital camera images. Clever monkey!

Wind up power
The Eton FR250 Wind Up Radio is the most ecological radio out there. This AM/FM radio tunes into seven international short-wave bands and is powered by wind-up power, battery or electricity. There's even a built-in flashlight and cell phone battery.

For the office
If a new job awaits, you may want to buy the Water Powered Desk Set. This eco-friendly gift includes a water-powered cloak and calculator. You just add water and away they go. Easy to operate, accurate and a great conversation piece.

A business card holder made from a recycled circuit board cover will be just the thing to hold those new business cards. Available in green, blue or red.

For the green executive
The Voltaic Messenger Solar Backpack has built in solar panels that turn this bag into a mobile power generator. While your community to work, it will be recharging your laptop or electronic devices without tying you to a power outlet. It's reinforced and padded to protect a laptop and has large zipped pockets for documents and plenty of smaller pockets for electronic devices.

The Vulcana messenger bag is made from 100% post-consumer recycled rubber with a zipper pocket on the flap, cell phone pocket, handle top and adjustable shoulder strap.

Frame that picture
You'll need something to hold all those grad photos. Recycled Bicycle Chains have been fashioned into cool picture frames. The double border of interlaced chain is a classic green design chic enough for any desk.

Feel good gifts
Invest in someone else's future. Make a donation in your grad's name to Kiva. This micro-credit organization lends small amount to entrepreneurs around the world to help them get their businesses started.

Sign your grad up for a membership in Global Exchange, an organization and network of global supporters to build a positive and sustainable future through their ethical travel tours, fair trade stores and their campaigns for green community building around the world.

Liam McCann is a freelance writer who wanted a hybrid for his graduation.