Green Hanukkah Gifts

Photo: istockphoto.com/Tova Teitelbaum
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish holiday that offers up eight crazy nights of gifts and celebration! That gives you eight chances to help make your friends and family live greener lifestyles with your earth-friendly gifts! Green fashion for Mom Fashionable, eco-friendly gifts for mom will make her friends green with envy! Check out the beautiful, fair trade paisley wool shawl from Gaiam, made from 100% wool, or a more affordable gift: slim fitting organic jeans sold by Fair Indigo. Is mom looking for a stylish hat that is made from sustainable products? Consider the summerlyn organic hat by Aventura Clothing. Green gadgets for Dad If dad likes to sleep in and is always late to work, check out the water powered multifunction alarm clock from ThinkGeek. You never have to worry about the eco-unfriendly batteries used to power up your gadgets -- with just one fill of water on this alarm clock you're set for two to three months! Is your dad obsessed with maintaining the best lawn in the neighborhood? Then he'll love the Robomow. It is an automatic, hands-free lawnmower that cuts the lawn all by itself on a single charge -- that means no gas, no oil, and no emissions! Best of all, the robotic mower helps maintain a healthy lawn through mulching, a process that releases nutrients into the soil from the cut grass. Greener Kids Gift buying for the kids can be a daunting task, but luckily, there are many eco-friendly options that will impress the kids. Chances are, your son or daughter has 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 or doing homework on a laptop in the quad, he or she can power up their gadgets with the Solio. For the fashion forward kid, check out the trendy and sexy Kuyichi brand denim, all fair trade and organic. They definitely give major label jeans a run for their money, and for bonus points, Kuyichi is an ethical company that treats all its workers with respect and equality. But if they have plenty of jeans already, go for a type of clothing they probably didn't think could be both environmentally conscious and hip: eco-sneakers from Simple Shoes. With styles for men and women, it will be easy to find green sandals, sneakers, and loafers that will please even the pickiest of fashionistas. If your kids are music junkies, you should consider skipping CD purchases. Not only are you consuming wastefully packaged products, chances are only a few tracks of the album are worth listening to. Instead, purchase cyber gift certificates to iTunes or Amazon.com where your son or daughter will be able to download individual songs they want to jam to, without the waste that traditional CD purchases come with. For the family If your entire family is deciding to take a green approach to life, lessening your collective footprint on the environment, a great product for the home is the Ecopod. This personal home recycling system is sleek and compact, and will earn you some extra cash (depending on where you live) by compacting all the aluminum cans you go through to take to your local recycler. Don't forget the friends If you had to buy eight gifts for every one of your friends, you'd go broke pretty quickly. But there are still some simple, green ways to remember your friends during Hanukkah. A free e-card is a paperless way to deliver holiday greetings to anyone with an email. But lets spruce up that e-card a bit, shall we? Include in the message a link to Support.com's free service that will help the environment (and save you cash) by configuring your computer to use less energy. They can do it online, it takes only 10 minutes, and it's absolutely free. You can't beat that! Jason Antebi a freelance writer and radio professional in Los Angeles. He expects dozens of paperless e-cards this year for Hanukkah.