Finding a meaningful gift for a close friend sometimes can be difficult; just think how much harder that is with an acquaintance you've met only a handful of times. It's difficult to know what type of gift will suit an acquaintance's interests, hobbies and lifestyle. Whether you're congratulating someone on a new home or thanking someone for all the hard work, make sure you find a green gift that'll make a lasting impression.
For the bride-to-be
A bride can't say "I do" without a sendoff from her friends and family. If you're attending an acquaintance's bridal shower, always check for items that are still available for purchase on the bride's registry. If you want to go a greener gift-giving route, a Marigold & Grey gift set is the perfect way to pamper the bride before her big day. The company offers four bride-specific gift sets that range from $79 to $149. Eco-friendly basket items include reusable mugs, soy candles, natural bath salts and more. For a natural finishing touch, most baskets include fresh flowers and other greenery.
For the co-worker
A practical gift is key for someone with a busy day-to-day schedule. The Keep Cup tumbler can hold your colleague's freshly brewed coffee, tea or iced drink while he or she is on the move. It comes in three size options: 8 ounces, 12 ounces and 16 ounces. Prices range from $12 to $16, depending on the tumbler size you purchase. Also, the 100 percent recyclable cups and lids are available in different shades, giving you the option to tailor a tumbler specifically to your co-worker's color preferences. Who wouldn't want a durable, reusable and colorful cup for sipping on a morning pick-me-up?
For the distant relative
Think twice before giving a distant relative another gift card or random gift he or she will barely use. Everyone loves a decent dose of dessert, and the Greyston Bakery gift box is a sweet treat your relative won't forget. The $30 Bright Future gift box contains six brownies and a chocolate fudge brownie candle. Gift givers can choose among brownie flavors such as a brown sugar blondie, snickerdoodle blondie or chocolate fudge brownie. If you're having trouble deciding what flavor your relative prefers, go for an assortment. Providing high-quality brownies isn't the only thing Greyston Bakery focuses on. The New York-based company uses solar power in its manufacturing processes, sponsors local environmental events and trains and employs individuals based on its Open Hiring™ model.
For the graduate
Eco-friendly grads of all ages will enjoy blasting their favorite music through a $20 handcrafted Morph Renew speaker. This specific model is made for iPhones as well as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7. All Morph speakers are completely made from reclaimed wood and are all unique. Made in the United States, the speakers are cordless and designed to amplify music directly from a phone's speaker. Also, this is a gift that will give back to the environment in more than one way. The company is partnered with Trees for the Future, an organization that has already planted more than 112 million trees across the globe. When you purchase one Morph speaker, one tree is planted somewhere around the world in its honor.
For the new neighbor
Welcome your neighbor to your street with a handmade, Moroccan-style candle from Prosperity Candle. For $28, your new neighbor will receive a Fair Trade candle that has been hand-poured and crafted by female artisans – mostly refugees – from around the world. Choose from fragrances such as chamomile and sage, ocean breeze, and lime and basil. Also, select among four scent strengths: light, moderate, strong and unscented. To make your green gift more personal, the company also offers a Design Your Own option, where you have the ability to customize your gift by picking a vessel, fragrance, fragrance strength and other candle accessories.
For the new homeowner
Nothing gives guests a warm welcome quite like a doormat with personality. The Bambeco Hello doormat is $34 and is a great gift for an eco-conscious new homeowner. The mat is handcrafted from coconut fiber, making it all natural and simple to clean. Also, the mat's dye is fade resistant and non-toxic, according to Bambeco's site. Find something else you want to order on the site? For purchases over $100, the company offers carbon-free shipping through a company called Carbonfund.org.
For the newlyweds
Help newlyweds display a favorite picture or memory with a VivaTerra repurposed picture frame. The company's site explains how these frames are crafted from recycled oak barrels used primarily in popular French and United States wine regions. The frames are individual and rustic in character, displaying unique color variations and label markings. Also, you can choose to purchase a 4 by 6 inch frame at $49 or a 5 by 7 inch frame at $59.
For the new parent
New parents need tons of supplies to keep their baby happy, healthy and clean. The $45 hooded towel and wash mitt set from Under the Nile makes a fun addition to a newborn's bath time. Made from organic Egyptian cotton, this cozy towel set is duck themed and global organic textile standard (GOTS) certified. Parents can rest easy knowing that baby is snuggled up post-bath in soft, organic material that contains no artificial colorants and fragrances, as mentioned by the company website. Under the Nile also offers organic baby clothing and toys.
For the teacher
Whether it's for a holiday or the start of summer break, thank a teacher in a green way with an eco-friendly calendar from Botanical Paperworks. This calendar features inspirational quotes from famous novelists and thinkers such as Hans Christian Andersen, Albert Einstein, Victor Hugo and more. Also, each page of the $15 calendar is embedded with seeds. At the end of each month, teachers can plant the corresponding page in a garden pot and watch flowers bloom! Flower colors include hot pink, aqua, coral and yellow and would add a vibrant touch to any classroom.