The Holidays are all about Home. Kitchens filled with family recipes and helping hands; dining rooms stuffed with musical chairs. For some of us, Home is in front of the fireplace, on our parents' saggy couches from the 80s, and we wouldn't dream of changing a thing. (Well, maybe those drafty windows...) For others, Home is always evolving — constantly changing to reflect who we are becoming as people and as a society.
Whether your household projects are geared towards preserving memories or embracing change — or if you're carefully constructing your very first Home — here are some gift ideas for you and your loved ones:
1. Energy Star Certified Power Tools ($499): For intensive remodelers, a reliable set of power tools, including a circular saw and a drill, is a must. Even better, make them Energy Star certified!
2. Green Remodeling: Your Start Toward an Eco-Friendly Home ($17): This great reference book covers the basics of green home renovation and is appropriate for newbies or pros.
3. Green Home Makeover ($99): For those who don't have the time, energy, or interest in getting their hands dirty, a 1-hour in-home consultation will provide custom tips for easy green upgrades.
4. Dual-Flush Toilet Adapter ($60): If nothing else, this gift will spark lively conversation amongst house guests. But don't laugh too hard — these easy-to-install retrofits can save a family of four about 17,000 gallons of water per year.
5. Super Tool ($70): For small jobs, big jobs, and everything in between, this all-in-one hand tool is a perennial favorite.
6. Smart Meter with Google Power Meter ($240): A smart meter compatible with Google Power Meter is easy-to-install and will let you track and manage your electricity use live and over time, as well as compare your usage to others — even remotely! It's a priceless new technology that will give the gift of low utility bills all year long. (Note: Google Power Meter is not available everywhere yet!)
7. Building a Home with My Husband ($17): At the end of a long day of green projects, curl up and enjoy a touching story about the renovation of Life and Home.
8. Green Depot Gift Card ($10-$500): Don't want to give your beloved hobbyist a can of Low-VOC paint with a bow? A Green Depot gift card will let them get what they need — when they need it — to make their Green Dream Home a reality.
9. Sample Library (free): If you're low on cash this year (aren't we all?), or if you prefer to give a gift of time rather than a gift of money, try compiling a small sample library of sustainable materials (carpet, flooring, tile, paint, etc) for your favorite green home renovator to use as inspiration. Producers will often provide samples for free or for the cost of shipping. Start here:
10. Charitable Donation (any price): A charitable donation on behalf of a loved one is always a thoughtful gift — especially when the chosen cause is close to the recipient's heart. For a person who truly values Home, help make sure everyone has a place to lay their head this holiday season. Try Architecture for Humanity or Habitat for Humanity, or search "housing" on GlobalGiving or Modest Needs.
Our Best Green Gifts 2009 so far (more coming!)