Being an environmentalist and enjoying the outdoors go hand-in-hand. Whether the person on your gift list enjoys walking their dog in the park, gardening or mountain biking, new materials including plastics and fabrics have made finding outdoorsy green gifts easier than ever. See our picks, after the jump.
1. Cycling: As if cycling wasn't green enough, there are plenty of gifts that continue the trend of green. The Cateye Hybrid ($60.00 and pictured above features a unique dual-battery design. Solar cells charge the nickel-metal hydride battery for up to 6 hours of ride time and the alkaline back-up allows for a 30 hour reserve.
2. Yoga: Since yoga can be done at home or at the gym with little impact, it's a great green sport. If your loved one needs a new mat, consider a greener mat made from hemp or natural rubber. See Amber's quest for a Green Yoga Mat for some options.
3. Camping: Camping, whether from your car or backpacking, is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. If your loved one needs a sleeping bag, be sure to checkout Marmot's EcoPro +30 ($159.00) which is constructed from UpCycle, a PET recycled plastic bottle fabric and insulator. And to make things more comfortable, pair it with the Big Agnes Diversion Recycled insulated air core sleeping pad ($89.99), made from 100% recycled ripstop polyester shell fabric.
4. Music and Communication: Products that have multiple uses are generally easier on the environment. The Eton ECO Edition FR1000 Voicelink Radio ($100 and pictured above) with FRS/GMRS Digital Radio combines several products in one: AM/FM Radio with Weather alert, a 2-Way GMRS radio, a flashlight, and cell phone charger all powered by a hand crank charger. A portion of the proceeds from each ECO Edition will be donated to organizations that support the environment.
5. Gardening: For the home gardener, there are an abundance of green gifts to make their job easier. From vintage garden tools from Bailey's, to Lehr's line of Eco Power Tools that use propane (in recyclable canisters) for power (pictured above is the Lehr Eco Blower: Propane Powered BlowerVac and Mulcher).
5. Climbing: Know a climber with a home rock wall? Rocky Mountain Climbing now offers rock climbing holds made from over 60% recycled materials in the U.S. For the climber on your list, the Metolius Eco Ball ($4.00) provides an environmentally friendly alternative to chalk leaving no trace on rocks.
8. Backpack: Whether for school or the trails, the Mountain Smith Backpacks ($59.95 and pictured above) keeps it green with Redura fabric, featuring 450d Recycled PET main body fabric, 840d Recycled PET reinforcements and 150d Recycled PET ripstop liner. With 1,343 cubic inches of storage, it's perfect for a day hike or school, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
9. Travel Utensils: For the camper or even taking to the office, To-go-ware's eco utensils ($11.95 and pictured above) allow you to enjoy every meal with reusable bamboo utensils. Made from lightweight and strong bamboo, utensils are hand-finished with food-safe oil and come complete with a holder and carabiner.
10. Dog Walker: PlanetDog's Hemp Leash with Fleece-Lined Handle and Natural Hemp Adjustable Collar allow your friend's dog to be as eco as them. Made from naturally strong and sustainable hemp, this duo is comfortable on the hands (fleece-lined) and longer lasting for your dog (the collar will stand up to the more rigorous salt-water swims, mud puddle baths and snowy romps better than a traditional nylon collar).
- If you'd like to continue using green products while traveling, check out Dr. Bronners Organic Liquid Soap in travel size containers. Our pick, the 2 oz Tea Tree Liquid Soap.
- The Wham-O Re-Flyer ($7.99) is a simple Frisbee, but made from post consumer recycled plastic. The same design as their regular Frisbee (110g), but designed to be easier on the environment. Ships in green cardboard packaging.
Our Best Green Gifts 2009 so far (more coming!)