Saner Gift Giving (Part 3) - Useful and Green Gifts

For those of us who like to give tangible, un-wrapable gifts, "Saner" gifting is a particular challenge.  But you can present your petty pretty package (stay tuned for more on that!), and still feel good about what's inside.  To me, the most wasteful and least "sane" gifts are the baubles and tchotchkes that have no particular use or purpose.
So this year, I challenge you - whether for a family member, friend, "secret santa", or host/ess - give a useful and/or green gift.  Here are a few ideas and resources to get you started:

If you don't know your giftee very well - in a secret santa or host/ess - situation, I like giving food gifts - a plate of homemade cookies, a jar of yummy trailmix, a bottle of wine, a box of organic, free trade chocolate, even a fruit basket!  (Outpost, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's are my favorite places to find good, and out-of-the-ordinary food gifts.  There's also Alterra and Anodyne for locally roasted coffee, and Rishi for amazing teas.) Even if you end up giving them something that they don't personally enjoy, chances are that they'll have some sort of event during the holidays where they can put it out to share.  And wine is one of the most re-giftable items out there!  (Just make sure you dust off the bottle before you slap on that bow and take it to your next cocktail party.)

For Milwaukeeans who love to dine out, City Tins could be a great option! For a mere $25, you get a set of 20+ $10 gift cards to great local restaurants.  (Maybe your giftee will even take you out to dinner!)

Ideas and resources for green gifts are all over the web.  Check out:
- etsy.com - for anything and everything vintage and handmade
- Viva Terra - for design-y, gorgeous, and ethically sourced finds
- Branch Home - for more beautiful, unusual and green items for the home
- Reuseit.com - for thermoses, water bottles, and reusable lunch kits

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