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With earth-friendly products gaining in popularity year after year, it's become a lot easier to go green by giving organic foods, household items made of organic materials, eco-friendly kids' toys (see below), or even cutting-edge solar powered electronic gizmos as thoughtful gifts for birthdays or around the holidays.

One of the best things about giving green gifts is that the giver is twice blessed. By giving a gift that helps support the environment you encourage friends and loved ones to do the same!

Here are a few ideas for the eco-friendly on your gift list this year, as well as tips on what to give friends or loved ones who might need a nudge into joining the worldwide green movement bandwagon:

Eco-friendly food gifts - The only (and often easiest) way to go is by shopping at a neighborhood green market where gift baskets of fresh fruits, organic chocolate, or locally baked quick breads make it to the stands, especially around the holidays. If you're handy around the kitchen also consider baking up something all natural to give as a heartfelt personal gift they're sure to enjoy.

Local crafts - Buying local from earth-friendly craftspeople is another time-honored tradition of green adherents. Much like buying local foods, it allows givers to present a handmade gift that hasn't been through the fuel-wasting "transport mill" of shipping, warehousing and distribution. And the result is something unique that the giftee will greatly appreciate.

houseplants make for great green giftsGifts that give back - Plant a tree in their honor, make a donation in their name to a popular environmental action group, or arrange a subscription to a green magazine like Our Planet or Mlother Earth News.

Do they have a green thumb? Forget the bouquet and give them a live houseplant they can can replant in their garden to enjoy for years to come. For additional tips, also check out a review of the the best gifts for gardeners.

Practical eco-friendly gifts - Even if the earth-friendly movement has yet to hit home with friends or loved ones, you'll impress them with gifts like solar powered radios, alarm clocks, or other electronic gadgets that also help the environment. Giftees will not only save the money on batteries and electricity, but it will probably also become top favorites on their list of "cool" possessions they can show off to friends and neighbors.

Wrapping up - For holidays or birthdays, take the extra time to look for gift wrap, tags or cards made of recycled paper. Better yet, find all those perfectly good gift bags and ribbons you may have received to allow them one more use before they eventually get recycled.

More tips & advice about eco-friendly gifts around the Web:

Green Gift Guide: Low-Impact, Eco-Friendly Ideas For the Holidays - Archived but still great post on what to get for the holidays, including things you can make yourself, with related resources.

Green gifts for every occasion - Whether it's a birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day or any day you're sure to find great ideas for green gifting with this library of related articles and how-to's.

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