Are you a fan of the holiday season? If so then you’re probably spending countless nights and weekends fretting about and searching for the perfect gift for that special someone – the kind that reflects the personality and character of the recipient and the generous spirit of the giver.

But what happens when that special someone is eco-friendly? You may feel stuck, at a loss for ideas and way out of your shopping comfort zone. What’s a desperate holiday shopper to do?

First, don’t panic. Then consider choosing gifts that are local and green. Finding green gifts is easier than you may think. In fact, NH is brimming with great ‘green gifts’ ideas that could turn out to be the perfect gift for all your eco-friendly loved ones.

Dining and Getaways:

Everyone enjoys a sumptuous meal or a relaxing weekend getaway and you can find lots of eco-friendly options to both right here in NH.  Try browsing through the listings of restaurants and hotels at the New Hampshire Sustainable Lodging and Restaurant Program for some delicious, green restaurants and comfortable yet sustainable hotels. Your friends and family will thank you.

Although NHSLP is not a definitive list, it is a useful place to start when searching for sustainable locales and dishes that will make anyone’s mouth water. A few places not on NHSLP’s list, but definitely worth recommending are a few of my own personal favorites, MT’s Local (formerly Michael Timothy’s) in Nashua, NH and Republic Café in Manchester, NH. Bon Apetite and sleep well.

Gifts, Housewares and Home:

For a more personal touch, there are some outstanding NH retail stores that carry thoughtful and earth-friendly products where you’re sure to find just the right something for that special  someone. If you’re in the Concord, NH area, check out Bonafide Green Goods or see them online. They have a wide selection of unique and sustainable items for kitchen, bath, personal and home use. They also offer some workshops and post updates about green events in the area. They’re a useful resource for ongoing green activities.

Moving a little more toward the house and home side of things is Your Home, Your World, also in Concord and Green Depot in Manchester, NH.  Your Home, Your World focuses on design, décor and green living while Green Depot leans more toward green building materials.  Both would be excellent places to get a gift certificate for the green DIY’er in your family.

Food and Organic Products:

What’s better than getting healthy, locally grown dairy, vegetable, and meat for your family on a regular basis? Well, having it given to you as a gift of course. Why not consider purchasing a share to a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program?  The New Hampshire Agriculture Department maintains a list of CSA programs in the state to choose from.  If a CSA share sounds too ambitious then there is always the option of a gift certificate to one of the State’s best natural food stores,  A Market in Manchester, or Concord Food Coop in Concord, NH.

For a wide search of organic or related products and services in New Hampshire, check out the Organic Consumers Association’s buying guide where you can enter your zip code, specify the distance around it, and voila, you’ll get a listing of what’s available in your area. Find everything from pet supplies to pest control and everything in between.

Last but Not Least Options:

If after reading all these ideas you still find yourself with barely a wisp of a green gift idea, there are two last fail safe options. Both look to our local artisans for inspiration. Check out the online store at The League of NH Craftsmen where you can find incredible and artistic handmade items. Their beauty, creativity and craftsmanship will blow your mind.  Also click on Etsy, the largest online outlet for handmade crafts, supplies and vintage items (vintage as in “reuse” from the green mantra of “reduce, reuse, recycle”).  On Etsy you can perform a local search to find items in your local zip code area.  Look for me there as Java Jayne to see some of my own upcycled, burlap coffee sack creations.

Now go. Go find the perfect, local green gift for your special someone.

Choosing Local Green Gifts for the Holidays
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