Green Gift Guide: For Friends and Coworkers

Green, organic and fair-trade gifts for our coffee-break coworkers and sweet-toothed friends.

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Happy Sacks reusable sandwich bag

Caving to peer pressure (all the other green bloggers are doing it) and my love of online shopping, this week I'll feature ideas for green holiday shopping, for different recipients each day. They'll be green through and through, but not in crunchy-granola-treehuggy way, and they won't break your budget. Today: Gifts for coworkers and friends.

Tuesday: For her

Wednesday: For him

Thursday: Gifts for kids

Friday: Gifts for philanthropists

  • For your lunch buddy, a cheap and simple reusable sandwich wrap would replace plastic sandwich baggies. They come in cheerful patterns, and are easy to clean in the dishwasher. (, $8.95)
    • Your coffee-loving coworker may have a reusable thermos, but it's probably not as clever as this ceramic paper cup designed by James Burgess ($20). If you're New Yorkers, this riff on the traditional deli disposable cup might be more suitable ($14). And if you and your coworkers enjoy Ramen noodles after your coffee, sub this ceramic noodle cup ($28) in for their regular disposable one. (All from

      • Heading to someone's house for a holiday party? Here's a housewarming gift that will make your hosts look closer - a bowl woven from recycled telephone wire by African artisans (it's fair trade). (, $16-$70)
        • Holiday flowers are lovely on a friend's mantelpiece, but it's better to get blooms that are grown in an ecofriendly manner. has an array of wreaths and centerpieces that are seasonable and sustainable. (, $30-$80)
          • Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" is a staple for any kitchen, so it's natural that a friend thinking of becoming a vegetarian should get their hands on a copy of "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian." Another foodie must-have: Alice Waters' "The Art of Simple Food." (, both $23)
            • Too busy to bake? For a bit of luxury, try one of Organica Deluxe's gift sets, which have gourmet coffee, tea, or chocolate and chewy, sugary ginger cookies - all of which are fair trade and all-natural. (, $20-$50)
              • Dagoba chocolates are fair trade, organic, and heavenly to a chocolate connoisseur. The cacao comes from Central and South America and Madagascar, and Dagoba supports ecological projects in each source country for their chocolate. (, $16)