In order to stray from your average run of the mill gift guides, College Avenue has put together a list of  Christmas presents with the environmentally friendly flair that embodies Fort Collins to help you go sustainable this Christmas!

tree trunks wrapped with fairy lights
Lights in Old Town December 2014 (Photo by Megan Rakoczy)

“I think it’s important to act sustainably over the holiday season because, for me, it’s a small way to pay tribute to the areas in the world that aren’t fortunate enough to enjoy the holidays due to all of the unsustainable actions surrounding their communities,” said Acacia Sublette,  Summit Hall’s Eco-Leader.

Buying sustainable and eco-friendly products goes a long way. They may be a bit pricier, but they say a lot. Not only are they thoughtful gifts, but your money goes towards a good cause, which just perpetuates good actions and efforts in the future.

So do your part this holiday season by helping out the world while also making your friends feel loved and appreciated!!

If you want more gift ideas, check out treehugger.com/gift-guides for several lists that are themed to fit your friends’ interests. If those don’t cut it, talk to an Eco-Leader on campus; they hold office hours on the top floor of the Pavilion every weekday in the afternoons. There are also ideas on Tumblr, Pinterest, Google, you name it — so get out there and save the planet with the power of your purchases!

Teacup Orchid


Plants are the best gifts. They brighten up office and desk space, don’t need as much care as an animal and they supply fresh oxygen. Better yet, teacup orchids are really cheap at Walmart right now at about $8. If your friend isn’t into exotic angiosperms, consider cacti or other small plants, like bamboo. If you’re going for a more  relaxing gift, get a bonsai tree, which will calm even the busiest person while they trim those tiny little branches. Are they a plant killer? Try a self-watering pot at IKEA that only costs $10.

Ecoxpower System


For all your biker friends out there, this gadget charges your phone from the power of your pedaling, so all that leg work pays off in more ways than just having amazing thighs. It’s a bit pricey — around $100 — but with Christmas rolling around, can you put a price tag on love? Not to mention you’ll be encouraging alternative transport, so everyone wins in the long run!

Fair Trade, Palm Oil Free Chocolate

Did you know that Rams Express sells this chocolate? Fair trade products are better for the global economy as a whole because they ensure that employees are paid fairly and that customers get quality products. So feed your friends’ sweet tooth, and feel good knowing you are helping make the world a better place.

Bean Cycle Gift Card


Alright, we know gift cards are pretty tacky. However, by buying a gift card from Bean Cycle, you are giving the gift of sustainability in more ways than one. Bean Cycle serves coffee made from organic, shade-grown, fair trade coffee beans. That’s enough to make any environmentally-conscious person drool. Also, buying a gift card from Bean Cycle, or any other local shop, helps the local economy. Lastly, Bean Cycle hosts lots of cool events for free, like poetry slam night. So in a way, you’re getting the recipient coffee and a fun evening out all in one.

Upcycled Clothing


Do you have a knack for needles? Plato’s Closet is just off College Avenue, and with a few bucks and some elbow grease, you can make one-of-a-kind treasures for your friends, while simultaneously recycling older clothing. This keeps clothes from ending up in landfills and gives your friends something to wear when you hang out, or just an excuse to think of you.

Numi Artisan’s Tea Blending Kit


Some days, especially now that it’s chilly outside, there are very few things better than curling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea. Numi Artisan’s Tea is a kit where your favorite friends can make their own custom tea blends. It comes with organic teas and spices, tea bags, herbs, fruits and a reusable box. The recipient also gets his/her very own tea pot. Can’t get much cooler than that.

This article was created for the Holiday Gift Guide produced by College Avenue Magazine staff. 

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