Every year around this time, I say the same thing:
I’m going to plan ahead this holiday season. I’m not going to pay exorbitant express shipping fees. I’m going to sit and make a list of thoughtful gifts, and I will not impulse buy out of desperation. I will not give any gifts while thinking, “Oh, she’ll think it’s funny,” because I wasn’t able to think of anything more original to give.
Part of this diatribe includes client gifts. If I plan far enough ahead of time, then I can usually come up with something, but I pile on the challenge by also wanting to make it eco-friendly. The problem is that many of these gifts are just clutter-creators or throwaways.
Of course, you could make a donation on behalf of your clients or give them each a gift membership to a non-profit organization, but some people think that’s too impersonal (even if it is a great idea).
So here are my favorite eco-friendly client gifts that are useful, memorable, tangible, and green!
It has been proven that plants significantly lower workplace stress and enhance productivity. My absolute favorite gift to give clients is a money tree.
Traditionally, a money tree symbolizes prosperity, and they’re fairly easy to care for. Unlike the common bonsai, you can just water the little tree, pull off a few dead leaves every once in a while, and place it somewhere near a window.
The best part is that, all year round, your client will be reminded of your thoughtful, green gift!
These cards are just the coolest thing because, if you’re like me, you feel badly about throwing out greeting cards when their time has passed, even if you recycle them. One of the most incredible innovations in greeting cards is the plantable card. Recipients simply stick the card in the ground and flowers will grow. How cool is that?
Give a set of thank you cards or all-occasion cards, and send out your own plantable holiday cards to your clients instead of those cheap pre-printed greeting cards. Take it a step further and use a company like PrintGlobe to create your own seeded products with your logo on them!
Stationery or a journal can make a lovely gift for clients, particularly when they’re made from recycled paper and sustainable practices.
And here’s a tip: You can often buy journals in sets. Split them up, wrap them in some recycled wrapping paper, and send them from your office with a personal plantable notecard and a business card tucked inside!
This is a new one on my list and I’ll definitely be self-gifting one this year. I love the size (5.5 x 9″) and I love that it’s made from real bamboo from FSC-certified forests.
If your client doesn’t want to use it at the office for jotting notes during phone calls or for to-do lists, there will surely be someone in their home that would find this handy. And you don’t have to worry about it contrasting with your clients’ style because it will complement almost any decor.
Sometimes giving an eco-friendly gift is about giving something traditional – like a gift basket – made by an organization that supports sustainability, social responsibility, and global change. You can give back by making a purchase while sending a message of social responsibility in every box.
If your clients tend to be caffeine connoisseurs, then a gift basket of fair trade coffee, tea, or hot chocolate can be a great gift idea, particularly if you’re sending a gift to a small office.
I’m always looking for eco-friendly gift ideas, so do you have any that you’d like to share? Please drop a comment below!