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Natural and Eco-Friendly Gifts for Grads of Any Age

written by: •edited by: BStone•updated: 6/24/2014

Reward graduates from preschool, elementary school, high school, or college, with natural eco-friendly graduation gifts that suit their lifestyle. This guide shows you ideas for great gifts that won’t end up in the back of the closet.

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    Whether you are canvassing for a gift for a youngster leaving kindergarten, or for a twenty-something poised to enter the ‘real world,’ look for natural eco-friendly graduation gifts that help the grads going forward.

    Try to avoid giving boring and impersonal gifts that probably won’t have much meaning or use—like a paperweight, a boxed pen and pencil set, or a mug with ‘congratulations’ written on it.

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    Gift Ideas For Preschool/Elementary School Grads

    Children can be taught very early about the benefits of protecting the environment. Help a preschool or elementary school graduate learn about living in a greener world by using their eco gifts, such as:

    * Clothes made from natural fibers

    Shop at an online organic kids' clothing store, such as Green Edge Kids, for a special outfit that the graduate can wear during the following school year.

    * School supplies made with natural materials

    Companies such as PaperMate, Staples, Lyra, Re-Binder, and Prang offer a range of recycled and reusable school supplies, including pencils, soybean crayons, printer paper, binders, and notebooks.

    * Eco safe backpacks and lunch bags

    Surprise your child with a reusable lunchbox available in a variety of kids’ themes. You can find a good selection from Built NY and Kids Konserve. Or, how about a recycled backpack? Visit Petit Eco Kids to see their entire line of products including cute and colorful backpacks, satchels, and totes.

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    High School Graduate Gift Ideas

    As high school graduates leave for college, or begin new employment, they will appreciate a thoughtful graduation gift from family and friends. Help a graduate stay on the greener-earth path with an assortment of natural and organic goodies:

    * A hair and skin care gift basket

    Ideal for female graduates, a pretty gift basket with organic shampoos, lotions, and cosmetics is good for the skin—and the biodegradable containers won’t harm the environment. Suppliers include Sea Chi Organics, Cosmetics Without Synthetics, and Botanical Skin Works.

    *A gift certificate to a natural foods store

    A college-bound student can fight the ‘freshman 15’ by shopping for healthy treats at a nearby organic foods supermarket.

    * Organic materials for dorms

    You can find dorm room essentials, such as bedding, towels, and laundry holders, in organic varieties. For a fun graduation gift, consider an organic beanbag chair.

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    College Graduate Gift Ideas

    Many college graduates will move into their own apartments as they begin the first stage of their careers. The following green gifts are sure to be appreciated by grads who have finished college and are ready to live independently:

    * Eco-friendly home and office supplies

    Help a college graduate prepare for work life with a gift of green supplies. Shop Office Depot, Staples, or Green Office Supply for recycled printer cartridges, desk supplies, organizers, and paper.

    * Natural or recycled furniture

    A piece of natural furniture, such as a bamboo desk or table, is both practical and attractive in the home of a young adult.

    *Organic cookbooks

    Encourage a college graduate to cook natural foods from cookbooks for beginner chefs. Options include:

    Your Organic Kitchen: The Essential Guide To Selecting And Cooking Organic Foods by Jesse Ziff Cool

    Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways To Incorporate Whole And Natural Foods Into Your Cooking by Heidi Swanson.

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    Buying natural eco-friendly graduation gifts can both educate and encourage the younger generation to protect the planet from environmental harm. The unique gifts in this guide offers a creative twist on traditional graduation presents, and are also helpful for graduates to use in their daily lives.