Green Graduation Gifts

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With graduation season rapidly approaching, many parents are racking their brains to find a gift for the happy grads in their life. Something a little more than “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” but a little less than a brand-new car.

The options can be overwhelming, and often it’s tempting to get something just for the sake of getting it, but we all know that the best gifts are the ones that mean something — for the giver and the recipient. Likewise, gifts that take an environmental toll seem antithetical to the concept of graduation — these grads are our future, so why would we celebrate their achievements with gifts that destroy the very world they’re about to enter as adults?

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! We’ve put together five suggestions for green graduation gifts that are meaningful, eco-friendly and sure to send your not-so-little one out into the world on the right foot.

1. Donate to Kiva in their name

Kiva is one of many microloan organizations changing the face of charity work around the globe. Rather than simply donating funds to those in impoverished regions, which many argue fosters a culture of dependency and helplessness, Kiva empowers its recipients by matching donors with individuals hoping to pay for education, purchase supplies to sell or buy the equipment needed to begin their own business.

Loan amounts start at just $25, and borrowers currently have a repayment rate of over 97 percent. Best of all, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Once the initial loan is repaid, lenders get to choose a new recipient and lend again! Way better than a manicure, right?

2. Travel

Whether you choose to contribute to an already-planned trip or give them the gift of travel as a nudge out of the nest; whether they’re going to the other side of the globe or just to see a little more of their own country, traveling truly is one of the best ways to spend your money. Research has long confirmed the positive value of experiences rather than things, and encouraging your grad to get out…