Budget and planet friendly gift ideas

• About 25 years ago I lived in Hibbing on Minnesota’s Iron Range and tried to survive selling Electrolux vacuums to unemployed miners. So, I gave a symbol of my woeful financial condition: an apple and a little tin cup filled with pencils. At least it got a few laughs.

— Tom Ratzloff



• Cull a non-native invasive species to use for a holiday tree and wood sculpture projects. Good for the environment and pocketbook.

— D.L. Lecano



• Frame memorabilia from the Obama campaign — get frames at thrift stores.

• Burn a CD with your favorite songs.

• Homemade granola, put it in old spaghetti jars and print your own label (my daughter did this for both grampas last year; they had a hard time not eating it all in one sitting).

— Elena Mora



• 2009 Peace Calendar:

• Fair trade chocolate from Ghana:

• Solar charger for your cell phone, ipod, etc. — as used by Obama!

• Peace T-shirts (and other merchandise) from UFPJ:

• CD: Mavis Staples “Live: Hope at the Hideout”

• Union-made items from Union Shop Online: .

— Libero Della Piana



• Gift subscription to the People’s Weekly World / Nuestro Mundo — indispensable to creating the change our country cries out for.

• “New Hard Times” CD by the Rabble Rousers, only $10 — all the spirit and inspiration you could want to keep the fight for the Employee Free Choice Act front and center. Union songs with an Irish flair by Bill Collins and Gary MacConnie and friends: .

— Joelle Fishman



• Use the reusable bags that you buy for groceries to wrap presents. They come in some creative colors and can become part of the gift.

— Jenn Delgado



• Shop at places that benefit nonprofits like Chicago’s Brown Elephant stores and the White Elephant resale shop. Also check out the neighborhood newspaper for holiday bazaars featuring handicrafts and home-baked goodies.

— Barbara Russum



• Simple handmade crafts are great gifts. I give adult family households a new set of handknit dishcloths every New Years - colorful, absorbent, durable, cheap, simple and quick to make. My granddaughter makes candles as gifts.

— Marilyn Bechtel



• Cuttings from your favorite coleus or other indoor house plant, in a wine bottle you think is too pretty to throw away; it will grow roots and spread indoor beauty for years.

• Donations to upgrade the PWW’s website.

— Roberta Wood



• Organic fair trade coffee, books or gift certificates from your local progressive bookstore.

— Tim Pelzer