At holiday time, along with buying for close friends and family, it is often customary to buy small gifts for a multitude of others as well — teachers, hosts, babysitters — you name it.

And while small gifts are just as thoughtful, they can sometimes be more difficult to choose. You want the recipient to like it, use it, or eat it; all without causing too much waste or impact on the environment.

Don’t fear. There are lots of gift ideas out there that are not only superb items to give, but are environmentally friendly choices as well. It just takes some creativity and some thinking outside the holiday box.

To help with your holiday gift list this year, here are some great — and green — gift suggestions:

• Forget the traditional coffee mug for the teacher. Instead, give a sturdy insulated travel mug that will keep their coffee or tea warm for hours while they’re in the classroom. Canadian Thermos Products makes a great selection of vacuum-insulated mugs in a variety of designs and styles. And to make the gift really stand out, add some fair trade coffee or organic tea inside.

• Baked goods, jams or preserves, and other homemade items are always appreciated. Dress them up in charming jars or wrap them in new tea towels and you’re adding an extra gift that can be reused time and time again; foregoing wasteful wrapping at the same time.

• Combine pot-luck and hostess gifts into one. Simply bring your food in one of the new insulated grocery bags that are available. This way your food stays hot or cold and you’re giving a gift that will be used countless times.

• Instead of a customary bottle of wine, give a reusable container filled with delicious mulled wine or other hot beverage. This is a great way to warm up on cold winter nights.