I am a big fan of the Zero Waste blog and launched an effort last summer to reduce my household waste. I got mixed results (it's so hard to stop shopping at Trader Joe's!) but got inspired by the idea of reusing and upcycling.
My husband and I noticed how many used but beautiful vintage cameras were being wasted. We converted them into iphone and ipod charging docks and started selling them. They can make a great gift, don't require any new materials, and prevent waste from going to the landfill. Check out our etsy page here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LaboratorioAltieri?ref=seller_info.