Finding the perfect gift for the people we love is always a challenge, but so many of us enjoy the blessings of a good life that the task becomes more difficult. What to get for someone who has everything is a common problem, but no one truly has everything. On the contrary, even people who have many material comforts will always find their lives enriched with a gift that honors nature, wildlife, and the earth.
That’s why I love the Natural Resource Defense Council’s list of “Green Gifts.” They’re easy to purchase online, and come with either a print or online card sent to the recipient. Here are a few of my favorites.
Bee a Hero: I’ve written about the plight of honey bees before, and I used to keep bees myself, so they’re near and dear to my heart. More important is the fact that they’re an indicator of the general health of our ecosystems, and today they’re dying at an alarming rate. One third of the human food supply depends on bees for pollination, which is why more beekeepers are being called upon to travel with their hives to orchards and farms to help the process along.
For $25, you can buy a “buzz worthy” gift offered by the NRDC in conjunction with Seedles, a company dedicated to promoting bee health. Seedles will donate bee-friendly wildflower kits, including seeds, pots, compost and instructions, to classrooms which will plant wildflowers.
And in honor of these sweet pollinators, you can buy a Bee Love greeting card from Seedles for just $2.00, drawn by artist Sunny Solwind.
If things that fly are your gift of choice, consider Butterfly Beauty, and add a gift of a half dozen milkweed plants–
the one thing Monarch Butterflies need to survive–for another $25.
Still feeling generous? Add $25 more, and save bees, butterflies and birds with Save a Songbird. Protect Canada’s boreal forest, our continent’s most important songbird nesting area.
All that for under $100!
The Nature Conservancy has their own program. One of the most popular is the “Adopt an Acre” gift. For $50 (or more if you choose), you can help protect some of the world’s most beautiful and diverse habitats. The Nature Conservancy has Adopt an Acre programs in Africa, Australia, Costa Rica, the Northern Rockies, the Appalachians and the Southern Forests of the United States. Pick one and your loved one will receive an adoption certificate along with a fact sheet listing the wildlife you’ve helped to protect.
Still need convincing? According to RecycleWorks.org, household waste increases by 25% between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We throw away four million tons of gift wrapping and shopping bags in America, and buy 2.65 billion holiday cards. With an average of $800 per household spent on holiday gifts, imagine the good we can do if we support earth-friendly organizations.
Don’t forget about your four legged friends! Since 1997, Planet Dog has been recognized as one of the leading socially responsible canine products providers. With their motto “Act locally, think doggedly” to guide their corporate vision, they develop and create premium non-toxic, recyclable “chomped” chews, squeaky toys, leashes and more.
Make this the year that you give less stuff, and do more good. The whole wild world will thank you.