When you’re looking to give something more meaningful than a sweatshirt with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer plastered on it, why not bypass the commercialized Christmas and help protect the environment at the same time? You’ll reduce demand for manufactured goods while doing good!
I’ve compiled a list of earth-friendly gifts that won’t end up in the trash, the donation box, or worse yet — re-gifted!
- Sponsor a wild place through the Sierra Club to fund their endless conservation efforts of natural resources and wildlife habitats. ($25 and up)
- An annual pass to see “America the Beautiful” through the US Geological Survey (USGS). It allows access to 2,000 recreation areas managed by five Federal agencies, with up to 100% of the proceeds being used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services. ($80)
- Zipcar gift membership. Zipcar, an innovative car sharing service aims to reduce the amount of cars and congestion on our roadways which results in less pollution. Available in many cities and university towns across the USA, Canada and the UK. ($60 annual fee + additional rates based on city and type of car).
- A subscription to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Each week during the harvesting season, your lucky recipient will receive fresh, local food directly from a farmer. ($20 and up per delivery)
- Gift membership to a non-profit organization that helps care for those in need (people and/or animals) or that funds the arts and/or education, especially those focused on sustainability. Many organizations offer a matching donation program to stretch your dollars. Usually, a generous donor is willing to match, dollar for dollar, any donations an organization receives during specified dates. It’s a good idea to check out the charity you have in mind before donating. Check out CharityNavigator.org, CharityWatch.org or The Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance.
photo of Rocky Mountain National Park courtesy of Bing.com