Gift Ideas with the Earth in Mind!
It doesn’t feel like a year since we published our last holiday gift post! Throughout the year, we keep an eye out for useful, lovely items that make great gifts. We especially like gifts with thoughtful origins that can be used and enjoyed and don’t leave behind a bunch of packaging or other waste. In this post, we present ideas for Earth-friendly gifts from businesses and nonprofits that are working for positive change.
We’re loving the delicious coffee we’ve been getting from Birds & Beans. The coffee lovers in your life will appreciate not just the great flavor but the positive impact of the coffee on rainforest habitat and coffee farmers. This certified Bird-Friendly, Organic, Fair-Trade coffee is available in a variety of roasts and in 12-oz, 2-lb and 5-lb bags.
Who Gives a Crap Toilet Paper!
You might think this is a gag gift, but who doesn’t need toilet paper? And what good-hearted person would want trees to be cut down just so they can wipe their bum?! I was psyched to discover Who Gives a Crap TP, made from 100% recycled paper or bamboo (your choice). What’s more, WhoGivesACrap.org donates 50% of their profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in areas of need around the world. AND, the toilet paper comes wrapped in colorful recycled paper, not plastic!
Bee & Ant-Proof Hummingbird Feeder
Ok, it’s not hummingbird season in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, but this gift could have your loved ones anticipating spring! Hummingbird feeders are often plagued by ants and bees, which contaminate the nectar and can be harmful to the hummies. The HummZinger feeders provide a chemical-free solution to this problem. The moat in the middle (which you fill with water) prevents ants from getting to the feeding ports. Some models (like the HummZinger Little Fancy and the Ultra models) can be fitted with “nectar guards” on the inside of the ports to prevent bees and ants from getting in. These feeders really work. The smaller models hold less nectar, which helps prevent waste.
Madécasse Direct-Trade Chocolate
Madécasse chocolate is sourced directly from farmers in Madagascar. As discussed on their website, Almost 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from Africa, but less than 1% of the world’s chocolate is made there. The Madécasse supply chain consists of direct purchase from farmers at almost double the price paid by industrial chocolate producers, whose long supply chain leaves the cocoa farmers with little profit (information taken from the 2017 Impact Report). This chocolate tastes amazing. It has a distinctive, intense flavor that’s very different from most other chocolate I’ve tasted. The darkest is 92% and the lightest is 63% (various flavors available). They also sell vanilla extract in different sizes.
Adopt a Sea Turtle!
A great gift for kids is to adopt a sea turtle in their name! The Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) is a nonprofit doing science-based conservation to study, protect, rehabilitate, and recover sea turtle populations and habitat worldwide. They conduct educational programs, policy advocacy, research projects, grants and more. When you contribute to the Adopt a Turtle program, you help to support endangered turtles. You choose a turtle, and you can follow the turtle’s movements online through GPS updates of his/her location in the ocean (see Turtle Tracker). You also receive the STC newsletter and turtle conservation information.
Support a B-Corp!
Our choices about where to spend our money have a huge impact on the planet. So why not support businesses that are working to do good in the world? The B-Corp Declaration of Interdependence states:
- That we must be the change we seek in the world.
- That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
- That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
- To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.
To become a certified B-Corp, companies must go through a rigorous evaluation process (the B Impact Assessment). One Earth Body Care is currently in the process of completing this assessment. You can find a directory of certified B Corps here.
Check out 1% for the Planet!
Do more good with your holiday shopping by finding and supporting businesses that are working to create positive change! 1% for the Planet is a global network of businesses that give back to environmental causes with the goal of protecting and restoring our planet. Business members of 1% for the Planet can be found here.
As we shop for holiday gifts,
Let’s remember that everything we buy has an end of life. Any packaging or inorganic materials have to go somewhere. Where is that somewhere? What if we had to keep it all with us and pass it down to our children… Would we still buy it?
Do you have ideas for great Earth-friendly holiday gifts? Feel free to share in the comments below!