Tick, tick, tick… yes, the countdown clock to Christmas seems to be moving at warp speed!
I’ve given my list of favorite green gifts for when you want to give something tangible. But there is certainly another way to go… for gifts that don’t clutter up a home or sit unused in a drawer or closet. These are the gifts that give to a worthwhile cause: wildlife, nature or the environment. They certainly need the “gifts” more than we do!
So, here are some ideas for when you want to give a meaningful gift that really counts:
- Adopt an Acre of Rainforest and other of earth’s wonders (The Nature Conservancy) – for preservation and restoration of some of the world’s most amazing places
- Adopt an Endangered Species (WWF) – to protect endangered animals and their habitats
- Adopt an Animal (National Wildlife Federation) – to protect additional animals and their habitats
- Rescue the Reef (The Nature Conservancy) – for preserving an undeniably crucial part of our world’s oceans
- Plant a Billion Trees Campaign (The Nature Conservancy) – for protecting and preserving Earth’s largest and most endangered tropical rainforests in Brazil
- Give-a-Tree (Arbor Day Foundation)– plants a tree in one of America’s National Forests in honor of a recipient
- Change the Present – you can contribute and honor someone by helping to restore a fragile ecosystem in Kenya, purchase carbon offsets, plant trees, preserve wildlands, adopt wildlife or any one of about 1600 causes of your choice!
If you want to give a gift that supports a worthwhile cause but still gives to the recipient too, consider:
- A zoo or aquarium membership – there are 218 AZA accredited zoos and aquariums in the US and all are dedicated to excellence in animal care and welfare, conservation, education, and research that collectively inspire respect for animals and nature (but please, no circus tickets!).
- A botanical garden, arboretum or nature center membership – again, they dedicate themselves to the conservation and preservation of nature and the environment, and help us understand the delicate and important connection between people and nature.
And finally, one of our favorite gifts last year:
- Kiva – Through their gift certificate program you can “loan” your gifted money to a “working poor” recipient of your choosing. (We selected a man in Tajikistan who desperately needed money to buy seeds for farming and help support his family.) Once they are able to repay the loan, you are given back your donated money to grant to another needy recipient… and this wonderful cycle starts all over again!
These should be the choices for the person on your list who has everything… on second thought, these choices should work for anyone and everyone… it is truly better to give than to receive!