Last year, I tried to spend $300 on all the holiday gifts. I couldn’t make it, but it was pretty close. In fact, in the age of extreme bargains, almost anything is possible. This year though, I’m thinking something different. I decided to spend my money more meaningfully. For many people, holidays equal to gift shopping. If we must spend some or a lot of money, why don’t we spend it on something that makes positive changes to the world while of course, making your family and friends happy? I think it’s a perfect shopping plan!
Here are my ideas.
1. Magazine Subscriptions
Magazine subscription is great. It is a practical yet personal gift everyone would enjoy. I’m seriously hoping that someone would renew my Eating Well magazine subscription this holiday. I love looking at pictures of food on glossy screens. Yes. I’m talking about reading magazines on a digital device. It is such an eco-friendly way to read your favorite magazines.
As a magazine lover, I was hesitant to read magazines on a screen. Once I got in to the habit, however I don’t think I can go back to the paper magazines anymore. Magazines on a high-resolution screen simply look better than on papers. Pictures are sharper and colors are more vibrant. Printed magazine has its own value, and I know some people would miss it still. The problem is that printing a magazine on papers is such a wasteful way of using natural resources. The ink used to print colorful magazines is also highly toxic to both the environment and our health.
If you decided to give a digital magazine subscription as a gift, most well-known titles are available through website like amazon.com. Ordering a digital copy or subscription let your recipient access the 1st issue right away through their kindle or iPad/tablet with an app.
I know many of your family and friends just cannot get enough DVDs! Give them something interesting, yet educating. The film I want to give a big shout out is Vanishing of The Bees directed by George Langworthy and Maryam Henein. This 2009 film came under the spotlight again this year after the August 19th issue of TIME magazine “a world without bees” came out. In this film, you will see the shocking reality that honeybees are indeed vanishing. It’s heartbreaking to learn what’s happening to the tiny insects that provide us with our everyday table honey. It is a must watch film of the year. The DVD is available to purchase online at www.vanishingbees.com.
2nd DVD I recommend is Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013). I’m on a serious campaign to promote this movie series to anyone around me including adults. Don’t let the “kids’ animation” genre fool you because the message this film is sending is way too important to miss. It tells you how crucial it is to eat healthy in such an amusing and easy to approach way. If you have children, a fun project would be to recreate food inspired creatures in the film in your own kitchen with your kids. Watch the movie together, make a shopping list, go to grocery shopping, make food monsters, and eat! The whole process will teach your kids many things about food. The DVD is available for pre-order for January release.
3. Cold Weather Accessories made with Organic Cotton
I have been eyeing on pretty knit scarfs on Etsy.com. In case you don’t know, Etsy is a marketplace where you can find tons of unique, one of a kind product from individual artists and small businesses.
I have to admit that organic cotton products used to be very plain and boring, but guess what? Those days are over. You will be surprised just how much holiday worthy pretty designs are available today. The one that I fell in love on Etsy and purchased for this holiday is an orange infinity scarf with a cute fabric flower on it.
It was about $35 including shipping. I know the ones you would buy for $9.99 is just as beautiful, but by purchasing organic cotton products you can make your friend’s skin super happy and healthy while making a significant difference to the environment. Keep in mind that handmade products often take 2-3 weeks for production & shipping. So plan ahead and order early.
4. Fresh Produce Delivery
“Fruits of the month club” probably is one of the most praised holiday gifting traditions. Its long lasting popularity is nowhere to be disappeared. Fancy brand name fruits and vegetables are great, but this year how about a fresh organic produce delivery form your local farm instead? It is a fantastic way to make positive changes on your family and friends’ diet while supporting local organic farmers.
A quick Google search will find you a farm that is delivering produces. Many farms have their own websites in which you can pick the size, kind, and frequency of the delivery. You maybe even exclude certain types of veggies or fruits. For the first delivery, pick something anybody would love to receive. Common vegetables like lettuce, celery, and potato would be appreciated by anyone.
This is the one I am receiving. It is a medium sized “non-cook vegetables and fruits mix box.” I love seasonal organic fruits!
5. Gift Cards/Certificates
Some people think it’s tacky to give a gift card as a holiday present, but statistics show the opposite. Gift cards or certificates are one of the most popular holiday gift items. Instead of purchasing a gift card from Walmart or Target, why don’t you pick up a gift certificate from your local businesses? It is an excellent way to support your community and its sustainability.
Any gift card from small, family owned shops would do the trick. They might not advertise them up front, but most of stores offer some type of gift certificate or cards. So just call or walk in to ask. Try organic restaurants, vegan bakeries, cruelty free bath and beauty shops, fair trade coffee shops, sustainable farms, organic wineries, recycle shops, or plant and flower nurseries.
With gift cards, you can also suggest your family and friends a healthier lifestyle. Wholefoods gift cards indirectly make your parents to shop organic, better quality groceries. Gift certificate from a yoga studio or gym might motivate your partner to exercise more. Gift cards are also available from many eco-friendly or healthy web shops. So if your friend likes online shopping, look into that route.
I hope this list helped. Now what are you waiting for? Let’s get your green holiday shopping started!