Post contributed by Diana Rowell, Office of Sustainability Intern
Holiday celebrations will soon be upon us and we are all going to be asking ourselves the same question: What gifts do I give my loved ones for this holiday season? The great thing about the holidays is getting to spend time with friends and family members that aren’t seen frequently during the rest of the year. However, we often struggle with gift ideas for these people who we care about, but don’t always get to see. How do we know what they already have? What their style is? How they like to spend their time? Often this leads us to giving gifts that don’t carry much meaning, and end up in the bottom of someone’s closet or in the donation pile.
This season try doing something different by giving a gift that holds meaning for most of us and helps make our society more sustainable. Gifts that aren’t material objects often mean more and have less impact on our planet. Here are some ideas for your next gift:
Gifts that are Good for Others
- What better way to show someone how special they are than to name a star after them!
- For animal lovers, the World Wildlife Fund is a great resource for endangered animal sponsorship.
- Some people love pets, but don’t have the time or space for them. The Humane Society of Lee County allows you to sponsor an animal and pay their adoption fee.
- Charitable donations for nonprofits or research foundations have become more common in recent years. Just a few of the many organizations include:
People are often impressed by good old fashioned hard work. Try offering up your services for a day. Dress this gift up by making a coupon or giving a meaningful card! Some ideas include:
- Yard Care
- Home maintenance
Gifts of Health
Staying active is important for everyone’s wellbeing. What better way to show someone you care about them than to make sure they’re healthy!
- Buy/attend a month of yoga classes
- Take a class together and learn a new activity
- Make time to go on more walks together
- Plan a camping trip
- Start a couch to 5K program
- If you want to gift an entire household a gift to improve their health, try looking into a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) membership, here’s a few located in Lee County.
Not everyone will be satisfied without a little present, so if you do have to go shopping, remember some of these tips to help reduce your footprint:
- Carpool with friends and get all your holiday shopping done together
- Plan ahead so fewer trips are needed
- Use reusable shopping bags
- Shop local and help others in your community provide for their families during the season.
- Limit amount of wrapping paper used or use reusable wrapping materials.
- Use your gift as a way to wrap the present (bandannas, socks, and t-shirts make great packaging materials!)
Hopefully some of these ideas will help you reduce your holiday footprint this year. If you find these tips helpful remember to share them with some of your friends! Happy Holidays!