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  • Writer's pictureThe Whalenerd's Podcast

Sustainable Gift Giving

Updated: Jul 21, 2022

Some of you may find yourselves struggling to finish your holiday season shopping as Christmas approaches. Maybe you have already given all your gifts for Hanukkah or another winter holiday celebration. If you are still shopping for people in your life, maybe this post will give you some new ideas. These suggestions and thoughts can actually be applied to any occasion that you give gifts.

Shop Local

One of the absolute best ways to reduce your environmental impact in gift-giving is by purchasing locally made / produced products. Maybe that's a flower arrangement grown on a local farm, or a gift handmade with local materials from an artist. Farmer's markets, craft bizarres, and other local markets or events are great places to find small local vendors that maybe don't have a brick and mortar location, or an online presence. The less distance your product has to travel to get to you, the most sustainable it is. When you shop local and shop small, your gift also makes a bigger impact on the vendor than it would if you were shopping at a big box store. You help you local economy, support your neighbor, and make a better choice for our planet. Wins all around.

Gift an Experience

Maybe you are having trying to find the right "thing" to buy because a physical object isn't the right gift at all. Or maybe the person you are buying a gift for has said "I don't want anymore stuff". Perhaps then an experience would be the most appropriate gift. You could get a voucher or gift card to a local place to eat or drink, take them on a coffee date, or plan a little adventure for the day. Is there a nice hiking location near you? How about a state or national park pass? What about some kind of ecotour? You know us, we always think whale watching is a great gift to give! There are so many possibilities if you gift an experience for someone.

Give Symbolically

Another great option for gift giving that doesn't necessarily involve a tangible thing to wrap up with a bow, is a symbolic gift. There are loads of options to symbolically adopt an animal, dedicate a tree, save a piece of habitat, etc. Some of them directly fund research, support national parks, fund habitat restoration and much more. They can be a one time thing or come with options for ongoing involvement. You could also buy a membership to an organization that person likes and would like member access to such as American Cetacean Society or others. The beauty of the internet is that it's becoming easier to find organizations that have these options near and far. Get creative, there really is something for everyone in this realm.

As always, our challenge to you is to put the environment in your decision making process. Be mindful of what impacts your gifts have, both positive and negative - for the gift recipient and the environment. We hope these suggestions help you in some way. Do you have a suggestion that others might like? Comment on the post and share your ideas!

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