It’s that time of year again, the holiday shopping frenzy! Is anyone else already exhausted by this? The holiday shopping season feels like it’s 5 months long, oh wait, that’s because it is! Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t feel so much pressure to BUY, BUY, BUY? We love REI’s #optoutside initiative to opt out of the Black Friday madness and instead clean up our outdoor spaces. In the theme of alternatives to Black Friday we thought we would put out a different kind of gift guide for this holiday season- an intentional, eco-friendly, and minimally minded gift guide.
1.Gift an experience- This is our favorite kind of gift to give. Has the person on your list been talking about an activity they would love to do? A place they’d love to go? A hobby they would love to take up? In the past we have gifted concert tickets, gym memberships, money towards an excursion, etc. This is a great option to show that you care about what the other person is passionate about without adding more stuff to their life.
2. Gift a donation in their name- Is there a cause they’re really passionate about? Consider giving a donation to that cause in their name. This is a great way to give back. The following are a few reputable national and global charities of various focuses, but don’t forget about local charities too! Bonus for you, your gift is tax-deductible.
- National Park Service
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- The Ocean Foundation
- Cancer Research Institute
- Conservation International
3. Gift your time- This is a great option for that busy person in your life. Do you know a couple with kids who could really use a date night? I bet they would love a gift card to their favorite restaurant and an offer to watch their kids for the night. Do your parents or grandparents need help around the house? Offer to tackle some projects for them.
4. Consumables– Consumables are great because once they’re used, they aren’t taking up space. Is the person on your list a coffee afficionado? A wino? Do they love beer or chocolate? Get something you know they’ll love but that won’t stick around once they’re done!
5. Donate to Offset Their Carbon Footprint– This one is inspired by Bound For Nowhere and it is what Eric and I are gifting to each other this year. It’s no secret we travel a lot which has a huge impact on the environment. There are several websites such as the EPA that will calculate your carbon footprint for the year based on your energy consumption and miles traveled by car and by air. Once you know your carbon footprint, you can donate to projects that work to offset your impact. We are choosing to donate to The Ocean Foundation. This organization focuses on planting seagrass which can hold 83,000 metric tons of carbon per square km, compared to terrestrial forests which hold 30,000 metric tons per square km. Seagrass also helps to prevent erosion of shorelines and provides a habitat for many marine species including sea turtles and manatees. For each ton of carbon you have produced, The Ocean Foundation will plant enough seagrass to sequester that carbon effectively offsetting your footprint. If you know someone who is concerned about climate change, consider donating to offset their carbon footprint for the year or for a trip they plan to take.
We hope this list has given you some “shopping” ideas for your loved ones this year. Do you have any minimalist shopping ideas? Leave them in the comments below!