Do you have someone to buy gifts for this year who insists you donate money on their behalf instead of going to the mall? Or maybe you are tired of gifting the same ties, toys and gift cards to your loved ones for another year.
These holiday gift ideas can fit both those needs! You can spend money on others while also helping to make the world a better place. That’s what I call a win-win.
There are several organizations out there that allow you to adopt wildlife. These gifts are great for children or for any animal-lover in your life. Defenders of Wildlife allows you to symbolically adopt anything from a red wolf to a panda to a bald eagle. There are different adoption levels that work well with any budget. If you have a particular animal or organization in mind, a quick web search will usually point you in the right direction. The Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, which rescues and rehabilitates the fuzzy creatures, has a list of what different amounts will allow the group to do. Most non-profits accept donations in any amount.
For the art lover or anyone who likes a non-traditional present, sites like Etsy allow artists and crafters to sell their own wares. This process lets your money go mostly to the artist instead of a third-party and your gift recipient gets a unique gift that you could never find at the mall. It’s easy to search for items from jewelry to clothing to homemade stationery.
Some stores such as Ten Thousand Villages sell items that are exclusively fair-trade. Fair-trade means that equitable prices were paid to the producers of the items in developing countries. If the person on your list likes particular goods, from coffee to clothing, it is easy to find fair-trade options for most mainstream categories.
Even Starbucks sells many fair-trade coffee options. If you prefer spending your gift money domestically, there are a growing number of American-made goods. American Apparel sells all domestic clothing and accessories. Another great option is to head to the local, non-chain shops in your community, where your shopping dollars are more likely to help small businesses.
Good luck in your gift-buying endeavors!