When something comes across your path often enough, it is a good idea to pay attention. Over the past week, three different people have drawn my attention to alternative giving ideas for the holidays. (Special thanks to @JoanneFritz @TheRoyalOrder and @OKL on twitter who inspired this blog posting.) This has been on my mind this year for a number of reasons. First, my children are older teens so they don’t expect a deluge of gifts. Second, I am not earning an income, so I knew I had to be creative. And third, the amount of garbage our household could potentially generate from holiday gift giving was starting to give me an anxiety attack! So I have embraced these nudges to do things differently this year. Here are many discoveries either sent to me or found via a quick google search:
Joanne’s Nonprofits Blog, http://bit.ly/7QRWGW included a terrific list of alternative gifts. My favorite idea from Network for Good is The Good Card: http://bit.ly/rrjf5 The Good Card allows you to purchase a gift card to give to someone that will become a donation to a nonprofit organization. You purchase The Good Card for whatever amount you want and the recipient chooses where the money is donated. I just purchased 3 of them! FYI, they charge a $5.00 fee per card, which is also tax deductable, to cover the processing costs.
For those of you on Twitter, check out @okl ‘s #igivetwice. This campaign was set up as a searchable item to encourage the sharing of information on gifts that give back. The website explaining this to Tweeters in more detail is: http://igivetwice.com/
Here are some great sites for alternative gift giving:
http://www.buynothingchristmas.org/alternatives/index.html (The name says it all-terrific list!)
(Although some of these are actual gifts, it is an incredibly creative list with very different ideas. I especially loved the first one on the list-seed wrapping paper that can be planted instead of thrown away!)
(List of nine categories that include projects you can donate to in someone’s honor. Great list!)
(Homemade gifts-even choices like local and recycled)
(Fair trade gifts from Africa, Asia and Latin America)
(Conscious Consuming’s ecologically friendly and very creative gift ideas)
Please add to this list in the comments section. It is by no means exhaustive. And have a very happy alternative, sustainable, give back holiday season!
One more thing. Do NOT miss out on my twitter buddy @amycarolwolff 's wonderful and inspiring video of a song she wrote. I cry every time I watch it! And send it to every idealist you know!!! http://bit.ly/5M7lAm