Four easy & authentic ways to Give Green
The holiday season is upon us.
We all have a list of people we want to show our love and appreciation for through giving a gift. Our intentions are honest and heart felt, and the practice of giving is important and fulfilling. It is good to make time for the celebration and care of others.
This can be fun…and / or it can become stressful. Trying to figure out what to give the people on our list can easily make the holiday season become a time of unconscious purchasing. But, as the holidays are the largest time of consumer spending, it is also the most important time to remember to purchase and give consciously.
Below are a few ideas to help you green up your giving this holiday season.
Give Meals – so many of us are busy and cooking a healthy meal takes time. Also, meals are a way to bring people together, for conversation and connection. There are many ways you can give meals.
- Make large batches and split them into meal size portions (make sure to deliver them in reusable containers- thrift stores have endless supplies).
- Buy a gift certificate to a local meal preparation business.
- Buy gift certificates for local restaurants. These can be for the cost of a full meal, or many small certificates to help reduce the cost of eating out.
Give Food – obviously we cannot go without it, and it’s not necessarily glamorous, yet food is a large portion of many peoples income. Especially healthy, local food. Check your local, Winter farmers market, health food store, or makers market for practical and unique, delicious, gift ideas. There are so many ways and kinds of foods to give.
- Honey- YUM!!! Honey is a gift of nature, and it stores well. You can find honey in quantities large and small.
- Teas or Hot Chocolate mixes- Hot drinks are perfect for winter. Nuff said.
- Winter Squash- these are perfect for soups! Give a delicious, organic squash or two with your favorite squash recipes.
- Meats & Cheeses – locally raised meats and cheeses are a rich treat. Pair them with some crackers or local bread for a great gift.
- Gourmet Canned Goods and Nuts- pickled garlic, asparagus, relish…local fruit jams and jellies…raw, seasoned or roasted nuts… honestly the options are endless. Throw a basket together!
- Local Bear, Wine or Spirits- most regions now have local breweries, wineries, cideries, and distilleries. Pick up a few bottles, and maybe a hand made mug or embellished glass or two.
Give Time – this is probably the most precious and priceless gift we can offer. So many of us need more support from or connection with others. Our attention and time is one of our most divine offerings, no physical gift can compete. There are endless options in giving this cherished gift. The easieast way to present this is with a fun “coupon” book. Yes, the same kind you made when you were a kid. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you like, made by hand or on the computer. Some fun, easy time coupons are:
- Coffee, Tea, Lunch or Dinner date
- Walking, Hiking, Kayaking, Skiing date- personal favorites 😉
- Creation date- make something together, or do a local craft class together.
- Project Support- help a friend out. Many hands makes light work. Offer your time to help with a project.
- Chore Support- either offer to do some chores for a friend or pay for a service to help alleviate the stress of constant chores.
- Child Care- this is huge for many parents! Offer to take their kids! Give them a few hours, a day, an evening or a weekend off. For many parents this becomes hard to ask for, find or afford, but is desperately needed.
Give Sustainably & Small – whatever you decide to give this season, please choose to shop small business, and preferably sustainable business. Shopping small and sustainable can apply to the previous suggestions of meals, food, and time, and well as an unlimited array of creations and services. Supporting small business makes an immediate impact to an individual or family. Starting a small business seams dreamy and it does have it’s perks, but it is no doubt a very demanding, consuming, & challenging endeavor. These people need our support. Sustainable business is the only way forward. In order to continue to enjoy giving for generations to come, we must be sustainable. Many small businesses are revolutionizing sustainable business. It’s a win-win. Ways to find these businesses include:
- Farmers Markets, Makers Markets, local Art & Craft Fairs, Pop-up Events, many local downtown shops, Etsy, & small businesses found on Instagram and Facebook. These are easily searchable by product type, and tag words such as- eco friendly, sustainable, zero waste, plastic free.