We’re almost done with the annual holiday gift guide. Hopefully, you’ve found gifts for everyone on your list! If you are still looking for unique ideas, today we’re featuring holiday gifts that give back.
It used to be that manufacturers produced products, sold the end products to/through retailers, rinsed and repeated. There was no thought given to where the raw ingredients came from (save for if a raw ingredient was cheaper sourced from location A versus location B), and there was no care as to whether or not the end product’s sale adversely affected something else or somebody else. Fortunately, this is changing.
With the growth of a social conscious has come a small but distinct uptick of a business conscious. Though we may be far off from walking into a store such as Walmart and finding shelves of sustainably-harvested, fair trade products, it is nice to know that there are many more choices out there for sustainable gifts that not only benefit the end-user, but also benefit someone or something else through a donation. In other words, we can choose to purchase gifts to both give to loved ones as well as to help causes and others in need.
Holiday Gifts That Give Back
Let me give you some examples of gifts you can give this holiday season that will help out causes and people in need:
- Oil Drum Art from Haiti: These works of art are made in Haiti by Fair Trade Artisans out of recycled oil drums in Croix des Bouquets. Oil drums are cleaned, cut in half, and then the metal halves are flattened. The artisans trace, cut and sculpt the metal into these beautiful designs. The story of this company’s struggles through the 2010 Haitian Earthquake can be found here.
- “Hope Love Strength” Pink Flash Drive: The purchase of this 4 GB flash drive will also make a $1 donation to breast cancer research.
- Nylon Dog Leash: Purchase this dog lease and a donation will be made to the Coastal Pet Cure Canine Cancer Campaign.
- Bamboo Dog Collar: A 5% donation will be made to Endangered Wildlife Organizations. 100% organic bamboo ribbon is screen printed and then hand sewn onto a 100% undyed organic bamboo webbing.
- All-American Hero Hot Sauce: 50% of the profits from purchases of this hot sauce (created by a Vietnam Veteran) will go towards Veterans programs and organizations. You can get the label in each branch of the military (Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard).
- Pangea Organics Plantable Packaging: The packaging on these bars of organic soap, when planted, will yield flowering Amaranth.
- Paw Print Reproductions from Big Cats: You can purchase reproductions of art made by big cats (white tigers, Sarmoti Tigers, etc.), and the proceeds will help the Big Cat Rescue organization. From their website, “Big Cat Rescue is the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats. We are home to over 100 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species most of whom have been abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into fur coats, or retired from performing acts.”
For another resource, check out Gifts that Give. This is a website where $1 out of every $5 (20%) of money spent is donated to a charity of your choice (and there are plenty of gifts to choose from!). During the months of November and December, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be Gifts to Give’s featured charity partner.