The holiday season is nearly upon us. And while that conjures up all sorts of warm, fuzzy feelings and thoughts of sugarplum fairies dancing in our heads, there’s a more stressful side to the end-of-year frenzy that seems to consume us all — no matter how hard we try to avoid it.
Gift giving. It can be pricey, time-consuming and let’s face it, downright nerve-wracking. That’s why many families now opt for a more streamlined affair, either with the “pick-a-name” approach or by giving experiences rather than material things. Whatever your tradition, think differently this year and consider investing in companies that give back.
The list below features ideas for everyone you might need to shop for. And you can feel good about giving back to the planet or those less fortunate than you this holiday season.
Have additional ideas? Let us know! Everyone needs a last-minute gift idea.
The Green Thumb
Reduce, reuse, recycle, right? This gift does a little bit of everything. This herb-growing kit from Eartheasy is hand-crafted from a recycled wine bottle. It uses simple hydroponics to grow fresh herbs indoors year-round. Plus, after each growing cycle, you can wash the bottle, rinse the clay pebbles and replant another variety of herb. Eartheasy’s mission is to help consumers realize the implications our lifestyle and choices have on the environment.
Anyone who walks in with a bottle of champagne is automatically the party VIP. But champagne gummy bears?! Tell me more. These sweet snacks from Project 7 are the perfect stocking stuffer or hostess gift. Plus, you can feel good about indulging when you know that more than 10% of the company’s profits go to help support seven areas of basic humanitarian need both domestically and abroad.
The Health Nut
PB lovers, rejoice! This one tastes good and does good. Each year, severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is the cause of death for nearly 2.6 million children under 5. But there is a solution called MANA, ready-to-use therapeutic food. It’s a fortified, peanut butter-based medicine that literally saves lives. In less than six weeks, 96 percent of children are completely cured. Sadly, it’s not widely available or affordable. That’s where Good Spread peanut butter comes in. When you buy one of the four flavors, a treatment of MANA is sent to a malnourished child. Plain and simple, just like peanut butter. P.s. You can buy it on Amazon.
The Jet Setter
You know that person who always seems to have just gotten back from vacation? Yep, this is for them. Sseko has a full line of sandals, loafers, jewelry, luggage and more for the always-on-the-go person in your life. But better yet, all goods are handmade by women in Uganda who are earning money to fund their college education.This year, Sseko will enable its 106th woman to attend a university — and they’re sending the biggest class to date (19!) to college this year!
The Self-Care Guru
A warm bath is one of winter’s simplest pleasures. But some of us can’t experience that due to illness or physical limitation, and Mayfair Soap Foundry wants to rectify that. With every purchase of a bath salt, soufflé, créme or scrub, they partner with Starlight Children’s Foundation to provide moments of joy and normalcy, such as camp experiences, for American families going through difficult health challenges. Aaahhh, now that feels good.
Is there any kid who doesn’t love a good plush toy? Maybe, but let’s assume no. If you’re giving a stuffed animal this year, let it be one from Cuddle + Kind, a company started by a family of five on a mission to feed children in need. Cuddle + Kind donates 10 meals for every toy purchased. Talk about spreading cheer! Plus, the labor and materials are all fair trade.
The Dog Lover
Often times during the holidays, our thoughts turn to people less fortunate than us. But pets need love, too. Found My Animal (FMA) is an organization dedicated to the mantra, “Adopt, don’t shop.” By encouraging rescue over purchase, FMA supports animal welfare by asking pets and their owners to help deliver this simple, important message. With each leash, collar and pet accessory, your pet helps showcase your values through a tag that says “Found.” And you don’t just have to be a dog lover for this gift — it applies to all pets.
Why give things when you can give memories that last a lifetime? Get the outdoor enthusiast on your list an annual pass to our country’s national parks. This pass doesn’t give back per se, but it does cover the cost to protect the land, water, flora and fauna in our country, and it employs the men and women who work tirelessly to protect the national treasures that make America great.
For each book you purchase through Better World Books, they donate a book to someone in need. Thanks to this book-for-book commitment (see also Warby Parker and Toms) Better World Books has donated more 26 million books to date. Bonus: They have great online deals.
Everlane, a company initially noted for its focus on ethically sourced materials and radical cost transparency, just launched a new outerwear line, ReNew, just in time for this holiday season. The coats, puffy jackets made with 100% recycled materials, are just the start of their bigger mission to eliminate all new plastic in their product lines by 2021.
The Snow Lover
Stay cozy no matter how cold it gets outside with this adorable pom pom beanie from Love Your Melon. Love Your Melon is an apparel brand dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer and supporting the fight against pediatric cancer. If you’re not into hats, they have all manner of cozy items ready to ship in just a few clicks.
Who’s on your gift list? What are you getting them? We want to hear from you!