Adam Werbach asks, what should we give for the Holidays?

Via elephant journal
on Nov 25, 2009
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adam werbach

This great idea came via green leader Adam Werbach on facebook. Last names of the many commenters have been removed to protect the guilty. What’s your favorite “mindful” gift to give? Doesn’t have to be material. ~ ed.

adam werbach
What are your ideas for sustainable holiday gifts? If you’re struggling with what to buy (or not to buy), share your ideas on gifts and gift lists.

I’ll start it off with a gift basket I just bought a friend from Thanksgiving Coffee Company. Fair Trade, Organic coffee from co-ops around the world.


A few years ago I gave everyone I knew a six pack of home-brewed organic beer, bottled in recycled bottles. A nice 9.5% ABV Spiced Triple I called Stumbling Santa…

Jon: how do i get on your gift list?!


Alabama Chanin kits/books:

Bouleette’s Larder basics . . . spices, honey

(Hi Adam)

elephant’s friend Anita M. Burke:

Heiffer Foundation… for the last 15 years have made a donation here and hand made tree ornaments from recycled materials to send instead… children under the age of 16 get ONE cool toy and have to pick two from the cache to give to a child less fortunate.


I like Helps grass roots groups fight global poverty in the developing world.

For a more tangible gift, PACT underwear?


cows via


Don’t forget Lulan Artisans at We define ourselves as “Sustainability in 4d”-environmentally, culturally, economically and socially w a focus on creation of economic options for our communities and prevention of human trafficking. Home and accessory gifts sold online.


For those living in Southern California, a living Christmas tree from or a prepaid trip with a hybrid sedan by — both companies plant trees:) and are for everyday people


Donate to have a tree planted in someone’s name in their city (e.g. Friends of the Urban Forest), recycled gardening kit for kids, organic baby clothes, knit a bamboo or organic cotton scarf or hat…


Elephant Pooh! Http://


Homemade breads, delivered to friends in lovely reusable bread bags – from



Wheelchair Foundation —


we’ve instituted a (partial) gift moratorium (one side of the family) and do charitable donations and poetry cards (make card, find poem that relates somehow to the person, the organization, etc.). i love looking through poetry volumes a lot more than i love shopping, i’ve discovered. and the cards are fun to open and savor. and they require very little storage space!


We give donations as well…we find that our friends and family really like being honored in this way.

elephant’s friend Stephanie Bernstein:

Shameless self-promotion: To-Go Ware RePEaT Utensil sets! Great stocking stuffers and super affordable . . .;)


Give plantable trees. You can’t get more sustainable than that.
Most garden centers and even florists can help with very small trees that can be put into pots with big bows and then can be planted later.


donate in the recipient’s honor to heifer international or kiva
Dezaraye Bagalayos

knitting & sewing. succulent babies in old jars & thrift store tea cups.


This year, I’m giving holiday cards printed on seed paper so that when the season is over, the recipient has a plant


Instead of using holiday gift wrapping paper, making holiday themed fabric drawstring bags that can be reused as gift wrap every year!


this site has a bunch of reclaimed and recycled clever gift ideas:


cook for the people you love and invite them into your home.


Waylon Lewis

I always love giving Boulder’s Best Organics—supports a bunch of eco, independent (mostly) businesses with my dollar—and is super easy to send, which is key, ’cause I’m lazy and inept.


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One Response to “Adam Werbach asks, what should we give for the Holidays?”

  1. serena says:

    Rent a living Christmas tree! In Southern CA, you can get one from – delivery is included in the price!