Green gift guide: 2011 edition

You know what? I don’t want to give “stuff,” either. I want to feel good about the choices I make for my loved ones.
In a cheeky Black Friday ad campaign, the clothing company Patagonia invited customers not to buy their jacket. “We ask you to buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else,” they said.
There are plenty of options out there for sustainable and meaningful prezzies. Folks around our WWF office are a bit obsessed with our two new adoption species, the (limited edition!) snowy owl and the jaguar. We’ve also been snapping Movember photos with our almost-life-sized giant panda.

Each of WWF’s symbolic wildlife adoptions are like giving two gifts in one: a cute stuffed pal for your child (or the young at heart), and a donation to help us protect a real animal’s habitat. Not sure what your inner animal is? There’s an app for that.
Our friends at the Nature Conservancy of Canada also work to protect habitat for species such as the lynx and grizzly bear, through their Gifts of Canadian Nature.
Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope let you support a community in need in specific, practical ways –buy a goat for a family, or help build a clean water well for a class of schoolchildren.

For the green transportation gearheads on your list, BikingToronto has some great suggestions.
For beloved bookworms, consider a subscription to a Canadian publication like Alternatives Journal – they’re celebrating their 40th anniversary, and offering special pricing for the holidays.
Make a gift donation to one of Canada’s 83,000 charities (!) at – extra handy for last-minute gifts. You can also set up a “Cause Wish List”: instead of gifts (or as well as gifts), ask everyone to support your favourite charities.
Of course, you don’t need to spend money to give meaningful gifts. Cook a nice meal for a friend one or take on an annoying chore for someone in your family. After all, the best present is your presence, right?
Got other green gift ideas? We’d love to hear them!