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December 10th, 2013

10 Sustainable Gift Ideas for the Holidays

By Briana Kerensky & Jo Miles

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to start freaking out about what to get your friends and family for the holidays. Does she need a coffee maker? What’s his sweater size? Has he read this book before? How much money are you supposed to spend? Are gift cards rude?

This year we’ve got you covered. Below are 10 sustainable gift ideas for the holidays.

  1. Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America, by Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. Read all about how our food system came to be controlled by a handful of companies—and what we can do about it.
  2. Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever by Food & Water Watch Board Chair Maude Barlow. The final book in Barlow’s Blue trilogy lays out four guiding principles to solve our water crisis.
  3. Diet for a Hot Planet by Anna Lappe. Lappe is the Project Director for Food Mythbusters, a coalition (including Food & Water Watch) dedicated to debunking persistent myths about sustainable food and farming practices. Her book discusses the connections between our current climate crisis and food production, and what you can do about it.
  4. Raising Elijah: Protecting Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis by Sandra Steingraber, the science advisor for Americans Against Fracking. This touching, powerful memoir demonstrates how closely the world of parenting connects to the world of policy-making and how the ongoing environmental crisis is, truly, a crisis of family life. It’s a great, enlightening read for any mom or dad out there.
  5. Cookbooks. In the past few years, a number of chefs and professional foodies have become involved in the fight for a fair food system. Why not show them your support and purchase some of their cookbooks for your loved ones this year? Chef Alice Waters is not only a culinary legend, but is also extremely active in Food & Water Watch’s fight to ban fracking as a member of Chefs for the Marcellus. And Mark Bittman often advocates for an organic, sustainable food system on his blog and The New York Times.
  6. CSA memberships/food shares. Taking our food and water out of the hands of corporations is going to take a lot more than just opening our wallets—we need to engage politically to challenge the power of large food companies. But purchasing food from CSA’s and food shares is still a great way to support local farmers and promote sustainability.
  7. Gasland on DVD. Gasland director Josh Fox has been a leading voice on the movement to stop fracking. His eye-opening documentary reveals what he learned about fracking after he was approached by the industry to lease his land.
  8. Homemade candy or baked goods. Fight the Foodopoly and make your friends and family some sweet treats this Christmas, like peppermint bark or gingerbread cookies. Hanukkah may be over, but no one will turn down some fried jelly donuts either!
  9. Gift certificate to a local restaurant. Everyone loves being treated to a nice meal, so why not treat your friend and support your local economy at the same time? For sustainably minded restaurant ideas, visit the Eat Well Guide.
  10. Food & Water Watch gift membership and water bottle. If you like this list, and want to support our work, please consider offering your likeminded friends and family a gift membership to Food & Water Watch—and we’ll throw in a reusable stainless steel water bottle so you can avoid bottled water on the go.

Do you have other sustainable gift ideas? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.

2 Comments on 10 Sustainable Gift Ideas for the Holidays

  1. Mercy says:

    repurpose & regift your unused items to local charities & shelters, giving is the gift that lasts thru out the year & is profoundly & mutually beneficial for all! :)

  2. Great list! I’d like to add one more — The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook featuring more than 115 sustainability minded chefs, their recipes and useful info. Published by Taunton Press this year!

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