Regardless of your religious affiliation or lack thereof, it is difficult not to get wrapped up (pun intended) in this season of giving.  Lousy economy be damned – Giving is Good.  Since giving green is even better, I offer a short list of sustainable gift giving ideas . . .

Give Dough.  Once considered an impersonal gift, cold hard cash is making a big comeback in the year of worthless derivatives, tanking stock value and the latest, greatest ponzi scheme.  Money is also relatively more environmentally friendly than the typical gift (no packaging required! fewer trips to the store! reuse potential is huge!).  Bottom line: no one is disappointed with a bit more of it to save or spend on whatever their heart desires.

Give Hope.  Make a donation in someone’s name.  The following focus on programs that provide long-term, sustainable solutions . . .

Solar Cookers for Darfur refugees ($30)

Training and animal gifts (Chicks, Honeybees, Sheep, Trees, etc.) that help children and families around the world become self-reliant (starting at $10)

The Global Giving Green website lists sustainable projects (i.e., reforestation, sustainable agriculture, youth eco-business start-ups) in the USA and around the world.

Give Time.  Work in your community over the holidays and make a resolution to continue in the New Year.

Give Embodied Energy. Antiques, vintage clothing and other second-hand goodies are unique and green . . . Some favorite local vendors include:
Peddler Jim’s Antiques: 526 Turner Blvd.
Alex Raskin Antiques: 441 Bull Street
Maggies Antique Mall: 2819 Bull Street
Habersham Antiques: 2502 Habersham Street
Civvies: 20 E. Broughton
The Book Lady: 6 E. Liberty

Give Parks.  An annual membership to Georgia State Parks (starting at $25) helps sustain the park system and gets you outside

Give Food. The Market at Trustees Garden has local, organic edibles -produce, cheeses, nuts, honey- and is open from 4-7 on Christmas Eve.

Any other last-minute suggestions?

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About Clara Fishel

I live in Savannah with my husband and two sons. My time is divided (albeit not always as evenly as I would prefer) between playing with family and friends, work and ongoing involvement with groups like Savannah USGBC, Starland Farmers' Mkt., SDRA and Step-Up. I am a LEED Accredited Professional with a B.S. in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis.

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