By Eileen Ogintz
Tribune Content Agency
Are the kids and grandkids bugging you nonstop?
Not about what gifts they want most. They’re concerned about climate change and what we all can do about it — from not using plastic water bottles to taking shorter showers to turning off the AC when we leave the house — or a hotel room — to recycling.
This holiday season, show how you are paying attention. Yes, you can donate in their name to a favorite nonprofit — The Sierra Club, perhaps (pick your favorite animal and get a plush one, maybe a horny owl?) or The National Park Foundation (gifts from calendars to playing cards to games support the national parks).
Many zoos and aquariums support international conservation efforts. See if your local zoo has such a program or support a project spearheaded by a zoo or aquarium you have visited.
For example, the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance works to develop sustainable conservation solutions around the world; SeaWorld provides financial and scientific support focused on animal rescue and rehabilitation and more. The Bronx Zoo, meanwhile, has been working to save wildlife for more than a century with the now-named Wildlife Conservation Society with more than 4,000 working around the world to save wildlife and wild places. Adopt a whale or dolphin through the Pacific Whale Foundation’s (PWF) newly redesigned Adoption program!
But if the kids are too young to appreciate such a gift (you can always accompany with a book about a favorite animal) or you simply must have a gift for under the tree or for Hanukkah, you have more sustainable options than ever — for all ages.
FOR THE NEW PARENT (AND BABY). The Infant Micro D Fleece Bunting from Patagonia ($65) that has a hood and feet and is made of lightweight 100 percent recycled polyester fleece. Patagonia pays a premium for these to be Fair Trade sewn with the extra money going to workers. It’s also Fair Trade sewn, which means Patagonia pays extra money that goes directly to workers at the factory.
FOR THE TRAVELING WOMAN. I love my Vera Bradley Sling Backpack because it’s lightweight, leaves my hands free, has secure zip pockets and can be worn several ways. There are many patterns made in recycled cotton and a re-active water-repellent fabric made from recycled water bottles ($45 to $55, depending on size). Another good bet: The company’s Weekender Travel Bag in recycled cotton with lots of pockets, including a sleeve in the back that slops over rolling luggage ($120).
FOR THE FASHIONISTA WHATEVER THEIR AGE. My daughters have turned me on to Thred Up, the online consignment and thrift store with clothes for kids, teens, pregnant women and women of all sizes. Get your favorite fashionista a gift card! Vintage not only is hip but green. According to Thredup.com, one in two people throw their clothes in the trash, with 73 percent of apparel sent to landfills
FOR THE TRAVELING POOCH. For every bag of grain-free premium treats bought from GivePet, the company donates enough treats for at least 10 shelter dogs ($10.99).
FOR THE CAMPING KIDS. The two-sided REI Coop Flannel/Fleece Blanket with a print side of cotton flannel and reverse is microfleece — perfect for the road trip or wrapping up in around the campfire. REI Co-op will donate 10 percent of this item’s sales to the REI Cooperative Action Fund, which makes grants to nonprofits that promote justice, equity and belonging in the outdoors.
FOR THOSE TRAVELERS SEEKING WARMTH. REI Co-op’s Trailsmith Fleece (they come as pullovers or zipper jackets) are made of cozy microfleece with 80 percent recycled content ($79.95 for men and women).
If that is too pricey, consider REI’s Merino Wool liner gloves ($29.9.9) that are great on their own except in most frigid climes and are made with recycled polyester.
A new waterproof rain jacket that fits into a pocket or lightweight puffy jacket that compresses is always a welcome gift for a traveler. You can layer the puffy under the rain jacket in rain or snow and the puffy can double as an airplane or car pillow. The Torrentshell, one of Patagonia’s most popular rain jackets, is made from ECONYL 100 percent recycled nylon face fabric. Patagonia’s Nano Puff jackets and vests are produced with a reduced carbon footprint and with recycled materials. Get them for babies, ($79) kids ($99) or adults. ($99 to $249) Trade in Patagonia gear you no longer need (or no longer fits the kids) and get a credit!
FOR THE WINE LOVER. The Joyful Heart Wine Company, founded by actress Chrissy Metz and winemaker Nicole Walsh, donates a portion of every bottle sold to World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit organization that provides food in crisis situations. (Starting at $16 for red and white blends.) Buy Sonoma County Bartholomew Estate Wines and a portion of the profits support the popular Bartholomew Estate Park not far from the Sonoma Plaza. Pour the wine (or your favorite cocktail or mocktail) into Highball and Lowball Tumblers from MiiR that feature a double-wall construction and weighted bases (to prevent spills) that are made from reclaimed materials. (Starting at $24.95.)
©2021 Eileen Ogintz. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.