The holiday season can feel a little shallow. How many iTunes gift cards can you give to your cousins before you start to get Grinchy? To alleviate that, give your friends and family Christmas gifts the have purpose, and that benefit more that just the receiver. Here are some options for the outdoorsy person in your life that will have value past December 25.
<iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/YXwHGpvCy-w” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
It's hard to go wrong with something to read, and it's even better if the book teaches the reader something. For instance, a book that highlights art and activism in Afghanistan. Shannon Galpin of Mountains2Mountains has been working to fight oppression against women in Afghanistan since 2006; in 2009 she became the first woman to bike across the country. This year, she teamed up with Afghani and western photographers to put out a book. The result, "Streets of Afghanistan: Bridging Cultures through Art,” is a really beautiful look at life in Afghanistan.
Gear that pays it forward
Toms blew up the buy-one-give-one philosophy, but there are plenty of other companies that have similar practices. When you buy a pair of Solo Eyewear sunglasses, which are made of renewable bamboo, a portion of the proceeds goes to funding eye care and prescription glasses for people in developing countries. Good vision gives people better economic stability for a lot of reasons, including being able to read and write. Doesn’t hurt that the shades aren’t bad looking.
Or gear (and food) with good practices
California-based Prana was the first apparel company in the U.S. to produce Fair Trade Certified gear, which means that their materials are sustainably sourced and the working conditions in their factories are good. Now, other companies like Patagonia are jumping on board, and making gear to the same standards. While you're shopping Fair Trade, it's highly unlikely that anyone is going to turn down the gift of certified coffee or chocolate.
Everyone could use more art. The profits from these limited Hoodzpah prints go to Krochet Kids, an organization that provides jobs and micro-loans for women in Peru and Uganda.
A contribution in their name
Instead of giving a direct gift, donate something in their name. For instance, a contribution to 88 Bikes buys a bike for a kid in a hard-to-access area, so that they can get themselves to school or work, and gain independence. The group focuses on young women, and is big on one-to-one philanthropy, so you know where your bike is going.
For more Wanted on GrindTV: