It’s that particular time of 12 months when many people have fun main holidays with household and pals. Often, gift-giving is part of the vacation custom. Giving and receiving presents can add to the magic of human connection — particularly when presents are an expression of your love and values. But in an age of rampant consumerism, I believe it’s worthwhile to take a step again and reconnect with the true that means of our holidays — our “holy days” — earlier than pulling out our bank cards and shopping for mass-produced stuff for the folks we love.

One of the “bugs” in the human mind is that we’re horrible at predicting how joyful we shall be if sure issues come our manner. I keep in mind as a child being totally satisfied that this or that toy would make me joyful for the remainder of my life. And if in some way I received that toy, it virtually by no means lived as much as my expectations.

But it’s not simply youngsters who’ve this downside. In Stumbling on Happiness, psychologist Dan Gilbert shares analysis that reveals people are horrible at “affective forecasting” — that’s, predicting how one thing in the future will make them really feel.

What Truly Makes Us Happy?

Not extra stuff, or higher stuff, or newer stuff. The longest-running research on happiness, the Harvard Study of Adult Development, began in 1938 by following 724 males (about 60 are nonetheless alive). One of the largest components correlated with happiness in the analysis was shut relationships: with spouses, household, pals, and group members. The extra time these males spent having fun with the firm of others, the happier and extra fulfilled they had been.

A detailed second was that means: doing work (paid or volunteer) that fulfilled a way of objective. Being of service was good for these served, and even higher for these doing the serving.

Which brings me again to the holidays. While completely different spiritual traditions observe completely different festivals and inform completely different tales, there are all the time underlying themes of togetherness, compassion, unity, and love. I can’t consider a single vacation that’s celebrated by focusing by yourself must the exclusion of others.

A Sustainable Approach to Gift-Giving

So as a substitute of simply shopping for the newest and best factor, strive giving what’s uniquely yours to offer this 12 months: a poem, a significant story, a therapeutic massage. If you’ve a talent, are you able to deploy it on behalf of the recipient? Fix their dripping kitchen faucet. Mend a wobbly chair. Help them declutter their storage.

Or what about volunteering or donating cash to a company that embodies their deepest values and most profound longings for the world?

Purchased presents don’t should be bodily issues, both. What about gifting experiences, like a membership to a botanical backyard or providing to take the one you love on a hike to your favourite spot in nature?

If you do purchase bodily presents, select ones that allow connection, or assist them to reside more healthy lives. An enormous a part of profitable gifting is taking the time to consider the individual you’re giving the present to. What do they love? What would they discover enjoyable? Or what types of social connection do they take pleasure in?

Another technique for selecting nice presents is to search out issues that make it simpler for folks to boost their well being, and if potential, to make the world a more healthy place as effectively. High-quality kitchenware, well-made air and water filters, and fair-trade and sustainable meals and crafts — all of those are sustainable present concepts that fall into this class.

Let Your Gifts Enhance Life and Happiness for Everyone

Let’s honor our holidays — and our family members, and ourselves — by gifting to boost life and happiness for everybody. By sharing our distinctive gentle with these round us. And by seeing, and supporting, by means of our phrases, actions, and purchases, the particular qualities in the particular folks in our lives.

In that spirit, our staff right here at Food Revolution Network has compiled some favourite causes associated to meals justice, environmental therapeutic, and animal welfare together with a few of our favourite food- and health-related sustainable present concepts. Check them out for household and pals, and even contemplate them for your self!

Giving Opportunities

Sustainable gift ideas for the holidays - charitable donations
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Sometimes the greatest present of all is contributing to a trigger you or a liked one believes in. These are a few of our favourite charities and nonprofits.

Wholesome Wave

Wholesome Wave is a nonprofit working to finish not simply meals insecurity, however diet insecurity throughout the US. They imagine entry to wholesome meals needs to be a proper, not a privilege. Some of their packages embrace engaged on a produce prescription program with well being care suppliers, closing the hole between those that want meals help and those that are in a position to get it by means of authorities packages, and doubling SNAP advantages when meals stamps are used on vegetables and fruit. Every greenback supplies 10 servings of recent vegetables and fruit for these in want.

Charity: Water

Our our bodies are product of principally water — someplace round 60%. And all of us want water to outlive. Unfortunately, tens of millions of individuals worldwide don’t have entry to this primary human proper. Charity: Water funds water packages in 27 international locations round the globe. And they work to supply clear water in rural and poverty-stricken communities. If you make a donation for your self, or in the title of a buddy or member of the family, you may relaxation assured it should carry water to folks in want.

Soul Fire Farm

Soul Fire Farm is a group farm primarily based in Petersburg, NY, run by co-director and farm supervisor, Leah Penniman. Using afro-indigenous farming practices, they search to regenerate land for group use with a view to finish meals apartheid and uproot racism in the meals system. Through meals sovereignty packages and workshops, Soul Fire Farm works to carry therapeutic and agricultural expertise again to Black and brown of us to reclaim their collective proper to attach with the earth and have company inside the meals system. They’re at the moment elevating funds for a capital marketing campaign, to allow them to improve their services for future coaching and group packages.

Trees for the Future

Trees are important to life. They present oxygen, retailer carbon, and revitalize the soil. Trees for the Future has planted greater than 145 million bushes in dozens of nations. As a outcome, they’ve improved hundreds of lives, serving to households transition from unsustainable farming methods to extra sustainable practices. Every donation goes towards the planting of a invaluable tree — usually a fruit or nut tree — in a low-income group. Help finish starvation and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa with this sustainable present thought, and maintain our world filled with life-giving bushes.

Planting Justice

The United States has the highest incarceration charge in the world. And the majority of these in jail are disproportionately folks of colour. Planting Justice works with these impacted by mass incarceration and different areas of inequality. By cultivating expertise and sources resembling rising meals, they maintain folks out of jail and create living-wage jobs, whereas additionally inspiring group therapeutic and meals justice. Your donation goes to help tasks like the creation of edible permaculture gardens and meals justice curriculums in colleges.

ECP

The Educated Choices Program (ECP) educates college students of all ages about the impression of diet and their meals decisions on well being, animals, and the setting. Their packages embrace interactive shows on matters like “Healthful Eating” and “Modern Animal Agriculture.” Students are challenged to handle these points and assume critically about them, discussing their significance in an instructional setting. ECP has touched the lives of a whole bunch of hundreds of scholars. Donations help their very important packages in colleges, permitting educators to arrange the future leaders of tomorrow.

Environmental Working Group

The of us at Environmental Working Group (EWG) work to coach customers on the risks of poisonous chemical substances and pesticides in the meals provide and ingesting water. They additionally keep a cosmetics database, which tracks the ingredient security of private care merchandise. Their studies, guides, campaigns, apps, and product verifications are a useful useful resource for maintaining your loved ones protected and wholesome.

The Ron Finley Project

Known as the “gangsta gardener,” Ron Finley is working to carry group gardening and regeneration to city areas. Currently, The Ron Finley Project operates a group backyard in a South Central LA neighborhood that serves as a gathering place for horticultural and dietary training. You can help the backyard and Ron’s imaginative and prescient, right here.

Farm Sanctuary

Factory farms contribute to the destruction of the environment by means of greenhouse gases. Industrialized agriculture causes meals contamination and remembers, antibiotic resistance, and animal cruelty. Many animals raised on manufacturing unit farms by no means see a blade of grass of their life. But Farm Sanctuary educates folks on the plight of cattle and the hazards of manufacturing unit farming. They additionally rescue animals from cruelty and impending slaughter and provides them the alternative to reside joyful, wholesome, and free lives. Through their animal sponsorship packages, you may undertake a farm animal, which incorporates an adoption certificates, picture of your animal, sticker, meet and greet at considered one of the sanctuaries (in New York or Los Angeles), and a reduction off of Farm Sanctuary merchandise.

Entertain & Educate

elderly couple laughing at iPad
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Books, movies, and different media entertain us — they usually also can educate us. If you’re dedicated to the Food Revolution motion, you understand how essential it’s to share the information! Consider considered one of the following presents for that particular somebody who has an curiosity in studying extra about how you can enhance their well being or the well being of the setting.

WHOLE Life Club

Food Revolution Network’s on-line membership group makes for a wholesome vacation present for your self or these you care about. Each month, you’ll have particular entry to Action Hours (together with transcripts, Action Checklists, and audio information), Action of the Week Videos, weekly checklists, recipes, bonus sources, and a non-public group of like-minded and health-conscious people supporting you in your journey. Ready to see lasting well being advantages in your life? Join right here immediately.

31-Day Food Revolution: Heal your physique, really feel nice, and rework your world by Ocean Robbins

Get step-by-step steerage from Food Revolution Network co-founder, Ocean Robbins, on how you can use the energy of meals to heal your physique and your world. You’ll uncover the greatest meals to eat and keep away from for optimum well being, what the industrialized meals system doesn’t need you to know, how you can navigate wholesome consuming with family and friends, and how you can rework your world by means of your meals decisions. You’ll additionally discover a meal plan and wholesome, plant-powered recipes to reside extra deliciously and nutritiously.

The Kick Diabetes Cookbook: An Action Plan and Recipes for Defeating Diabetes by Brenda Davis, RD

Diabetes has change into an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the US alone, almost 10% of the inhabitants has kind 2 diabetes. But analysis has proven that consuming a plant-based food regimen helps stop and reverse kind 2 diabetes. In this cookbook from registered dietician, Brenda Davis, you’ll get 100 fast and simple recipes to stability blood sugar and kick diabetes to the curb. See what meals to eat and keep away from with diabetes, how you can mix meals, and how you can perceive what vitamins to give attention to for optimum diet.

The Game Changers (DVD or Blu-Ray)

James Cameron’s award-winning documentary on vegan athleticism is now out there on each DVD and Blu-Ray. This prolonged model additionally contains particular interviews, deleted scenes, and bloopers after the movie. Game Changers would make an amazing present for the athlete in your life, or anybody interested by the actual, documented results of plant-based consuming. If it may persuade bodybuilders and soccer groups to eat extra crops, possibly it may convert your cussed Uncle Steve, too!

Your Body in Balance: The New Science of Food, Hormones, and Health by Neal Barnard, MD 

Food Revolution Summit speaker, Dr. Neal Barnard is again with one other best-selling guide on well being and diet. In Your Body in Balance, he explores how our meals and setting have an effect on the delicate stability of our hormonal programs. In this step-by-step information, Dr. Barnard affords his skilled perception on how you can eat for hormone well being, together with the inclusion of a group of scrumptious plant-based recipes. If you or somebody you’re keen on is scuffling with well being points, Dr. Barnard can help you in getting on the path to vitality.

The Need to Grow (free viewing)

The Need To GROW takes you inside the hearts and improvements of three very completely different leaders: an Eight-year-old lady who challenges the ethics of a beloved group; a renegade farmer who struggles to maintain his land as he revolutionizes resource-efficient agriculture; and an completed visionary inventor who faces disaster in the midst of growing a game-changing expertise. Narrated by Rosario Dawson (The Mandalorian, Marvel’s Daredevil), The Need To GROW delivers an epic story of options and the struggles to implement them. It will make you chuckle, make you cry, offer you chills, and encourage you to take part in the restoration of the Earth. The hyperlink above takes you to a limited-time, free viewing of the movie, which you may also share with family members.

Kitchen Enhancements

modern white kitchen with table and kitchenware
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A house chef or cooking aficionado would possibly take pleasure in considered one of these wholesome, handpicked kitchen enhancements.

Cutting Board

Whether you’re chopping greens or tofu, each kitchen wants a great chopping board. And I’m not speaking about a kind of low-cost plastic boards you should purchase in Three-packs from Walmart. If you’ve ever tried getting ready a salad on a plastic slab with the footprint of an iPad mini, you already know that the majority of it should find yourself rolling off the board and onto the counter, or worse, the ground. With a high-quality, right-sized chopping board, you may look these carrot rounds in the eye and confidently proclaim, “You’re not getting away this time!”

Surprise the chef in your life with a chopping board that’s long-lasting and gained’t injury knives.

Maple Cutting Board by Mevell

This stunning wood chopping board from Mevell comes at an inexpensive value level regardless of being comprised of maple. The wooden is sustainably grown in the US, handcrafted in Canada, and permitted by the National Sanitation Foundation for use in business kitchens. Best of all, Mevell crops a tree for each chopping board they promote.

Food Storage Containers

Most meals storage containers are plastic, which whereas low-cost and handy, come at a price to your well being and the setting. Good options are chrome steel and glass, which gained’t leach chemical substances and are extra sustainable choices. They make an amazing present for the folks in your life who’re all the time on-the-go or who’ve massive households and all the time appear to have leftovers to retailer.

And for these individuals who have that particular kitchen drawer overflowing with mismatched Tupperware lids, Rubbermaid containers, and Chinese restaurant takeout containers, a pleasant set of glass or chrome steel containers could be simply the factor to carry slightly peace and concord again into their lives.

Bayco Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids, [24 Piece] 

This 24-piece meals storage set contains spherical, sq., and rectangular glass containers with locking plastic lids. You’ll get containers of various sizes, from one and a half cups all the manner as much as 4 and a half cups. The non-porous glass and BPA-free lids guarantee your considerate present is protected and non-toxic. This is a good starter set for a pair or household.

Stainless Steel Airtight Watertight Food Storage Containers from Life Without Plastic 

These high-quality, food-grade chrome steel containers are light-weight, sturdy, watertight, and versatile. Multiple configurations and dimensions can be found to accommodate every kind of leftovers and able to go meals. The non-removable silicone seals on the lids, together with three chrome steel latches, make every container leak-proof and hermetic. No extra by accident sporting lunch when the automobile you’re in has to make that arduous proper flip throughout morning rush hour! Also excellent for college lunches or picnics. The containers ought to final a very long time and are dishwasher protected. The lids are greatest disregarded of the dishwasher, as excessive warmth can degrade the silicone seal.

Pots & Pans

A pleasant single skillet or a set of pots and pans make for a sensible present that may get used over and over. Although there are a lot of several types of cookware, these alternatives gained’t leach chemical substances into meals or the air.

Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

This Cusinart cookware set is considered one of many high-quality chrome steel pot and pan units. All the pots and pans are multiclad with chrome steel interiors and exteriors (for toughness and security), and an aluminum core for enhanced warmth conductivity. This cookware works on induction, fuel, and electrical stoves and is dishwasher protected.

GreenPan CC000675-001 Valencia Pro Hard Anodized 100% Toxin-Free Healthy Ceramic

Many standard, non-stick cookware units include Teflon, which may emit poisonous fumes into the air. But this 11-piece ceramic set from GreenPan is 100% toxin-free. Included are an Eight”, 9 ½”, and 11” frying pan, a two and three-quart saucepan, a three-quart skillet, and a five-quart casserole pot together with matching lids. Safe for all stovetop sorts, and in the oven and dishwasher as effectively.

Blenders

A high-efficiency blender makes a beautiful present throughout the holidays. Recipients can whip up smoothies, juices, dips, and soups. It’s an effective way to encourage more healthy consuming!

Vitamix Blender

Although it’s on the pricier facet, the Vitamix’s high-quality makes it a invaluable and extremely wanted present. Most fashions include a 64-ounce container made with Tritan, a plastic that doesn’t include BPA. They additionally make a 48-ounce chrome steel container (that prices further). The Vitamix can rapidly and simply make a frozen dessert or a morning smoothie. And it could actually grind up seeds and mix vegetables and fruit with its chrome steel blades.

Water Filter

Around 20% of the municipal water in the US has unsafe lead ranges. And that’s only one contaminant. With our water provide beneath siege by industrial and agricultural air pollution, a high-quality water filter is a crucial useful resource in virtually each kitchen.

AquaTru

AquaTru is a reverse osmosis unit that sits on the countertop and contains carbon filter expertise. It delivers high-quality water and taste. The system removes fluoride along with chromium-6 and an amazing many different contaminants from faucet water. Give your family members the present of actually clear water, and get it now (with the hyperlink above) for a particular $100 low cost.

Plant Milk Maker

While it’s not a kitchen necessity, a plant-milk maker can prevent or your family members each money and time.

Almond Cow

There are so many milk options on the market today. And whereas we have fun that reality, shopping for cartons and cartons of almond milk can add prices over time (to not point out creating extra landfill waste). But with the Almond Cow, you may have the plant-based milk of your alternative with simply the push of a button. Take your choose of almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk, or the nut, seed, or grain-based milk of your selecting. No straining baggage crucial! (Use the code FOODREVOLUTION for a particular low cost.)

Sustainable Gift Ideas

eco friendly reusable metal straw sustainable gift ideas
iStock.com/OlgaMiltsova

The way forward for the world is in our fingers. Consider considered one of these wholesome and sustainable present concepts to chop again on plastic waste.

Stainless Steel Straws

Plastic straw waste is a large pressure on the setting. And many international locations and corporations have issued plastic straw bans to fight the downside. Some locations have changed plastic with disposable paper straws, however they’re not a long-term answer. Instead, contemplate investing in chrome steel straws, like this set from Amazon. You’ll get 12 extra-long ingesting straws: Three every of bent and straight varieties for each 20-ounce and 30-ounce tumblers. The set additionally contains cleansing brushes and a carrying bag. Another nice stocking stuffer thought for the sustainability-conscious folks in your life.

Yuhme Reusable Water Bottle

Only about 23% of plastic bottles are recycled in the US. That means the relaxation find yourself in landfills and in our waterways, polluting each water and soil. Yuhme has created an environmentally aware water bottle comprised of sugarcane that’s CO2 damaging. They’re made, not in China, however in Sweden, the place employees earn a dwelling wage. And for each bottle offered, they’re able to present six months of fresh water to an individual in the Central African Republic by means of their charity companion Water for Good. With a number of stunning designs to select from, this sustainable present thought will depart you trying good and doing good as you hydrate.

Health & Beauty Gifts

Sustainable gift ideas for the holidays - natural health and beauty products on counter
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Many standard well being and wonder objects include dangerous chemical substances which might be poisonous and might contribute to persistent well being situations. If you’re trying for more healthy and sustainable choices, strive considered one of these firms as a substitute.

Annmarie Skin Care Sample Kits

Give the present of pure, natural, and wild-crafted skincare, make-up, and important oil merchandise. Annmarie Skin Care makes use of non-toxic, non-GMO, honest commerce, and gluten-free substances. Plus, they by no means check on animals. Choose your pores and skin kind, after which snap up considered one of their pattern kits for your self or a liked one. Each package comprises a facial oil and cleanser pattern for simply $10.

Purity Woods’ Age-Defying Dream Cream

If you’re trying for wholesome, non-toxic skincare, look no additional than Purity Woods’ Age-Defying Dream Cream. Made with 10 of the high pure, natural, and cruelty-free substances in the business, this cream will help cut back seen indicators of growing older, tighten pores, and even defend your pores and skin from the solar. Get your bottle (or bottles) for a particular Food Revolution Network member value, right here.

AirPhysician Pro

Air high quality performs a giant position in well being. And since so many people spend the majority of our time indoors, a high quality air filter is essential. You may simply spend hundreds of dollars on high-quality air filters. But for a couple of third of the value of most high-quality programs, you may get recent, clear air with the AirPhysician Pro. It comes with an UltraHEPA filter that’s 100x simpler than standard air purifiers. And mixed with its dual-action Carbon/Gas Trap/VOC Filter you may relaxation assured that allergens, gases, and poisonous chemical substances are filtered out too.

The Gift Of Love

Giving and receiving are basic to human happiness and wellbeing. They enrich our lives, they open our hearts, they usually make our days extra stunning. There are numerous methods to share love and help, and lots of of them don’t value a cent. Whether you purchase a present, put together meals, share an expertise, write a poem, or give a hug, all the time do not forget that your love issues. And that there are limitless methods to precise it!

Tell us in the feedback:

  • Are there any causes you’re enthused to help this 12 months?
  • What are a few of your favourite sustainable present concepts?
  • What presents do you propose to offer family members for the holidays?

Feature picture: iStock.com/kabby

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