It’s that particular time of 12 months when many people rejoice main holidays with household and mates. 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 which 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 completely satisfied we will likely be if sure issues come our approach. I keep in mind as a child being completely satisfied that this or that toy would make me completely satisfied for the remainder of my life. And if in some way I received that toy, it nearly by no means lived as much as my expectations.

But it’s not simply children who’ve this drawback. 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 examine on happiness, the Harvard Study of Adult Development, began in 1938 by following 724 males (about 60 are nonetheless alive). One of the largest elements correlated with happiness in the analysis was shut relationships: with spouses, household, mates, and group members. The extra time these males spent having fun with the firm of others, the happier and extra fulfilled they have been.

An in depth second was which means: doing work (paid or volunteer) that fulfilled a way of function. 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 non secular 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 an alternative of simply shopping for the newest and best factor, attempt giving what’s uniquely yours to present this 12 months: a poem, a significant story, a therapeutic massage. If you will have 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 must be bodily issues, both. What about gifting experiences, like a membership to a botanical backyard or providing to take your beloved on a hike to your favourite spot in nature?

If you do purchase bodily presents, select ones that allow connection, or assist them to dwell 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 seek out issues that make it simpler for folks to reinforce their well being, and if potential, to make the world a more healthy place as properly. 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 reinforce life and happiness for everybody. By sharing our distinctive gentle with these round us. And by seeing, and supporting, by way of our phrases, actions, and purchases, the particular qualities in the particular folks in our lives.

In that spirit, our workforce 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 mates, and even think about them for your self!

Giving Opportunities

Sustainable gift ideas for the holidays - charitable donations
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Sometimes the finest present of all is contributing to a trigger you or a beloved 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 ought to be a proper, not a privilege. Some of their applications embody 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 way of authorities applications, and doubling SNAP advantages when meals stamps are used on vegetables and fruit. Every greenback offers 10 servings of contemporary vegetables and fruit for these in want.

Charity: Water

Our our bodies are fabricated from largely water — someplace round 60%. And all of us want water to outlive. Unfortunately, thousands and thousands of individuals worldwide don’t have entry to this primary human proper. Charity: Water funds water applications in 27 international locations round the globe. And they work to offer 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 would convey 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 applications and workshops, Soul Fire Farm works to convey 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 presently elevating funds for a capital marketing campaign, to allow them to improve their services for future coaching and group applications.

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 timber in dozens of nations. As a consequence, they’ve improved hundreds of lives, serving to households transition from unsustainable farming strategies to extra sustainable practices. Every donation goes towards the planting of a invaluable tree — typically 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 preserve our world filled with life-giving timber.

Planting Justice

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

ECP

The Educated Choices Program (ECP) educates college students of all ages about the affect of diet and their meals selections on well being, animals, and the setting. Their applications embody 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 tons of of hundreds of scholars. Donations help their important applications in faculties, permitting educators to organize the future leaders of tomorrow.

Environmental Working Group

The of us at Environmental Working Group (EWG) work to coach shoppers on the risks of poisonous chemical compounds and pesticides in the meals provide and consuming water. They additionally preserve a cosmetics database, which tracks the ingredient security of private care merchandise. Their reviews, 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 convey 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 our surroundings by way of greenhouse gases. Industrialized agriculture causes meals contamination and recollects, 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 dwell completely satisfied, wholesome, and free lives. Through their animal sponsorship applications, you may undertake a farm animal, which incorporates an adoption certificates, picture of your animal, sticker, meet and greet at one among 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 — and so they can even educate us. If you’re dedicated to the Food Revolution motion, you understand how vital it’s to share the data! Consider one among 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 in the present day.

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 finest 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 way of your meals selections. You’ll additionally discover a meal plan and wholesome, plant-powered recipes to dwell extra deliciously and nutritiously.

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

Diabetes has turn into an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the US alone, practically 10% of the inhabitants has sort 2 diabetes. But analysis has proven that consuming a plant-based weight-reduction plan helps stop and reverse sort 2 diabetes. In this cookbook from registered dietician, Brenda Davis, you’ll get 100 fast and simple recipes to steadiness 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 concentrate on for optimum diet.

The Game Changers (DVD or Blu-Ray)

James Cameron’s award-winning documentary on vegan athleticism is now obtainable on each DVD and Blu-Ray. This prolonged model additionally contains particular interviews, deleted scenes, and bloopers after the movie. Game Changers would make a fantastic present for the athlete in your life, or anybody inquisitive about the actual, documented results of plant-based consuming. If it might persuade bodybuilders and soccer groups to eat extra crops, perhaps it might 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 e-book on well being and diet. In Your Body in Balance, he explores how our meals and setting have an effect on the delicate steadiness of our hormonal techniques. In this step-by-step information, Dr. Barnard gives 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 battling 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 achieved 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 snort, 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 too can share with family members.

Kitchen Enhancements

modern white kitchen with table and kitchenware
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A house chef or cooking aficionado may take pleasure in one among these wholesome, handpicked kitchen enhancements.

Cutting Board

Whether you’re chopping greens or tofu, each kitchen wants an excellent slicing board. And I’m not speaking about a type of low-cost plastic boards you should buy in Three-packs from Walmart. If you’ve ever tried making ready a salad on a plastic slab with the footprint of an iPad mini, you already know that the majority of it would find yourself rolling off the board and onto the counter, or worse, the flooring. With a high-quality, right-sized slicing 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 slicing board that’s long-lasting and gained’t injury knives.

Maple Cutting Board by Mevell

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

Food Storage Containers

Most meals storage containers are plastic, which whereas low-cost and handy, come at a value to your well being and the setting. Good options are stainless-steel and glass, which gained’t leach chemical compounds and are extra sustainable choices. They make a fantastic present for the folks in your life who’re all the time on-the-go or who’ve giant 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 stainless-steel containers could be simply the factor to convey a bit 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 approach 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 stainless-steel containers are light-weight, sturdy, watertight, and versatile. Multiple styles and sizes 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 stainless-steel latches, make every container leak-proof and hermetic. No extra by chance carrying lunch when the automotive 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 finest overlooked 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 again and again. Although there are lots of various kinds of cookware, these alternatives gained’t leach chemical compounds into meals or the air.

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

This Cusinart cookware set is one among many fantastic stainless-steel pot and pan units. All the pots and pans are multiclad with stainless-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 varieties, and in the oven and dishwasher as properly.

Blenders

A high-efficiency blender makes a beautiful present throughout the holidays. Recipients can whip up smoothies, juices, dips, and soups. It’s a good 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 stainless-steel container (that prices additional). The Vitamix can shortly and simply make a frozen dessert or a morning smoothie. And it might grind up seeds and mix vegetables and fruit with its stainless-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 underneath siege by industrial and agricultural air pollution, a high-quality water filter is a vital useful resource in nearly 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 a fantastic many different contaminants from faucet water. Give your family members the present of really 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 as of late. And whereas we rejoice that reality, shopping for cartons and cartons of almond milk can add prices over time (to not point out creating further landfill waste). But with the Almond Cow, you may have the plant-based milk of your selection 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 obligatory! (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 arms. Consider one among 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 drawback. Some locations have changed plastic with disposable paper straws, however they’re not a long-term resolution. Instead, think about investing in stainless-steel straws, like this set from Amazon. You’ll get 12 extra-long consuming 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 acutely aware water bottle produced from sugarcane that’s CO2 destructive. They’re made, not in China, however in Sweden, the place staff earn a dwelling wage. And for each bottle offered, they can present six months of fresh water to an individual in the Central African Republic by way of their charity associate Water for Good. With a number of lovely designs to select from, this sustainable present thought will depart you wanting good and doing good as you hydrate.

Health & Beauty Gifts

Sustainable gift ideas for the holidays - natural health and beauty products on counter
iStock.com/petrenkod

Many standard well being and wonder gadgets include dangerous chemical compounds which might be poisonous and might contribute to persistent well being situations. If you’re wanting for more healthy and sustainable choices, attempt one among these corporations as an alternative.

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, truthful commerce, and gluten-free components. Plus, they by no means take a look at on animals. Choose your pores and skin sort, after which snap up one among their pattern kits for your self or a beloved one. Each equipment incorporates a facial oil and cleanser pattern for simply $10.

Purity Woods’ Age-Defying Dream Cream

If you’re wanting for wholesome, non-toxic skincare, look no additional than Purity Woods’ Age-Defying Dream Cream. Made with 10 of the prime pure, natural, and cruelty-free components in the business, this cream may also help scale back seen indicators of ageing, 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 top quality air filter is vital. You might simply spend hundreds of on high-quality air filters. But for a couple of third of the value of most high-quality techniques, you may get contemporary, 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 compounds 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, and so they make our days extra lovely. There are numerous methods to share love and help, and plenty 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 specific 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 present family members for the holidays?

Feature picture: iStock.com/kabby

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