As a UGA grad, I am a die-hard SEC football fan...Go Dawgs! I also love the NFL and basically any other football game I can find on tv. I love to camp, scrapbook, read, watch movies, hike, take pictures, and hang out with friends. I'm a little bit girlie-girl, a little bit tomboy, a little bit southern belle and probably a little bit redneck... does a pink camouflage ball cap from Bass Pro Shops qualify me as redneck?
• Give for the greater good. Look for gifts that also help others build healthier and more sustainable lives. Organizations like Global Exchange, A Greater Gift, and Ten Thousand Villages offer fair-trade products grown or made by farmers and artisans in developing countries from Bangladesh to Zimbabwe. You can find other fair-trade retailers, both online and off, at TransFair USA and the Fair Trade Federation.
• Give a gift that keeps on giving. Shopping for someone who has everything? Why not give to someone less fortunate on his or her behalf? Heifer International, for example, lets you buy anything from a flock of chicks to a cow that will be given to a family for an ongoing food source. Or shop through FundraiserRewards, which connects you with retailers online and off that donate a portion of your purchase price to the organization of your choice.
• Give conflict-free. When purchasing items such as jewelry, consider the source of the metal and/or gems. Precious metals and stones are often mined with destructive mining processes and poor labor practices. Worse yet, some gems, such as the notorious “blood diamonds,” are mined in war zones and sold illegally to finance further violence. There are, however, options available that ensure that your gift does not support such practices. Be sure to spend a little time researching jewelry purchases.
• Give Chic. For creative and unique jewelry gifts, take a look at some wonderful jewelry made from cleverly recycled objects. Vendors such as Eco-Artwear or RepurposedForYou specialize in one-of-a-kind products made from repurposed materials. If your recipient’s jewelry preference is futuristic and tech-inspired, check out Arteco, featuring uniquely crafted jewelry items that make excellent use of recycled high–tech components.
• Give power. When buying electronic toys and other portable items that are used regularly, remember to buy rechargeable batteries and a battery charger to go with them. About 40% of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Buy rechargeable batteries to accompany your electronic gifts, which reduce the amount of potentially harmful materials thrown away, and can save money in the long run.
No matter how you begin the gift-giving process, be sure to evaluate items already in your home. Donate last year’s unused gifts or toys that the kids have outgrown to charity. Gently-used gift items are in high demand during the holiday season.