GOOD Alternative Gifts | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

GOOD Alternative Gifts


For gift-giving on a wider scale, these alternative gift ideas are great for the global economy and the environment. Plus, you will be creating a wonderful new tradition without having to wait in any long lines at the mall.

• Oxfam Unwrapped allows you to buy gifts that make a difference. For example, $250 will plant 500 trees, $90 will buy a pair of sheep, and $20 will irrigate a farmer's land for two months. A personalized card with a picture goes to your recipient to show exactly what the gift is doing for others. Visit Oxfam America Unwrapped.

• For $50 at The Nature Conservancy, you can adopt an acre of land for conservation purposes in four different countries, including the U.S. Visit The Nature Conservancy to plant a tree in a loved one's name.

• Do your online shopping at The Hunger Site, whose proceeds go to fight poverty in more than 74 countries. Unique gifts from all over the world are available. Also, their "Gifts That Give More" campaign is similar to Oxfam Unwrapped—$11 buys care for an HIV patient; $25 feeds a U.S. family for five weeks; for $28, you can plant trees to save an orangutan habitat. There are hundreds of options for any price range. Visit The Hunger Site.

• The Sierra Club, America's oldest grassroots environmental organization, has gifts such as calendars, books and cards available on its Web site. All proceeds support the Sierra Club's programs and activities. Visit Sierra Club.

• In its mission to help the needy become self-reliant, Heifer International offers useful items as gifts. While the prices are considerably steep for most items (generally $100-$500), these gifts are reusable, being passed on to help others in need. You can also purchase shares of an expensive item (such as $50 for a share of a $500 knitting basket). Visit Heifer International.

• For stocking stuffers, Ten Thousand Villages offers cool fair-trade items from countries such as Ecuador, Kenya and Bangladesh for under $20, including an African proverbs calendar and beaded corn purse, both $12. Proceeds go directly to artisans. Visit Ten Thousand Villages.

• Adopt an animal this season for $25, $50, $100 or $250, and get an adoption kit, which comes with a photo of your animal and other goodies. It's not for your average cat or dog—the World Wildlife Fund supports more than 90 animals, including snow leopards, polar bears, and pygmy elephants. Visit World Wildlife Fund.

• If you were already planning on purchasing a computer for the holidays, consider going to One Laptop per Child where the purchase of one laptop for $399 will also buy a laptop for a child in a developing country. Visit One Laptop Per Child for more info.

• Can't find the perfect charity for your socially minded friend? Well, Just Give, and your problem is solved. No, really, go to Just Give and purchase a gift card for any non-profit of your choice. There are 19 different categories to help guide you and hundreds of charities choose from. You can't go wrong with this one.

• We would be remiss if we left off our inspiration for this issue in our guide to giving. Good Magazine subscriptions are only $20, and the entire cost goes toward your charity of choice. Give a subscription to a friend and get one for yourself, too. You'll be donating twice and get magazine joy each month.

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