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Green Holidays: Forego Gifts & Donate or Do Good Deeds

written by: Julia Bodeeb•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 10/3/2010

Say no to consumerism and have a green, present free, holiday.

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    Have a Green Holiday!

    Be green this holiday season and forego the materialism of shopping for things and do good deeds instead to spread holiday cheer. Teach your kids the value of helping others and green living rather than spending massive amounts of money on things that they will tire of quickly. Make an announcement early in the holiday season to all in your life that you will not give or accept any items for holiday gifts. Let everyone know you would be delighted by donations or good deeds done on your behalf as your holiday gift.

    Ideas for Donations

    • A donation of $10 in your name to plants ten seedlings in a national park in America. That gift will keep on giving to the environment for many decades. The trees would help clean air and provide a place for birds to live.
    • Heifer International is also a great foundation to donate to as a good deed. It helps families in America and abroad obtain livestock to raise food for their family and to sell. Heifer International also provides bees and trees to certain families. By creating milk, eggs, and butter at home from livestock, Heifer International helps families support themselves and to live green, by living off the land and feeding off products created there rather than shopping for items grown in distant locations. For more information:
    • The World Wildlife Foundation is a group that works to conserve rain forests, protect coral reefs, and save endangered species. They have 2,000 projects in over 100 countries. Donating to this group would help save animals and the environment. For more information go to:
    • The Surf Rider Foundation works to ensure protection of the ocean. This foundation has branches all over America and abroad. They actively work to keep the ocean clean and to ensure its beauty remains protected for future generation. Go to for more information.

    So, instead of having a materialistic holiday, ask everyone to donate to good causes and do good deeds. This outpouring of help will warm one’s heart far more than a bauble or some silly gift item would. Helping others makes one feel great. So encourage a move away from consumerism and toward good deeds and philanthropic donations. A great book to read to find more information about charitable giving and good deeds is “Giving” by Bill Clinton.

    Ideas for Good Deeds

    • Plant a flower garden for an elderly person.
    • Visit a hospital on a holiday morning.
    • Donate books to schools.
    • Clean up garbage from a beach or empty lot.
    • Donate blood.
    • “Clone” some plants from those you already have via making cuttings, and once the plant is large enough for a pot donate the plants to a nursing home.
    • Put seeds out for the birds after a snowstorm.
    • Drive the snowplow around town and clear the driveways of the elderly.
    • Volunteer in the emergency room of a busy hospital.