10 Socially Conscious Gift Giving Ideas – A New Multiplier Effect

10 Socially Conscious Gift Ideas Creating a New Multiplier Effect

Consumption conjunction is what the holidays are all about, right? Spending, spending, consuming and well, still hearing that subtle voice that speaks in your ear as you walk through a crowded mall asking – Is THIS really what it is all about? If you hear this too, know you are not alone and the 21st century has an amazing array of easy, yet thoughtful ways to give a great gift while also being a positive force for social impact, environmental awareness, and, well, really just being a responsible global citizen. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am typing this on a new Mac and I am not in 100% socially responsible garb, but I’m a human who is slowly but surely trying to evolve my own self and direction of my dollars towards a more positive ripple effect in the world beginning with a few questions that nag at me more frequently with each gift giving opportunity?

  • What was the path of the product to my hands? Who was supported or hurt along the way?
  • What did my dollars explicitly or implicitly support (i.e. inhumane working conditions, ecological damage, etc..)?
  • Is this purchase being a force for positive impact or working against it?

Instead of buying meaningless, consumer driven gifts that end up creating eons of waste and little to no long term enjoyment, I’m trying to shift to a more conscious driven gift giving (and consuming) that is a process of evolution in and of it self that allows for a new kind of multiplier effect – give a gift and be a positive force for peace and social change in the world! I can’t think of a better win-win! Take a look at these ideas (and some of my favorite local Links shared but the idea can be supported in any location!) to create a ripple effect with the dollars you spend on gifts this year – Leave a comment below and let me know what we should add – the more ideas the merrier :

  1. Give children access to what every child deserves  health care, food, clean air,  water & kindness while buying beautiful gifts – http://www.unicefusa.org/shop/ and Heifer International is an amazing organization where you sponsor animals for a village that allows for self sufficiency, social enterprise and a profound multiplier effect!
  2. Support a local artist, Buy a CD or tickets for a great event  – (i.e. Fernando Tarango is one such local artist and many, many more ideas such as The Art Farm, tickets to the Fort Wayne PhilharmonicFort Wayne Embassy, etc..)!)
  3. Give a gift certificate to a socially responsible local business that you love –  such as Downtown Deli & Marketplace for organic, locally grown deliciousness.
  4. Donate to a great cause such as PBS or NPR and also get a great gift to give (i.e. PBS  – www.wfwa.org giving away Philharmonic tickets for $60 donation)
  5. Buy a gift at a local Fair Trade Shop such as our local Creative Women of the World where your dollars support a better world and provide a beautiful gift
  6. Give quality clothing (did you know more pesticides used on cotton than any other crop?) from great spots like our The  Fort Wayne Outfitters & Bike Depot that carries Patagonia, Lole, and other responsible clothing lines.
  7. Give a membership or class from the local community center or garden to learn something new (ie. Fort Wayne Foellinger Freimann Botanical Gardens)
  8. Give the gift of health– Give a yoga class, package or a massage (Had to add this – but if you are a business owner, why not bring in workplace yoga as a gift to your staff? I hear there are some great offerings at www.LanahLink.com/yoga ) – totally unbiased recommendation of course!
  9. Give a Tree! Contact a local nursery or Arbor Day Foundation and arrange to buy a tree for them to plant to nourish the, earth, air and their view for years to come
  10. Give fresh, organic food through a membership to the local Co-op, a CSA, organic food provider such as Green Bean Delivery

What are your favorite ideas for socially conscious gift giving this year?

PS I’m accepting that I don’t have to be ‘perfect’ in getting 100% socially conscious gifts, but if I make one shift for one gift, enhance my awareness just a bit this year, maybe my one small action will cause a ripple effect of positivity that, soon enough, may make a tidal wave of change.

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