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The Rainforest Alliance's Guide to Green Holiday Gift-Giving

November 26, 2008

When considering what to give family and friends this holiday season, consider gifts that give back to everyone’s favorite family member: Mother Nature. Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified foods and forest products help conserve biodiversity by curbing deforestation and protecting the soil and waterways on which animals depend. They also promote sustainable livelihoods around the globe, including access to potable water, proper housing, health care and education.

Forest-Friendly Music

For those looking to give gifts that rock, Gibson and the C. F. Martin Guitar Company create beautiful instruments made with FSC-certified wood. Savvy musicians who care about the environment can strum easily knowing their guitar was made from trees harvested in ways that protect both the land and its people. Also consider CDs with covers printed on Domtar EarthChoice paper like Neil Young’s Prairie Wind, Jack Johnson’s Sleep through the Static and the Barenaked Ladies’ Barenaked Ladies Are Me.

Seasons Greetings from Sustainably Managed Forests

Send your warmest holiday wishes with FSC-certified Faux Wood Holiday Cards from Night Owl Paper Goods. If you prefer sending a family newsletter to loved ones, be sure to have it printed on FSC-certified paper, which you can buy online at Staples -- search for "FSC."

Lip-Smacking Holiday Treats

Reindeer Blend

Tasty stocking-stuffers and thank you gifts can help to conserve forests, safeguard wildlife habitat and protect soil and waterways. Coffee roasters including Caribou Coffee, Gloria Jean’s Coffees and Kraft’s Yuban brand all offer Rainforest Alliance Certified blends. For those with a sweet tooth, Plantations Arriba sources their cocoa from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms in Ecuador. If you’re bringing a gift to a dinner party, look for wine from Willamette Valley Vineyards, sealed with stoppers from FSC-certified cork oak forests.

Gifts to a Worthy Cause

Rather than giving another fancy pen or holiday sweater, consider making a donation to Adopt-A-Rainforest to support conservation programs run by the Rainforest Alliance’s partner organizations in Latin America. Donors can either donate to a specific conservation project in Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras or Nicaragua or they can ask the Rainforest Alliance to choose an organization that is particularly in need of funding. People can give to Adopt-A-Rainforest on behalf of loved ones, for weddings or birthdays, or as part of school fundraising projects.

If You’re Heading out of Town

When traveling during the holidays, choose a sustainable hotel or tour operator. Support tourism businesses that are working with the Rainforest Alliance to mitigate their effects on the land and local people and provide staff with proper wages, health care and more. Visit the Eco-Index of Sustainable Tourism to search for businesses that are making a difference.

Join Our Family

For as little as $35, you can give your favorite conservationist a year-long membership to the Rainforest Alliance. Members receive our quarterly newsletter, The Canopy, members-only conservation updates, as well as access to information on Rainforest Alliance Certified products. Depending on the size of the gift, your new member will also receive a plush frog, shopping tote, or a Rainforest Alliance umbrella, along with a gift card, or e-card acknowledging your gift.

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