5 green causes for holiday gift donations

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CC BY 2.0 woodleywonderworks

Not done holiday shopping yet? From mushroom kits to smart thermostats, our green gift guide is usually a good place to look for cool green stuff to gift your loved ones.

But maybe you don't really want to buy stuff.

Alternative gift giving is all the rage these days, and even royals are asking for donations instead of swag for their celebrations. So below are some causes you might consider for gift donations this year. Who doesn't want a better world for the holidays?

Bicycles for Africa

As we've noted before, bicycles are more than just a sustainable form of transportation or recreation. In poor communities, they can be life changing. Donate to World Bicycle Relief to mobilize change this holiday season.

Solar as empowerment

Kerosene is an overlooked source of global warming, not to mention an outrageous health hazard. But solar lanterns are rapidly replacing kerosene lamps, and introducing remote communities to off-grid distributed power generation in the process. Solar is also being used to charge cell phones, power schools, and to enable automated drip irrigation. Donate to Solar Aid or the Solar Electric Light Fund to help speed this important transition.

Sustainable agriculture and the gift of food

It's fairly obvious that empowering communities to grow their own food can have a dramatic impact on poverty, malnutrition and sustainable development. Take this project, for example, which accepts gift donations to teach schools permaculture gardening. Check out Heifer International or Send A Cow for gift donations that reach well beyond moo cows.

Conservation and wildlife protection

For wildlife enthusiasts, a gift to a conservation charity may be your best bet. Whether it's adopting an endangered species with World Wildlife Fund, or protecting an acre of special habitat with The Nature Conservancy, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Clean water for all

TreeHugger founder Graham Hill already pledged his birthday to this cause, but I don't suppose there is any reason why you can't donate clean water for the holidays too. Visit Charity:Water to find out more.

Tags: Charities | Christmas | Gifts

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