10 Gifts That Also Give to Wildlife

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Symbolically Adopt an Animal

credit: Defenders of Wildlife

Are you looking for holiday gifts that also give back to animals and wildlife? This gift guide is here to help, with eco-friendly and ethical items that also donate to non-profits that protect nature. Of course, many conservation non-profits rely heavily on donations. So if you’re looking to avoid “stuff,” you can always choose to give directly to these organizations and forgo any kind of item in return.

Symbolic adoptions are a popular way to support wildlife conservation, and many organizations offer them. Check out options from The Nature Conservancy, WWF or the National Audubon Society. Defenders of Wildlife even offers an Animal of the Month Club. “Adopting” an animal for the kid in your life is a great way to teach her or him about wildlife, as most organizations not only send a small plush version of your animal, but also educational materials about that species. These gifts can also be great for the adult who’s particularly passionate about penguin or pandas, and they'll also probably more fully appreciate the donation made on their behalf.

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Endangered Species Chocolate

credit: Endangered Species Chocolate

Endangered Species Chocolate produces treats that are Fair Trade certified, sustainably produced and vegan. They offer a range of chocolates, in addition to chocolate spreads like hazelnut cocoa and almond cocoa. But what’s even sweeter is that they donate 10 percent of their net profits to conservation organizations. For 2016 through 2018, those organizations will be Rainforest Trust and the Wildlife Conservation Network. Plus, these organizations will be featured on every chocolate bar wrapper, to help further spread awareness. You can find a retailer near you.

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Glassy Baby

credit: Glassy Baby

Glassy Baby was founded by Lee Rhodes, a cancer survivor herself, to raise money to help other cancer patients cover their day-to-day costs. Since then, the company has grown to support all kinds of charitable non-profit organizations, by donating 10 percent of of each sale to a good cause. Sales from the “manta ray” candle holder shown here go to Wild Aid, to help support communities in Indonesia and protect manta rays from being over hunted.

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Lush Charity Pot

credit: Lush

We’ll admit upfront that the money from Lush’s Charity Pot doesn’t all go to wildlife conservation organizations. However, 100 percent of the price (except taxes) does go to charity, and that’s awesome. Plus, the lotion itself is vegan, ethically made, and uses organic and sustainable ingredients. I personally love the fresh smell, which isn’t too fruity or sweet. The funds go to partners that include Darwin Animal Doctors, which provides veterinary care to animals in the Galapagos Islands, and the Maya Mountain Research Farm, an NGO working at the intersection of agriculture and ecology.

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PangeaSeed Artwork

credit: Kozydan for PangeaSeed

PangeaSeed is a non-profit dedicated to using “Artivism” to raise awareness about the ocean and the importance of its creatures. They organized street art festivals in key ocean communities, like Isla Mujeres and Cozumel in Mexico. They not only use art to spread their message, but also to support their mission financially. On their website, you can find a range of inspiring prints, posters, original art and teeshirts. The poster shown here is called “Vegans” and was created by the Los Angeles-based art duo Kozydan.

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Koguma Bank

credit: Koguma by Coq En Pate Editions

Kickstarter can be a bit of a gamble if you’re trying to get a gift in time for Christmas, but this cause just might be worth supporting anyway. It’s a polar bear bank and augmented reality app, which lets you explore the polar bear’s habitat and also enables donations to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUNC)’s Save Our Species program. Plus, 3 percent of every Koguma bank sold also goes to Save Our Species. The IUNC is the organization that’s responsible for the “red list” of endangered species. The bear is sustainably made in France from natural cellulose acetate.

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Birds & Beans Coffee

credit: Birds & Beans Coffee

For a lover of birds or coffee, this certified bird-friendly coffee from Birds & Beans is helping to protect endangered honeycreepers and regenerate forest canopy in Hawaii. All of the coffee sold by Birds & Beans is sustainably grown, but this bag is also a special fundraiser. One hundred percent of sales of the Maui Mountain Home Grown Special Harvest Coffee go to support the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project and the Kuau’i Forest Bird Recovery Project. Available online.

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The Elephant Pants

credit: The Elephant Pants

For every purchase you make from The Elephant Pants, a few dollars are donated to the African Wildlife Foundation to help fight ivory poaching and protect threatened elephants. In addition to the pants and leggings shown here, The Elephant Pants also sells tees, kids items, and bags. All the clothing is made in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where the seamstresses are paid twice the average wage and provided with health care benefits.

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BeadWORKS

credit: BeadWORKS

BeadWORKS is another project that’s helping to fight poaching in Africa. The organization is helping provide alternative sources of income for the community of the Northern Rangeland Trust, a non-profit working to conserve natural rangeland in Kenya. Hand-beaded jewelry, keychains and ornaments are made by the women of the community to support themselves and the organization.

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Reusable Penguin Mug from WWF

credit: WWF

Reusable mugs are a much more eco-friendly choice than throwing away a disposable cup every time you want coffee. You can get this cute one inspired by Arctic penguins when you make a $55.00 donation to WWF, which receives high ratings from Charity Navigator and works on conservation issues all around the world. The porcelain mug comes with a silicon lid and removable band.