It’s been a year of impressive momentum-building for the regenerative movement. Just take a look at the incredible exposure and excitement around the release of Josh Tickell’s book Kiss the Ground in November — it would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. More and more people are starting to get it that healthy soil, human health, and a livable climate are intimately connected to each other. People are hungry for a climate solution that’s positive and empowering, helps us to solve a ton of other planetary problems simultaneously, and is directly connected to one of our primary pleasures and needs: food. And here it is. The hashtags #LiveRegeneratively and #RegenerativeLiving are gaining ground.
But what about #GiveRegeneratively and #RegenerativeGiving? Can our excitement about soil and ecosystem regeneration carry over to how we approach the holiday season — and specifically, gift-giving?
We think so! In that spirit, Project Grounded brings you a little guide to holiday gifts that support the regeneration of the earth’s living systems. (And no, we’re not just talking about buying more “ethical” or “eco-friendly” products.)
Give a gift that challenges the consumerist norm
We can’t create a regenerative world without re-examining our relationship to material things and, specifically, the mindset of consuming for the sake of consuming. What a lot of people don’t realize is that there are alternatives to the madness of Christmas consumerism that still retain the joy, the spirit of generosity, and the enjoyment. Joshua of The Minimalists, for example, says that even as a minimalist, he still enjoys in participating in the holidays, but
“I now give gifts of experiences, charitable donations, or, if I give material goods, I give consumables, such as a bottle of wine or a bag of coffee from a local roaster. It must be something someone can use, or, if it’s an experience, it’s a memory that can be shared, from concert tickets to an evening of watching the sunset together.”
Another great anti-consumerist gifting guide from Eco Warrior Princess suggests growing a gift, making a gift yourself or — like the Minimalists — gifting an experience or your time.
Give a Tree
More roots in the ground is a good thing! And a tree = lots more roots. From a tiny sapling to a full mature-canopy grandmother, each tree is an effective carbon pump — we couldn’t possibly plant too many of them.
What are some of the ways to give a tree?
- Physically plant a tree in honor of your giftee.
- Send a tree sapling or tree seeds my mail.
- Give your loved one the gift of an outing with a tree-planting organization in your area, such as Urban Re-Leaf, Friends of Trees, or Afforestt.
- Make a donation in your giftee’s name to a tree planting or forest conservation organization. Treeera‘s low-cost monthly subscription helps to plant trees to offset climate change & reduce your carbon footprint. $20/month plants 200 trees on your giftee’s behalf annually, $12/month plants 100 per year. Or make a gift donation to The 1 Million Redwoods Project on Kickstarter. For The Wild is planting millions of trees, native plants and fungal companions to mitigate climate change and rapid species loss.
Give a gift that supports regenerative land management
Make a donation in your loved one’s name to one of the organizations below. STEAL THIS: Here’s what you can write on your (100% post-consumer recycled) Christmas card to them: “I love you, and I love this Earth that supports both of us. My gift to you is supporting farmers who are doing right by nature while helping to preserve the Earth’s living systems.”
- Kiss the Ground: keep all that inspiring, informative media coming to make “regeneration” a household word in the US!
- Regeneration International: your donation supports the promotion of regeneration worldwide, from education and policy to consumer campaigns and connecting the world’s regenerative projects together in a hub
- The Savory Institute: help regenerate the world’s grasslands through holistic livestock management
- Grow Ahead: support the small farmers that are helping to cool the planet and feed the world
Give a gift that helps the RECIPIENT to have fun while building healthy soil
What that might look like:
- a compost bin, bucket, tumbler, a worm composter… you get the idea
- gardening tools
- helping your friend start a backyard garden
- a bag of the best compost or mulch you can find
- BioLite camping stove — the fire burns very clean and turns firewood into biochar, which powerfully increases the soil’s ability to store carbon and grow healthy food. P.S. It also charges your cell phone while it’s at it!
Give a gift that’s sourced from, or supports, regenerative farming
Here are some ideas:
- the best-selling book Kiss the Ground by Josh Tickell
- The North Face’s Climate-Beneficial Beanie
- Lush Cosmetics
- Full Circle Wool bedding
- For the knitter in your life: Wool yarn from Fibershed-certified producers of Climate-Beneficial Wool