The gift of a greener world

Are you stuck for gift ideas or looking to cut back on shopping? This year, support an eco-charity!

’Tis the season for overconsumption! If you’re looking for a way to curb the enormous amount of waste associated with this time of year, consider supporting a favourite environmental charity in your loved ones’ names.

Green Living recommends these 12 worthy causes:

1. WaterCan Gift of Water

Perfect for: the philanthropist

WaterCan Gift of Water

WaterCan is a leading Canadian water charity, dedicated to helping the world’s poorest gain access to clean water, basic sanitation and hygiene education. Its vision is simple: Clean Water for All. Green Living loves the Holiday Gifts of Water Campaign, with wonderful options like Clean Water for a Child ($25), Hygiene Education Materials for 30 Students ($50) and many more.

2. Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Tribute Donation

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Tribute Donation

Perfect for: the outdoor enthusiast

CPAWS is “Canada’s voice for the wilderness.” Since 1963, it has led the way in creating over two-thirds of Canada’s protected areas—that’s over half a million square kilometres! Its vision is for Canada to protect at least half of our public land and water. This holiday season, give a tribute donation in a loved one’s name and help protect our great wilderness.

3. David Suzuki Foundation E-Card

David Suzuki Foundation E-Card

Perfect for: the science buff

The David Suzuki Foundation says it best: “Solutions are in our nature.” The foundation works with government, business and individuals to conserve the environment and act as a catalyst for the change that today’s situation demands. Send an e-card ($15 each) and help protect the Earth. Choose from initiatives such as saving Canada’s grizzly bears, protecting urban forests, and preserving our invaluable wetlands.

4. Nature Conservancy of Canada Gift of Canadian Nature

Nature Conservancy of Canada Gift of Canadian Nature

Perfect for: the nature lover

From coast to coast, our country’s wild places are disappearing—but the Nature Conservancy of Canada wants to change that. Support its efforts by purchasing a Gift of Canadian Nature, a symbolic gift of habitat that you can protect in honour of someone else. Bonus: recipients get an eco-friendly calendar featuring breathtaking landscapes across Canada.

5. World Wildlife Fund Wildlife Adoption

World Wildlife Fund Wildlife Adoption

Perfect for: the animal lover

The WWF is Canada’s largest international conservation organization, with the active support of more than 150,000 Canadians. It aims to stop the degradation of our environment and build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Green Living loves the symbolic (and adorable!) wildlife adoption kit. Recipients get a personalized adoption certificate, a plush toy and collector card, and a recycled gift bag.

6. Sierra Club Canada Membership

Sierra Club Canada Membership

Perfect for: the eco advocate

Sierra Club Canada wants to empower Canadians to protect and restore our planet. We love its campaigns, such as Action Grizzly Bear, which advocates for Alberta’s threatened grizzlies, and Bin Talk, which promotes Ottawa’s Green Bin program. We recommend a thoughtful gift that lasts all year long: a Sierra Club Canada Membership.

7. Environmental Defence Donation

Environmental Defence Donation

Perfect for: the conscientious consumer

Environmental Defence inspires change by connecting people with environmental issues that affect their daily lives—at home, at work and in their neighbourhoods. We’re fans of its educational campaigns to ban BPA, expose the toxins in our personal care products, help stop the tar sands, and more. By donating to this groundbreaking organization, you’re making a powerful and lasting impact on the health of the environment and your loved ones.

8. Greenpeace Contribution

Greenpeace Contribution

Perfect for: the activist

Greenpeace uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems and force solutions. Its goal is to ensure a green and peaceful future. This season, give a one-time contribution in a loved one’s name to support Greenpeace’s vital campaign for the planet.

9. Nature Canada Donation

Nature Canada Donation

Perfect for: the conservation enthusiast

Nature Canada is a member-based conservation organization. Its focus is to protect and conserve wildlife habitats in Canada, and it’s working on issues like bird conservation, endangered species and wilderness protection. Make a donation to help Nature Canada protect animals, plants and other species from careless development threats to our natural heritage.

10. The Pembina Institute Tribute Gift

The Pembina Institute Tribute Gift

Perfect for: the sustainable energy advocate

The Pembina Institute is a Canadian think tank that advances sustainable energy solutions through research, education, consulting and advocacy. This year, consider giving a tribute gift to help advance its fantastic work in the green energy sphere.

11. Tree Canada Plant-a-Tree Certificate

Tree Canada Plant-a-Tree Certificate

Perfect for: the urbanite

Tree Canada wants a greener and healthier living environment for Canadians. The organization has planted more than 78 million trees and greened more than 530 schoolyards across the country. For just $25, the organization will plant a tree in Canada on behalf of your loved one!

12. Me to We Youth Volunteer Trip

Me to We Youth Volunteer Trip

Perfect for: the young adventurer

Me to We is an innovative social enterprise that’s all about transforming people into world changers. What better gift to give a young adventurer than a youth volunteer trip? Your recipient will learn and explore, visit fascinating places, become immersed in different cultures and help with community development. The exciting destinations include India, Kenya, Nicaragua and a special eco-trip to Arizona.

Will you make charitable donations as gifts this holiday season? E-mail