herbal tea and handmade flower mug

Green Gifts: Sustainable Presents They’ll Love

The holidays are a joyous time full of heartfelt appreciation. We spend quality time together, put up special decorations, and even give each other gifts.

Unfortunately, with packaging, unwanted presents, a spike in travel, and excess food waste, this doesn’t make the holidays the most eco-friendly time of year. Our environmental situation is complex, and deciding to use newspaper to wrap gifts certainly isn’t going to fix everything. Still, if you’re looking for ways to give more sustainably this year, we’re happy to lend our ideas!

Here are some gifts that will bring all the warmth without the waste.

For the Foodie

Almost everyone likes getting food as a gift, and since food is a common topic of conversation, you likely already know what snacks your friends and family like. So, how can you give food sustainably? Well, it’s a great opportunity to support small businesses and farmers!

Look for products that are made within the community using locally sourced ingredients. Things like specialty cheese, jams and preserves, and baked goods tend to be wonderful options. If you want to go the extra mile, you could even purchase a subscription to a local produce box program!

Sacred Blossom Farm tea and a mug by local maker, Amanda Hatton (Seasonal Gardener)

If you’re looking to support a local business, stop by the WPS Trellis Gift Shop to see our selection of eco-friendly culinary gifts. Bare Honey, for example, is a family-owned, Minnesota-based company that creates 100% pure raw honey and contributes to bee conservation and breeding. If your looking for a different kind of snack, Mr. Bird birdseed is a great present for your outdoor friends!

For the Adventurer

For the person who loves to get out and about, what about purchasing a membership? Often overlooked, there are so many different places within your community that offer annual memberships. For a young family, a membership to a public pool or children’s museum would be an amazing gift. For the lifelong learner, what about a different museum, planetarium, or even a botanical garden (wink wink)?

It’s the perfect gift that they’ll be able to enjoy year-round. Not only does it support the local economy, it also supports that individual organization’s missions and values!

If you think they’d rather bring the Garden home with them, snag a packet of Hudson Valley Seeds! The packaging is gorgeous and makes them a great gift, but what’s even better is that the seeds are heirloom and open-pollinated. They’ll beautify any yard and support the preservation of plant genetic diversity.

Hudson Valley Seed Co. seed packets

For the Arts Lover

If you’re looking for a present for someone who’s a fan of performing and visual arts, there are so many great options! Going to see a play, concert, or other performance is a lovely activity for a quiet winter evening. As a bonus, you could even throw in dinner beforehand. For the recipient who’s more hands on, dance classes or music lessons could be a wonderful gift!

Have a loved one who likes a DIY project? The Big Book of Nature Art would be the perfect fit! With instructions for 22 projects made using natural treasures and recycled materials, it makes sustainable crafting easy for the novice or experienced artist. Check it out in the WPS Trellis Gift Shop!

The Big Book of Nature Art by Yuval Zommer

A Heartfelt Gesture

One other option is donating in your friend or family member’s name. It seems like something that people shy away from as a gift, but it can be an incredibly heartfelt gesture. The key is knowing your audience. Think about the person you’re donating for and what means the most to them. If your recipient is a bookworm, maybe consider donating to an organization that supports inclusive literature. For the animal lover, maybe a conservation fund would be a better fit. The more specific the organization is to your friend or family member, the more thoughtful your gift will be.

Schneider Council of Critters Amphitheater and Green Bay Packaging George Kress Foundation Tree Houses, PC: John Oates Photography

As the new year approaches, here at the Garden we’re incredibly honored to have had another wonderful year of connecting people with plants, and it’s all thanks to you. As a nonprofit, we’re able to keep our doors open because of our members, donors, events, and daily visitors. We hope that this holiday season, you’re able to connect with those who mean the most to you, as we all look forward to many more years to come.

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Sounds of Nashville on August 11

will be moved indoors with limited seating due to Friday’s weather forecast. Tickets are no longer available. We apologize for any inconvenience!

Thursday, May 16 | Early closure at 3 pm for TasteBud
Due to the weather, TasteBud will be held indoors this evening.