Green gifts

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Our Environment by Katharine Fletcher

T’is the season for giving thoughtful gifts, so why not be environmentally conscientious when giving this year? Indeed, why not make a New Year’s resolution to make all gifts “green”? What to buy? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Time to help

Our Environment by Katharine Fletcher

T’is the season for giving thoughtful gifts, so why not be environmentally conscientious when giving this year? Indeed, why not make a New Year’s resolution to make all gifts “green”? What to buy? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Time to help
How often do we say we’re too busy to do “xxx”? This might include seeing a grandparent or helping someone who’s ill by visiting and playing a board game with them. Surely there cannot be anything more thoughtful, and more environmentally appropriate than giving someone the gift of your time.
Volunteering
Like the gift of time, volunteering with an organization can be project-oriented or a year-long (or more) commitment. Why not start by giving the gift of a membership? Maybe you’ve been intending to join an organization, or have just joined one, and know someone who would enjoy it too – and enjoygoing to meetings and activities with you.
What are your gift recipients’ (and your) personal interests and hobbies? For sure there’ll be an organization which would appreciate help.
Giving local products
Gifts purchased from local entrepreneurs keep dollars in our community (not to
mention our enthusiasm and support, which are equally important). My ideas include:
For gardeners, a gift from Beaux Arbres(beauxarbres.ca, the native plant nursery in Bristol where botanist Trish Murphy and her partner, basket maker Michael Peterson, are raising native plants for sale. Perhaps some seeds? Or, perhaps a gift card from you, saying that you’ll drive out to Beaux Arbres come springtime to visit and get some plants.
For soothing, naturally-made ointments, soaps and more, visit La Fée des Bois, Greermount.
Giving local wellness
Thanks to some local initiatives, “local wellness” gifts can easily be married to that first idea of the gift of time.
For instance, why not go on a series of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing outings at Ski Pontiac in Bristol. Connie Renaud and Shirley Russell created this organization years ago, and offer lovely trails and fun evening events such as full-moon/moonlight skis. Why not join the Friends of the Trails/Amis des sentiers? Renaud and Russell are always looking for folks to help keep trails open – and that activity represents an extra “wellness bonus.”
Give a gift of a massage at Shawville’s new Pontiac Wellness Centre
Home stuff
So many ideas for around the home… Laundry: avoid using an energy-consuming dryer and purchase a drying rack. Added benefit: drying wet clothes adds humidity to your winter-dry house.
Feed the birds. Buy (or make) bird suet cakes and the cage containers they fit in, bird-feeding stations, and/or bird seed (Shawville’s M&R Feeds and Stedman’s sells these). Go a step further and add a card promising to install them for the person.
Food & Drink
Who doesn’t love the gift of food? Among the best tips for finding delicious and sometimes unique foods is to attend all those Christmas Church bazaars and artists’ sales. Find jams, jellies, chutneys and more, often made by the
person selling them. Or, bake or make something yourself – using fresh, local or locally-purchased ingredients.
Coffee lovers? Head to Art Brûlant in Shawville and buy a fragrant bag o’ beans roasted by an expert.
And what about all the wineries springing up here in Pontiac? Go on a wine tour and purchase some bottles of red or white (or rosé): visit Quyon’s Domaine de Pontiac Village, Shawville’s Little Red Wagon Winery, or Luskville’s Lavender Ridge Farm.