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How are you thinking about sustainability this year when planning your gift giving?

Do you have anyone on your list who would love a gift this year that helps them live more sustainably  Here are a few ideas that make great gifts and can help the planet. What ideas do you have for making your gift giving more sustainable this year?

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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Looking at clothing specifically if it is being made ethically and sustainably.  I appreciate that REI lists sustainability with most of its clothing such as if it is Bluesign approved or made from recycled materials.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I love buying clothing from REI for my family members because I know the brands carried are generally sustainable. The return policy is also fantastic. When gifted clothes do need to be returned due to fit, I can't help but be concerned about where they end up! I believe they typically can go back on the rack if unworn and to Garage Sale if worn. However, I'd love to get a warm-and-fuzzy feeling that most returned clothes don't end up in the landfill!

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I will wrap all of my gifts in pieces of fabric and yarn for the bow - no single use paper to throw away!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I love this idea, @REI-JenK ! We also have some fabric gift bags we re-use every year but we don't have enough. Looks like a trip to the fabric store is in order.

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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My family and I try to give more experiences than physical things, which generally requires fewer natural resources. These gifts have been everything from heartwarming to hilarious. Some memorable ones include music lessons, walks around a special museum, visits to an out-of-the-way swimming hole, delicious home cooked meals and even hours of lawn care and tech support! 

Has anyone else gone this route with gift giving? Any ideas/suggestions that would work well this year in particular? 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

This is fantastic - my wife and I have been trying to do this more and more as well. And it's opened both of us up to new experiences that we wouldn't have sought out ourselves. For Father's Day this year, when asked what I wanted, I said I wanted to go kayaking as a family. We all loved it.

I also like those gifts that stick around long after the celebration - for Mother's Day I gave my wife a rose bush instead of roses. So we've had fresh blooming roses all season in our front yard.

But 1) being in Illinois, 2) being in Illinois in December, and 3) being in Illinois in December during a pandemic lockdown, "active" gifts (concerts, hiking, etc.) aren't likely to go over well. 😀 So this year I've spent a lot of time figuring out gifts (clothing, jewelry, etc.) that are both environmentally-friendly and ethically-sourced. It's certainly required more effort but these are issues that are important to us as a family so I know it will be appreciated.

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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Love hearing this @Dad_Aint_Hip! Thanks for sharing. That effort always feel well worth it. Are there any outdoor brands that have stood out to you in your research?

Hope you're able to find some gems. Maybe you'll even come across something to keep everyone warm... in Illinois in December! 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

The best thing for staying warm in December are plane tickets to Hawaii LOL

Just a few of the brands that stand out for me are:

  • Columbia - their CEO was one of the first in the Spring to announce he'd not be taking a salary and the board members would take a pretty heavy cut to ensure their employees could keep working
  • Patagonia - I really like their push toward lowering emissions through their Worn Wear site as well as their activism for the environment
  • Coalatree - as an avid (some, like my wife, would say "obsessive") coffee drinker, their use of recycled materials - including coffee grounds - is really cool. Plus they also give back a lot to outdoor groups.

I have to say that, overall, the outdoor community makes ethically- and environmentally-sound purchasing pretty easy.

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.