Let’s face it: gift-giving can be daunting. You want to give your friends something they want, something they’ll use, but also something that you can feel comfortable giving. You don’t want to give something they’ll only use once, but you also want them to have something concrete to unwrap… So where should you look?
We were recently inspired by an awesome Metro Vancouver campaign, whose slogan urges Vancouverites to “create memories, not garbage.” The campaign provides an extensive list of green gift ideas that your friends will love, without you worrying that you’re investing in the local landfill this holiday season. Some of our favorite waste-free gifts include:
- Ski passes to a local mountain (maybe even with a +1 if you’re feeling generous!)
- Dog walking services
- Cooking lessons at one of the city’s many international eateries
- Babysitting hours for a couple who need a night alone
- A voucher for a bike tune-up once the spring...springs!
Since we are firm believers that digital media can promote real change, we put our own spin on the waste-free giving guide. No matter who you’re giving to this year, get inspired by our digital green gifting guide.
- Give someone a book on their e-reader. Call their roommate, partner or child, get them on board as your spy, and get them to find out your recipient’s kindle email address. Not sure how to send a kindle as a gift? Here's how.
Cost: Anywhere from <$0.99 upwards
- Give them a webinar or online tutorial. There are countless web-based courses online through colleges or freelancers, but if you don’t know what they’d like, check out a site that offers a wide variety of online tutorials, like Lynda or TotalTraining.
- Give them the gift of binge-watching. If they don’t already have an account, a month of Netflix is sure to help your gift-getter hibernate the winter away.
Cost: Netflix gift cards are sold in Canada in $30 or $60 amounts. Locate a retailer here. Monthly accounts cost $8.99.
- Proofreading and editing services online. Those who think they don’t need a proofreader need one the most. Seriously. Check out ProofingQueen in Vancouver or Grammarly worldwide.
Cost: $29.95/month. Costs often vary by wordcount.
- Know someone who has always wanted to have an easy-to-use, customized page for their artwork, hobby, or services? Make them a social media page that rocks. Set up a Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress blog, or Pinterest account for someone who doesn’t have the expertise or time to do it. Want to give them something they can hold in their hand? Print a gift voucher with a funny image using free online templates.
- Design a killer resume for them that will get them noticed. With so much competition for jobs, recent graduates and those switching careers can benefit immensely from having a resume created by a skilled designer. Take a look at some of the wilder creative possibilities out there.
Cost: Services like LoftResumes offer templates from $99 and custom designs from $299. Or save the cash and do it for them yourself if you've got the know-how.
- Give them a year’s subscription to the New York Times online or an online magazine they can browse on their iPad. Most digital subscriptions give the user access to all online publications and apps that they offer.
Cost: $30 for most publications like the New York Times. Or Wired for $19.99 through the iTunes store.
- While Spotify is free, the premium version of the music streaming app gets rid of the ads and lets you stream music when you’re offline.
Cost: $9.99/month. Students get a 50% discount. Gift cards are not yet available in Canada, but you can purchase subscriptions here.
- Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo are awesome platforms to give gifts that give back. When you make a pledge on someone’s behalf, they can also track the success of the campaign and watch it grow.
Cost: It’s up to you!
- Kiva is a microfinance organization that allows you to choose a borrower who will repay your funds once they have used your financial loan to go to school, develop their small business or change to clean energy.
Cost: Kiva Cards are available from $25-$1000
Happy digital green gifting!