LAZY FRIDAY: YOUR GREEN CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE GIFTS

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An excellent idea that does away with packaging is the huge range of “experience” gifts now available online – from hot-air ballooning to golf – so if you know someone who would enjoy it, that’s an excellent gift. There are a number of companies offering the balloon experience for around £100 so Googling should produce something good for your area.

It looks brilliant, but I must admit I prefer to stay on the ground 🙂 so we’ve arranged a family treat in the form of a snowboarding session at the local outdoor centre over Christmas. It’s worth checking out local leisure centres and clubs for gift activities such as a climbing wall session or a family bowling trip.

Whenever possible, look for experience gifts that will produce income or benefit for a worthwhile cause – that way your gift is even more valuable.

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You could also look at the wide range of adoption gifts that are available to raise money for charities and wildlife organisations.  For example, the Marine Conservation Society offers the chance to adopt-a-turtle. For £25 you can adopt a leatherback turtle – the largest of the marine turtles – which is critically endangered. Leatherbacks migrate to UK waters each summer and the society says your support will help it to make UK seas safe for these gentle giants.

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They also stock a range of stocking fillers such as turtle rulers (50p) made from recycled computer printers and pens (30p) made from recycled paper.

If you are looking for a wider adoption range, check out the WWF website where you can adopt an animal, including this Asian elephant called Kiruba,  from £2.50 per month. (You can also arrange a dolphin talk for a class of schoolchildren from £25.)

If you’d prefer to do a good deed closer to home, the Dogs Trust offers the chance to sponsor a dog for £1 per week and this makes a great gift for a child who can’t have their own four-legged friend.  Sponsors receive the trust’s magazine, Wag, and you can visit your dog online to catch up on his progress. 

Or you could sponsor a donkey here for £15 per year and your donation helps to fund riding therapy for children with special needs and disabilities.

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If animals aren’t really your thing there are many other options you could look at such as a year’s membership to an organisation like the Woodland Trust for £33. The trust dedicates a recently planted native tree in the member’s name and sends out a welcome pack.  

There are lots of opportunities online to adopt-a-tree and often, there is a chance to get involved in the planting. Adoptatree.co.uk allows you to buy a one-year adoption from £9.99 or you can adopt for three years for £25.

And if you know someone with a love of the outdoors then a gift membership of the Ramblers Association (£27 or £36 for two people at the same address) is a great idea. As well as a wealth of walks all year round, they receive a guide book and magazine.  But please note that today is the deadline for applications for Christmas gifts. If you buy after today, the pack might not arrive before Christmas.

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Gift membership is also available from the RSPB and includes free entry to more than 100 RSPB nature reserves around the UK.  Yesterday was the deadline to ensure Christmas delivery but hopefully it might still arrive in time. If not, you could just type out the gift benefits and promise it will arrive soon 🙂

It costs £32 for one adult or £42 for two.  There’s also a great junior member gift offer which I’m buying for my youngest.  As well as free entry to nature reserves, she receives posters, stickers, an activity logbook and membership card – as well as a special magazine and either a free stationery set or organiser. All for £14 !!  (I think I might treat myself to membership at the same time for £2. 67 per month.)

Susan

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