The Green and Meaningful Way to Holiday Giving


By Fallon Rabin

The holidays are a special time to spend with loved ones. But sometimes the true meaning of ‘giving’ gets lost in materialism and consumerism. This holiday season, spend time with family and friends and give back to your community in an environmentally friendly and meaningful way.

For example, volunteering at schools or donating food to local shelters, or spending your time serving others. The most meaningful gift experiences are when people give you a personal letter or card and take the time to appreciate your friendship. Giving a homemade gift or creative craft project personalizes the holiday. For example, making homemade candles, baking with foods from your garden, giving trees or other kinds of plants, making quilts or blankets from old fabrics, decorating pine cones into ornaments, painting or drawing something, making a personalized playlist or CD, writing a poem, or simply spending your time talking with the elderly, and much more.

Whenever possible, try to reuse and recycle items you have at home and make something new out of them. Using recycled wrapping paper and newspaper is a great way to reduce waste and still enjoy the holiday season. Save your gift bags and reuse them for years to come. If you are not the crafty type, charitable causes can be a great way to show your support and make an impact on the holiday season by donating time or money. The best

part about the holidays is not giving material gifts, but actually making a difference in someone’s life by showing that you care. For a list of local charities and volunteer opportunities, see below.

Volunteers at a shelter help to serve food for the hungry.

Volunteers at a shelter help to serve food for the hungry.

*Manna Food Bank

*L.I.F.E. Animal Rescue

*Heal the Bay

*Caregivers-Volunteer Assisting the Elderly

*School on Wheels

*CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Ventura County

*Casa Pacifica

*Foodshare Inc.