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THE 2015 GREENER GIVING GUIDE Bookmark and Share

If you’re sick of waiting in holiday traffic, battling mall-goers and seeing the spirit of giving hurt the planet — don’t despair. No matter how you shake the snowglobe, the holiday season has its tradeoffs — but there are ways to do good for the planet during the year-end rush. The Center for Biological Diversity offers our Greener Giving Guide every year to help you keep your commitment to endangered species and the wild alive and well despite the glitzy, consumerist frenzy that assaults us every December. If you give one of our less-conventional gifts, your friends, coworkers and family will feel you’ve given them something meaningful — and they’ll get to share in your dedication to the plants and animals of the world.

So stay home, fire up the kettle and check out our ideas for giving — whether you’re looking for a better way to stuff the stocking or you want a gift that doesn’t have to be shipped. (The Center has never mailed out resource-wasting swag like calendars or plush stuffed animals to those who donate to us … That would defeat the purpose, now, wouldn’t it?)

Happier, greener holidays to you, from all of us at the Center.


1. Give the gift of helping endangered plants and animals . . .

. . . with a gift membership to the Center for Biological Diversity. Wondering what to get that person on your list who has everything? Have no idea what your environmentally savvy friend wants this year? Maybe you have a niece, cousin or classmate who talks about animals all the time. Give the gift that really does keep giving all year long: a gift membership. It includes a subscription to our action-packed membership newsletter, Endangered Earth; weekly opportunities to take action online; and special invitations to events. Your gift to a friend, colleague or family member will be leveraged to win stronger protections for wild animals, plants and places around the globe.


2. This year ask for donations instead of presents.

If you don’t want to add to the present-buying frenzy, have your holiday or birthday make a lasting, positive impact on saving endangered species instead of getting conventional gifts. Ask your friends to donate what they would have spent on a gift to your favorite cause using Causes.com. You can use Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word. Get started now.


3. Give a gift for the present — for a brighter future.

If you want to give one of the most meaningful gifts around, leave a legacy for our planet and the diverse life it supports by making a bequest to the Center. Ask your attorney or trusted financial advisor to help you find the best type of bequest for your situation, which may include naming the Center in your will or as a beneficiary in a retirement plan, IRA or charitable trust. Your planned gift will help ensure the continued effectiveness of the most effective species-focused conservation organization (the Center, of course!) in protecting animals, plants and wildlands for many years to come.


4. Books are always perfect.

Ah, books: Everyone loves receiving one (or should, at least).

Check out our bookshelf of favorites, including Eco Barons by Ed Humes, Rare by Joel Sartore or Countdown by Alan Weisman.

Or find any book in the store by searching for it with the search box shown here on the left and 10 percent of any Powell’s purchase through our link will go to the Center.


5. And the Center has a wildly special book for you.

Everyone’s been asking where they can buy a copy of our extraordinary 25th anniversary book A Wild Love, and though it’s not for sale anywhere, we’d love you to have a copy. When you make a donation of at least $200 (softcover) or $1,000 (hardcover with inscription by Executive Director Kierán Suckling) using this donation page, we’ll send you a copy.

This elegant coffee-table book features hundreds of breathtaking wildlife photographs highlighting some of the plants, animals and places the Center has saved since starting in 1989, and makes a unique and beautiful holiday gift. The book is accented by stirring and sometimes edgy quotes about our work from major publications and conservation-movement notables like biologist-author E.O. Wilson, activist-journalist Charles Bowden and bestselling novelist Carl Hiaasen. Even our opponents sound off about how fierce the Center is, and that’s kind of fun.

By donating to the Center and snagging this book, you’ll be giving and receiving at the same time — not only giving to the Center, but more specifically to the plants and animals we work to save. Just make sure to fill out this donation form with all the specifics to receive your book.


6. Promote conservation conversations by giving — and wearing — Center apparel.

hatHave a lot of holiday parties to go to? Let your clothes break the ice by wearing a Center for Biological Diversity shirt or hat made of organic cotton and featuring the Center's logo frog (to be found at our online store). The backs of the shirts (both long-sleeved and short) include a block-patterned list of many of the animals and plants that the Center has worked hard to protect, giving you plenty of conversation topics. Or buy these T-shirts as stocking stuffers to get both the young and old excited about saving species (if they’re not already, that is).


7. Help erase extinction with style.

We bet no one on your list has one of Kikkerland’s endangered species erasers — colorful, oversized erasers realistically shaped like rhinosgorillas, polar bears, bulls and the always-popular T. rex. Every time your loved one erases a mistake on paper, they’ll be reminded of one mega-mistake we’re all working to correct: the extinction crisis. Order these erasers today and the Center will get part of the proceeds.


8. Go green and save some green.

The holidays don’t have to just be about spending money. By leasing solar panels with Sungevity, you can save money on your current electricity bill, at the same time reducing your carbon footprint and supporting the Center for Biological Diversity. Get more information and request a free solar-panel “iQuote.” Sungevity will give you a $750 credit off your solar lease, and once your panels are installed, will also donate $750 to the Center. Get panels for your own home or for a green homeowner on your list.


Do you have an idea for going greener this holiday season? Or are you helping support the Center through your work or business? Send us your thoughts at membership@biologicaldiversity.org.

Check back regularly, as we’ll be updating this guide until the end of the year.


Photo by Bryant Austin, California Fish and Game