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Editorial: The nature-lover’s gift list

Editorial: The nature-lover’s gift list

Running out of gift ideas this holiday season?  Check out these suggestions below for the nature lover, outdoor enthusiast or the person-who-has-everything on your list:

Canadian nature:  Buy a meaningful gift that helps conserve Canadian species’ habitat, through the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) annual Gifts of Canadian Nature program. Choose from six landscapes or eight species — Canada Lynx, wolf, swift fox, snowy owl, moose, grizzly bear, American badger and bald eagle. With a donation of $40 or more, you’ll receive a full-colour, 8.5” x 11” certificate, an 8.5” x 11” 2018 wall calendar showcasing gorgeous NCC-protected landscapes and an eight-page wildlife booklet with fascinating facts about your selected species. For example, did you know that the bald eagle is the largest bird in North America?

Or, consider the paperless option, which includes a personalized email and an e-certificate with a photo of the chosen species or landscape sent to your gift recipient. To learn more, visit giftsofnature.ca .

Bee house:  Purchase a bee sanctuary to help restore their declining populations. Come spring, bees will move into the house and help pollinate the garden. Buy a mason bee house at amazon.com for about $20US.

Soap nuts:  An environmentally friendly substitute for laundry detergent, soap nuts are biodegradable and let you do double the number of loads for the same price. Order a bag for $15 at amazon.ca.

Waste-reducing gifts:  Try giving gifts that can be reused over and over again. Cloth dish towels, water filters, reusable water bottles, thermoses, bento boxes and mugs are excellent examples, and they all help to lessen what ends up in landfills.

Solar battery pack:  This is an ideal gift for the campers and hikers on your list. Charged by tiny solar modules, a solar battery pack can power up most tablets and phones. The Cobra CPP 300, for example, can be charged with minimal sunlight, and its three USB charging outlets can charge a phone and tablet simultaneously. Purchase one from amazon.ca for about $100.

Reusable hand warmer:  For the people on your list who can’t get enough of the outdoors, even when it’s freezing out, this is the perfect gift. Activated by bending an inner metal disc, it quickly produces heat to keep your hands warm. It’s non-toxic, reusable and makes for a great stocking stuffer. Order one from amazon.ca for about $16.

Ecosystem globe:  Instead of a snow globe, give someone an ecosystem globe — a glass sphere that contains a whole ecosystem. Within the globe’s water, the shrimp eat micro-organisms that then feed on algae and bacteria. Each ecosystem typically lasts for about two years. Purchase one at amazon.com for about $65US.

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