Nature Conservancy invites Mainers to aid the environment on Green Gift Monday

Posted Dec. 15, 2011, at 1:44 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 17, 2012, at 9:33 a.m.

This holiday season, join The Nature Conservancy of Maine in giving “green gifts” that will benefit the environment and wildlife.

On Monday, Nov. 28, The Nature Conservancy will sponsor the Second Annual Green Gift Monday by “encouraging consumers to purchase environmentally responsible, meaningful gifts,” said Senior Media Relations Manager Misty Edgecomb. Green Gift Monday falls on “Cyber Monday,” which like Black Friday involves holiday shopping — done online rather than afoot, of course.

“How do you give something that is meaningful to that environmentally conscious person on your gift list?” Edgecomb asked. “If you know someone concerned about environmental issues or who likes to hike or fish, The Nature Conservancy of Maine has just the gift for that person.”

At www.nature.org/mainegifts, The Nature Conservancy urges environmentally responsible shoppers to “share your passion for Maine with these unique gifts.” According to Edgecomb, “the money [on these gifts] stays in Maine” to fund the Maine chapter’s many programs.

Among the green gifts offered are:

• The Animal Adoption Kit for children. Teach children about protecting wildlife with this drawstring backpack containing four plush stuffed animals (a jaguar, an orangutan, a rhinoceros, and a sea turtle).

• A child’s gift membership to The Nature Conservancy. This gift includes a specific plush stuffed animal (select from a jaguar, an orangutan, a rhinoceros, or a sea turtle).

• Adopt an Acre in Maine. This gift “supports conservation in Maine,” Edgecomb said. The TNC’s Maine chapter purchases conservation easements, acquires specific properties, and works with commercial fishermen and forestry companies (among other groups) to improve the environment. For example, The Nature Conservancy of Maine has partnered with organizations involved in the Penobscot River Restoration Project and has helped preserve waterfowl habitat in Merrymeeting Bay and the 377-acre Berry Woods Preserve in Georgetown.

• For the Birder, appropriate gifts for that bird-watcher on anyone’s gift list. Given in the birder’s name, a gift can improve bird habitat or even adopt three hummingbirds, always a favorite species with Maine birders.

• The Gift of Clean Water. Help protect watersheds and restore wetlands with a symbolic gift.

• Protect Oceans and Coasts. This symbolic gift helps The Nature Conservancy to preserve or restore shorelines and protect marine species.

• Traditional (but “green”) holiday gifts, such as an oak-and-maple-leaf bookmark, jewelry, ornaments, a travel notebook and an umbrella made from recycled materials, a nature mug, a sport water bottle, a shopping tote, and the 2012 Nature Conservancy calendar.

According to Edgecomb, many other green-gift ideas are available locally. For example:

• Take the family to a local state or national park or local preserve, such as the Bangor City Forest, to let everyone enjoy habitat that has been preserved forever.

• Purchase a gift farm share in a Maine farm participating in Community Supported Agriculture. Such a gift entitles the recipient to receive fresh food produced on that farm, and each farm sets its own share price. For a complete listing of CSA farms in Maine, log onto www.mofga.net/Directories/CommunitySupportedAgricultureinMaine/tabid/268/Default.aspx, then click on a particular farm’s link.

• Buy products locally. According to Edgecomb, locally acquired gifts lessen the amount of carbon needed to package and ship gifts from far away.

• Give a friend or relative the gift of a cooking or language class. Such a gift means that no carbon was produced.

“Be thinking about what gift would make somebody happy and would be good for nature,” Edgecomb said. “You can give someone that perfect gift and still protect the environment at the same time.”

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