Editorial: Gifts that keep on giving

By The Beacon | November 29, 2017 8:21pm

Gift giving is a holiday tradition many people take part in. 

Media Credit: Sam Keeler / The Beacon

Since the holidays have become synonymous with giving and getting, The Beacon has a few thoughtful shopping suggestions that will make you feel good about the presents you purchase. We scoured the web so that you don't have to: Here is The Beacon's ultimate gift guide for the socially responsible.

The items on this list should please your friends while providing necessities for others. After racking our brains and scouring Harper’s Bazaar, Woman’s Day, Real Simple, Mashable and Good Housekeeping, we’ve found the most affordable presents that pack a lot of do-good into one package. 

For your favorite feminist, try perusing these apparel sites for nasty women (or men):

  • Shrill Society creates apparel and accessories with feminist messages. Shrill Society donates a portion of its proceeds to sex-positive, female-friendly organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU
  • Oursacredwomen.com sells shirts, pins and totes that say “women are sacred.” Any of these items would make a good gift even if you get “sacred” confused with “scared” sometimes, because if you see “scared” in place of “sacred,” the shirt still makes a lot of sense. The company donates proceeds to help survivors of sexual trauma and support pregnant/parenting teens who were in foster care. 

For the fashionista in your life, here are a few wearable gifts: 

  • The Brave Collection sells jewelry made by Cambodians. The artists are mostly women who are able to make the jewelry at home and watch over their children. The jewelry’s sales allows these women to support themselves and receive benefits for their work. According to the website, 10 percent of profits go toward preventing human trafficking. 
  • For those who need a cool pair of spectacles, gift a pair of Warby Parker glasses. Warby Parker donates a pair of glasses for every pair purchased. Also keep in mind, if you aren’t a glasses wearer, sunglasses are a great present too.
  • Love Your Melon not only sells beanies, but also aims to give one to every child battling cancer in the U.S. Half of the profits from Love Your Melon go toward aiding the fight against pediatric cancer. 
  • Sundara Punjammies, besides appearing to have created the pants of our dreams, provides jobs for women in India who are “at high risk or survivors of human trafficking.”

For that person who cannot stop talking about kale and Mother Earth:

  • If you’re environmentally enlightened and want to set the mood to hygge, you just might want to stock up on candles. Starling Candle Project aims to help underdeveloped communities get solar energy. Currently, the project is working to install solar energy in Rwandan hospitals. For $55, these candles are pretty pricey cylinders of wax, but considering they’re made in the U.S. and contribute to a great cause, they just might be worth the Benjamin Franklin. Besides, everyone needs a candle. 
  • Lula’s Garden sells little succulent boxes and supports providing access to safe water. The boxes double as planters, and succulents are fairly resilient as far as plants go, so they are perfect for busy, forgetful college students.
  • Consider ordering a LifeStraw for your outdoorsy friend. Originally created to prevent people from drinking Guinea worm larvae (eventually, the larvae hatch and worm their way through the body to make/find an exit), the LifeStraw filters water, so it’s safe to drink. With each straw sold, LifeStraw provides clean drinking water for one child for the duration of a school year. 

For the musical maniac:

  • Vibes ear plugs for listening to live music at a concert. Yup, earplugs for listening to music. So in seventy years, you hopefully will still have your hearing. Vibes has partnered with Hear the World to give hearing help to those in need. 

Actually, if you’re budget is tight like a pair of jeans from middle school, make one donation to a charity and claim it as everyone’s gift. “Aw, yes. I am a broke college student, so I decided to give away the monies I saved for holiday presents to help others.”