Doxa Orange right arrow Gifts that give back

It’s not generally our habit to recommend products or put together holiday gift guides. Rebar’s art and design practice is rooted in creative re-purpose and re-use, waste stream reduction, and the development of urban and social abundance through sustainable, ecologically-sensitive means. That often means looking for ways around the consumer culture this season so encourages.

That said, it seems this year the recession has got more than a few people looking for creative, non-traditional gifts. We figure, why not play along? Here are a few fun ideas that fit our ethos.

The gift that breathes

Kamal Meattle on TED: How to grow your own air

This TED Talk explains how with proper maintenance a few particular plants can vastly improve the air quality of an enclosed space. Sure, seven or eight plants per person sounds like a lot, but most people don’t have a need for completely fabricated air in a sealed-up bubble, just better air in homes and offices that increasingly house more chemical and airborne particulates. Even a few plants will help clear the air, brighten a space, and live well beyond the holiday season.

If you were wondering what to get us as a housewarming gift for our new Rebar studio space, bring on the Money Plants!

The gift that feeds

California CSA Fall Bounty

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is super-trendy right now, and with good reason. Not only does subscribing to a local farm’s yield on a weekly or monthly basis get you a wide range of delicious, interesting fruits and vegetables (or even meats!), it connects you to the land and food supply, and gets you moving in the kitchen. Tough economic times mean more eating at home, but that doesn’t have to mean a return to Ramen and frozen dinners.

Locate a participating farm in your area using Local Harvest‘s finder tool.

If you’re intimidated by the task of cooking, consider splitting the box or preparing meals as a group. In other words, build a community around food. It’s one of civilization’s great traditions.

The gift that grows

Charitable gifts are always popular and especially satisfying when you can see your donation make a direct impact in your community. San Francisco’s Friends of the Urban Forest offer just such an opportunity with their Tree Tributes: a $25 donation goes directly toward planting a new street tree in the City, commemorated with a lovely dedicated card.

The fun part is how the City transforms after such a gift, every tree in sight becoming a new friend and inspiring the thought, “Could that be my tree?” And why not? Nothing better than having a friend on every block.

Season’s Greetings!


Written by Rebar

December 18th, 2009 at 3:45 pm