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Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Local, Healthy, and Eco-Friendly!

December 9, 2013

Is it just us, or does gift giving seem to get harder and harder each year?  It is officially that time of the year again, and we know all too well that with all the holiday fun and excitement comes the dreaded stress of choosing what to give your loved ones!  We decided to help you out this year by rounding up some great gift ideas, all of which support our goal of staying local, healthy, and green.  We are so thankful for your support year after year, so please consider this gift guide our gift to you!

1. Homemade Food Gifts

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A homemade gift is always heartwarming to receive.  Making your own food items using locally sourced ingredients usually means that your gift will be much healthier than store-bought versions, too!  Some great ideas are homemade granola or trail mix (include foods such as pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, or cinnamon for a festive flavour), spreads and nut butters, cookies, truffles, or other baked goods.  Package your treats in mason jars and make your own labels for a personal touch!  See below for some great recipes to get you started!

Granola Nut Clusters 

Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (Healthy Nutella!)

Vegan Chocolate Macaroon Truffles

11 Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes

Image via Pinterest.

2. Cooking Classes

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A cooking class is a great gift idea for the most seasoned chef or anyone looking to improve their cooking skills.  They make for a fun date idea and are the perfect gift for a spouse!  There are plenty of local cooking schools and a variety of cooking classes to choose from – why not start by checking out PICA or The Dirty Apron for some great options?

Image via The Georgia Straight.

3. Eco-Friendly Toys

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For the kids on your list, toys are always a good choice.  Unfortunately, a lot of toys on the market are not made with the environment in mind.  Why not choose from some of these online retailers of eco-friendly toys (Eko bear, Sprig Toys, Green Toys, Stortz) or check out the Granville Island Toy Company to not only show your love for the environment, but to help make kids aware too!

Image via Eko bear

4. Local Cookbooks

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Did you know that a lot of your favourite local restaurants and chefs have their own cookbooks?  With delicious recipes and stunning photographs, these books make a beautiful gift!   We suggest checking out Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks, a fantastic cookbook store with an impressive selection sure to inspire even the biggest foodie on your list!

5. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Membership

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How wonderful would it be to receive a box of seasonal produce each week?  A membership or share in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) would be a unique and special gift idea.  Not only will your recipient get to taste and be exposed to new, fresh, and nutrient-dense foods, but you will also be supporting your local farmers, community, and environment.  This gift may take a little bit of research, but the benefits to all involved are immense!  To get you started, click here for a list of local CSA Programs in the Lower Mainland.

Image via The Nourished Self.

6. Donations

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For the person who has everything, why not make a donation to a great organization or charity in your recipient’s name?  They say giving is better than receiving, and this rings especially true when you support something that is meaningful to you!  There are so many organizations to choose from, but you can start here, here, or here for a list of Local and Canadian charities, or use Google to find one that you most support.  You can always donate to Growing Chefs too!

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