Stories from the Field

2020 Holiday Gift Guide

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Art by Lisa Congdon

While our holidays look much different this season, most of us are looking for any and all reasons to celebrate. Simultaneously, small businesses around the country are struggling with the impacts of COVID-19. Let’s shop sustainably this holiday season and help keep the companies and businesses we love alive and thriving! 

Gift giving is often a part of holiday traditions. No matter what or how you celebrate, we hope this guide offers you some creative gift ideas to showcase your commitment to the environment while spreading joy to the people you care for and love. And of course, the most sustainable and meaningful gift we can give one another is our love, attention and time. It doesn’t cost a thing to make our loved ones feel special—these things are just extras. 

Support Local Businesses

One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to shop small. You eliminate shipping. You put money back into your local economy. And - they often gift wrap for you (a big bonus in my book)! In addition to purchasing goods, consider supporting your favorite local restaurants, salons and other service providers with a gift certificate for future use.

Shop Our Partners and Stores that Give Back (to NatureBridge!)

World of Wonders tee by Parks Project. Our friends at Parks Project made this awesome t-shirt to support NatureBridge after visiting us on trail. Check out their suite of national park-themed offerings on their website - I have and love the playing cards and the national parks checklist poster.

Klean Kanteen is one of NatureBridge’s most beloved partners - and for good reason! Their water bottles are durable and lightweight, making them the perfect accessory for a day on the trail. Get 20% off your order when you sign up for their newsletter on their website.

Give the Gift of Adventure & the Outdoors

Along with so many others, getting outside during the pandemic has kept me sane and brought me much needed moments of peace and happiness. As always, follow CDC guidelines when engaging in outdoor activity, including social distancing, wearing a mask and staying home if you are sick!

Support national parks and encourage exploration of your favorite places with an America The Beautiful National Parks Pass. There are a number of other options available for specific groups like Seniors. Fourth graders and members of the U.S. Military get a FREE pass! Make sure to visit the park’s website or call ahead in case there are any COVID-related restrictions. And please, remember and practice Leave No Trace. With increased use of our national parks during the pandemic, many parks are experiencing record numbers of visitors. Information about all available passes is here.

Go glamping at Autocamp in Yosemite. Earlier this year, Autocamp selected NatureBridge as the recipient of their donation program. When you book a stay in one of their tents, Airsteams or cabins in Yosemite, NatureBridge gets a gift! Located 40 minutes from the Arch Rock entrance in Midpines, Autocamp is the perfect homebase to explore the park, go wine tasting, fly fishing or any number of other outdoor activities.


Autocamp in Yosemite

Shop BIPOC & Women-owned businesses

History + Industry is a Pacific Northwest one-woman biz that creates epic jewelry that is simultaneously bold and classic. I have a pair of her earrings and despite their size are lightweight (and get lots of compliments). Use the promo code SHOPSMALL for 20% off!

Dirt Bags are handmade, eco-friendly chalk bags that look great on your climbing harness.

Sara Pilchman Ceramics. Another regular gift in my rotation are these tiny pots from Sara Pilchman. You can use them for ANYTHING—tiny bouquets, tiny terrariums, matchstick holders—the list goes on. She put together a promo code just for NatureBridge supporters - NATURE15 gets you 15% off your order!

The Bee and The Fox is an online clothing boutique run by women who make super comfortable, vintage inspired t-shirts (among other things) for men and women, but I am particularly fond of their children’s clothing. I buy all my new parent friends this onesie for their little one. For the month of December they are offering free shipping and you can get a 10% promo code if you sign up for their newsletter. 

Paloverde Botanicals offers curated or custom boxes for plant lovers. The boxes are composed of items from other small, independent businesses. Get 15% off with the promo PARKS15!

Outdoor Voices is a women-owned fitness apparel company that makes sustainable and durable workout gear. I wear their pants hiking and climbing (and around the house, to the grocery store, etc). 

Coalition Snow makes beautiful snowboards and skis and always has rad gear and equipment listed in their Yard Sale section at reasonable prices.

MKoby Art. Her digital prints are high quality with deep rich colors and beautiful designs - and they’re affordable! The beautiful image below hangs in my office.

Brown Estate Wines. Did you know that about one-tenth of 1% of the winemakers and brand owners are Black? Brown Estate Wines is the only Black-owned winery in Napa and they are known for their spicy, delicious zinfandels. While their Napa tasting room is temporarily closed, they do offer shipping. 

Greenbar Distillery is my favorite distillery- and they also happen to be LA’s oldest and only organic distillery. They make a Garden Vodka that is perfect for mixing cocktails, and they plant a tree for every bottle sold. You can find their bottles at Whole Foods and at many liquor stores. 

Eighth Generation is a Seattle-based art and lifestyle brand owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe. Their blankets make a beautiful heirloom gift. 

Diaspora Co spices are guaranteed to up your home cooking game and are organic and single origin.  

For Days Clothing is a women-owned and led company that makes organic, recyclable clothing for men and women using a closed loop system (that means for a great price, you can swap out anything, anytime, for any reason. Everything you send back gets recycled). They make comfy basics at a reasonable price point like this everyday t-shirt.

Lisa Congdon is a Portland-based artist who has been one of my favorites for years after discovering her work on Instagram. I love the vibrant colors, geometric shapes and of course her beautiful messages of hope and resilience. She also teaches online classes on Creative Bug - her daily drawing class is on my wishlist.


And for when you must...

I am very mindful where I spend my dollars. AND, sometimes I need something in a hurry or I can’t leave my house so I order from Amazon. Whenever I do, I make sure to shop through AmazonSmile* so all my orders support NatureBridge.

*Editor's note: Amazon Smile was discontinued in 2023.

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