The holidays are here, and chances are that means gift exchanges. We know that some postconsumers don’t participate in traditional holiday gift giving, but we’d also like to remind you that postconsumerism is about finding your own way and your own comfort zone. For many, the spirit of gift giving of the holidays is special and unique and they want to participate. But as we’ve often talked about on the Postconsumers blog, participation doesn’t need to mean buying into “big commerce.” There are plenty of responsible and even environmentally friendly ways to exchange holiday gifts.
One idea that we love is to give a plant. Unless you’re growing and potting your own (and, hey, that’s a great idea) there will be some consumption and consumerism involved. It’s true and an undeniable fact of most of the world! However, your gift won’t contribute in large ways to the larger grinding gears of the consumer machine and it may even do some good for the planet. Here are our picks for the best plants to give as a holiday gift.
Amaryllis: A Little Tropical Flair
These are bright tropical flowers that typically grow in red and white (traditional holiday colors). What makes them a great holiday gift is that they’re usually sold as a bulb kit. That means that your recipient can nurture their plant and you don’t have to navigate carrying an entire house plant as a gift. If you can procure the bulbs alone, you can also opt to upcycle or recycle a container for the pot rather than having to use the new-to-you store bought one.
Rosemary Tree: A Holiday Tree with a Bonus
Not only do rosemary trees have the appearance of mini-holiday trees, but they also smell delicious. Best of all, your gift recipient will now have access to fresh herbs all year long. They can get a little pricey (a two-gallon tree will cost about $80), but for the high end recipient on your list they’re a perfect choice.
Poinsettia: Tradition Can Be Nice
There’s nothing wrong with buying into the holiday spirit and tradition full force, and that’s why we love traditional poinsettias. There are better and worse versions of this though! Be sure to try to find a greenhouse or supplier who grows them sustainably, particularly if you’re planning on giving many of them away.
Cactus: Holidays with Southwest Flair
A cactus is a great gift even for a person who doesn’t have a green thumb (or even a green pinky finger). Cacti were naturally engineered to survive with very little water and attention. A great idea is to buy several different varieties and then pot them together in a container you created from upcycled or recycled materials.
Bamboo: Give the Gift of Luck in Life
In addition to its symbolism, particularly around the New Year, of luck and prosperity, a bamboo is a gift that can stay with your recipient well into the next year and beyond. Unlike the more commonly suggested gift of a bonsai, it doesn’t require your gift recipient to spend hours of patient time per day caring for it. Though we all know those potential gift recipients who could stand to be forced into the patient practice of caring for a bonsai, the truth is that a bamboo may just make a better gift!
Of course, there are dozens of other plants out there that make fantastic holiday gifts. Plants can be as individual as the gift recipient, and the more you know about the person you’re gifting the plant to the better your choice will be.
Photo Credit: kenjonbro via Flickr