Watershed Alliance Good Gift Guide
1) Native Wildflower Seed Packet
No matter where you live, you live in a watershed. Your watershed is the area of land where rain and snow melt drain into a single body of water, such as a stream, river, or lake. Here in Clark County, all of our watersheds eventually drain into the Columbia River. By protecting the health of our watersheds, we protect fish and wildlife, enhance habitat quality and create a beautiful community for all!
What actions will you do to help care for your watershed? Head on over to our Watershed Pledge page. After filling out your actions and your mailing address, we will send you FREE native wildflower seed packet* – perfect for spring!
*while supplies last
2) Shop Secondhand or Vintage
Did you know that the textile industry is one of the leading culprits of water pollution? Let’s start at the beginning – the farms that grow cotton, flax, and hemp require a lot of water, additionally, cotton is one of the most pesticide-intensive crops in the world. Making textiles also involves activities like bleaching, dying, and washing that also use a lot of water. These processes produce chemicals and salts that often end up in our streams, rivers, and oceans. (source)
Instead of buying new clothing items this year, consider checking out your local secondhand and vintage stores. Shopping secondhand not only is easy on your wallet, it’s also great for the environment! You never know what you might find when you step into a secondhand or vintage store…
Never been thrifting or need some up-leveling in your thrifting skills? Check out these resources:
3) DIY Bird Seed Ornaments
Seeds are nutrient packed treats for birds and small mammals. Providing these resources will help wildlife survive long, cold, winter days and nights when resources are scarce. Incoporating space in your backyard for wildlife is one of the recommendations in our Backyard Habitat Certification Program.
Here are two great resources for creating your own:
*Please note that both mention using a plastic straw in the creating process. We suggest using alternatives, such as chopsticks, or a metal straw if you have one.
4) DIY Gift Wrap
During the holidays in the United States, we generate 25 million extra tons of waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. And most wrapping paper, especially that sparkly, shiny stuff, is not recyclable. This year, wrap your gifts in more sustainable wrapping alternatives, like cloth (think: spare curtains, old towels or unneeded bedsheets), recyclable brown paper (which you can buy in bulk), or even a reusable bag (source).
- Requires Sewing: https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/fabric-reusable-gift-wrap-bags-bows-2977745
- Does not require sewing: https://www.papernstitchblog.com/diy-fabric-gift-wrap/
5) Build a mason bee box
Mason Bees, also known as Orchard, are peaceful pollinators hard at work all around us, but rarely get the attention of honeybees. Instead of producing honey, Mason Bees are efficient at gathering pollen for their nests and love to pollinate fruit trees. Since they don’t have stingers and they prefer to fly only a few hundred feet from their nests. Let’s do our part to welcome them in our own yards by putting up a mason bee house before next spring!
- Check out this guide to help make your very own!
6) Organize a litter clean up
Though this is not a traditional “gift”, what better way to spend some family time than being outside and caring for our environment with the people you love! Consider taking your family on a day trip to a local park or along the Columbia River to clean up litter. For those with younger children, try setting a goal of who can collect the most trash in a certain amount of time to better engage them in cleaning up.
Feel free to tag us! @thewatershedalliance #drainstoriver #onlyraindownthedrain
7) Support your local small shops and artists
During this time of year, you can find a holiday craft market nearly every weekend leading up to the holidays. Attending a holiday craft market or choosing to shop at a small, local store is a great way to support the movers, makers, and shakers in your community. It also can provide the opportunity to make new connections and find unique gifts for your loved ones.
Shopping small and local puts money back into your community and decreases the demand for new products from big brands and box stores. We hope you consider supporting the small shops and artists, especially people of color, indigenous, women or LGBTQ+ owned shops, this season! When you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance 😊
8) DIY Bees Wax Wrap
In the U.S., 185 pounds of plastic is tossed away per person each year. Plastic is also one of the most common types of litter we find during our summer beach clean ups along the Columbia River.
Beeswax wraps are a sustainable and reusable alternative to using plastic wrap and plastic ziplock bags in the kitchen. Beeswax wrap is perfect for wrapping up your produce, bread, sandwiches, cheese, and much more. Beeswax wrap can last up to a year with proper care and regular usage. When your wrap has reached the end of its functionality, you can cut your wrap into strips and add to your compost pile or use as a natural and effective fire starter.
Here are a few resources to get your started on your very own beeswax wrap:
9) Donating to the Watershed Alliance
Give the gift that keeps on giving. We have some big goals in 2020 to protect and restore our rivers for fish and wildlife. Your donation will help us work towards these goals.
Help us reach our goal of raising $1,000 by December 31st for lasting protections for fish, wildlife and their habitats. Donate here!
Photo and Image Credits
Backyard Habitat Certification Program: https://backyardhabitats.org/gallery/native-plants/
Secondhand Image: https://www.instagram.com/pandanipeople/
Bird Seed Ornament: https://onelittleproject.com/birdseed-ornaments/
Mason Bee House: https://www.serrv.org/product/mason-bee-house/birdhouses
Litter Clean Up: sutterstock.com/search/beach+clean+up
Shop Small Image: https://www.instagram.com/p/BOAind9DtJT/
Donate Image: https://www.patagonia.com/actionworks/