‘Tis the season for giving! If you know (or are) a nature lover, we’ve put together a list of gift ideas that is sure to delight conservation-minded folks. From wildlife enthusiasts to art lovers to appreciators of delicious coffee, there’s a little something for everyone on this list, and all with a conservation twist!
VCE Project T-Shirts and Sweatshirts
Support one of VCE’s projects! Love birds? Sport a t-shirt supporting the Loon Conservation Project or Mountain Birdwatch. Can’t pick a favorite project or creature? Wear them all with a Vermont Atlas of Life design. There are plenty of styles and colors to choose from, for every season of the year! You can view the options on our Bonfire site.
Native Plants and Their Pollinators Calendar
Local Vermont artist and geographer Daisy Hebb’s 2024 “Native Plants & Their Pollinators Calendar” is now available! Each month features a gorgeous watercolor image of flowers and their pollinators that were all native to North America pre-colonization. Aside from helping your loved ones plan their schedule, this calendar also provides information on each species, such as common and scientific names, and each plant’s region and basic growing conditions. To create the bee images, Daisy consulted with VCE biologist Spencer Hardy for advice about bees and their host plants.
Calendars cost $30 each, and a portion of each purchase is donated to support VCE’s wildlife conservation work. You can purchase the handing wall calendar here or the side-bound monthly planner calendar here. Also be sure to check out the rest of Daisy’s Etsy shop, GreenBlossomPainting, for other beautiful gifts like prints, cards, stickers, and coloring books.
Birds & Beans Bird Friendly® Coffee
The coffee lover on your list will thank you for this one: Birds & Beans Bird Friendly® Coffee! This Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC)-certified coffee represents a gold standard in ethical and sustainable coffee business. Bird Friendly® coffee is sourced from family farms in Latin America that provide sustainable, forest-like habitat for birds. Rather than being grown on farms that have been cleared of vegetation, Bird Friendly® coffees are planted under a canopy of trees. These trees provide the shelter, food, and habitat that migratory and local birds need to survive. Order online or find your local stockist on the Birds & Beans website!
Take your coffee drinker’s gift to the next level with the addition of a VCE mug! These mugs feature the VCE logo and come in two sizes. Like the shirts, sales of these mugs support VCE’s conservation programs. You can purchase one here.
VT Fish & Wildlife Service Habitat Stamp and Federal Duck Stamp
Proceeds from the sale of Habitat Stamps help keep Vermont’s rivers clean, woods connected, and meadowlands open for all to enjoy. With a minimum donation of $15 per 4″x5″ Habitat Stamp sticker, these make great stocking stuffers and support wildlife and public land conservation! You can purchase them here.
Support bird habitat conservation across the nation by buying Federal Duck Stamps! A full 98% of the purchase price goes directly to help acquire and protect wetland habitat and purchase conservation easements for the National Wildlife Refuge System. This is among the most successful conservation tools ever created to protect habitat for birds and other wildlife. You can buy one here.
Field Guide to the Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti
Learn all about the birds of Hispaniola, along with (retired) executive director and VCE scientist Chris Rimmer and Kent McFarland. They are co-authors on this updated field guide, which includes new illustrations and descriptions. Let your loved ones dream of a tropical island adventure in the middle of the cold season! Check out the book here.
Birding Books for Children
Have a budding conservationist in your life? Give them these birding books specifically aimed towards children! Bird Count follows a young girl named Ava and her mother as they complete the very important (and very fun!) Christmas Bird Count with the rest of their team. The book introduces children to the concept of citizen science, and has wonderful illustrations as well. The book is recommended for ages 4-8.
Older kids will enjoy these other two fantastic options. The Beginning Birdwatcher’s Book and The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America are two great options to learn how to begin to identify birds in your backyard or on trips to the local park. Each one contains species profiles of common birds found around the country, and helpful pictures and facts about each one.
Looking for an ethically made bag, shirt, or card? Check out Teach Peace Prints for all of these things! All print patterns draw from the natural world and “are crafted with earth and body in mind”. Support local and independent artists by ordering a gift for the art lover in your life.
Local, Eco-Friendly Body Care
Look no further than Meadowscape Botanicals by Everlasting Herb Farm for high quality, locally-made body care products such as lotion, skin care, lip balm, deodorant, and perfume! Meadowscape Botanicals has a variety of products to suit your or a loved one’s body care needs.
Nicki Steel Photography
This suggestion is for everyone on your list who appreciates nature photography and art! Photographer and loon project volunteer Nicki Steel’s striking images are available in many forms on her website, such as in these stunning card sets. Besides photographing landscapes and nature in all its forms, Nicki also follows local eagle and loon families (you can find images on her website and Facebook page). In addition to the products listed on her site, she also has enlarged images available. Check out her photography and available products on her website.