Earth Friendly Gifting

PLC’s Alternative Gift Guide for Nature Lovers

December 2023

More than anything, gift giving is about being thoughtful. Showing that you understand someone’s values and passions is the best way to bring a smile to their face. This year explore a more meaningful approach that reflects the spirit of the season.

If there’s a nature lover in your life we’ve compiled a list of earth-friendly gift ideas we’d love for you to make your own.

1. Clean Up Someone's Favorite Trail

Does your loved one have a trail they visit all the time? Consider visiting the trail yourself with the goal of cleaning up litter along the way.

The winter months are the best time to pick up litter. With vegetation dying back it’s easier to spot and access litter along a trail. Bring reusable bags, gloves, and make sure to take a picture of yourself with your bag of trash to show your loved one.

Take this gift a step further by inviting them to come along with you! It’s a great way to spend quality time together while enjoying the spirit of giving back.

2. Gift Seeds from your own Garden

This time of year as native plants are dying back their seeds are ready to head out into the world. Consider sharing the beauty of your garden by gifting friends and family seeds from your native plants if they have a yard. Not sure about best practices for harvesting and sharing seeds? This guide from North Carolina Native Plant Society will have the info you need.

Take this gift idea a step further by making your own seed bombs! Check out this seed bomb guide from Epic Gardening.

3. Be their Guide

Instead of a physical gift, offer knowledge and exploration. Take them out on your favorite trail. Show them the parking area, the routes, and your favorite spots so they can come back confidently on their own. If you don’t have a favorite now or want to try something new, check out the trail guides from our Piedmont Legacy Trails program for some trail ideas.

Getting out there takes preparation. Doing the research and making a plan for a future adventure is a gift of time and energy. Make a plan to try something new together!

4. Create a Nature Journaling Kit

Put together a nature journaling kit with a quality notebook, pen, colored pencils, and a field guide. Encourage your loved one to document their observations with sketches and reflections during outdoor adventures.

5. Give your Favorite Nature Book

If your giftee is a reader, what’s better than sharing your favorite nature book with them?

If you don’t have a favorite yet, we’ve compiled a list of our staff’s favorites for you to consider:

Stand Up That Mountain: The Battle to Save One Small Community in the Wilderness Along the Appalachian Trail by Jay Erskine Leutze

The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé

Thus Spoke the Plant: A Remarkable Journey of Groundbreaking Scientific Discoveries and Personal Encounters with Plants by Monica Gagliano

A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There by Aldo Leopold

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall-Kimmerer

The Overstory by Richard Powers

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Douglas W. Tallamy

Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

6. Fresh Goods from Local Farms

What’s better than receiving a consumable gift? It’s practical and delicious. It won’t stick around and clutter up your space. 

Consider gifting goods from local farms. We’re partial to farms protected by Piedmont Land Conservancy like Goat Lady Dairy and Whitaker Farm, but any locally produced food is sure to be appreciated.

Rising Meadow Farms

7. Gift a Piedmont Land Conservancy Membership

If they’re passionate about land conservation and trails and preserves here in the Piedmont Triad, we can help with that. Consider giving a loved one a one-year membership to Piedmont Land Conservancy!

When you gift an annual membership, which is any donation at or over $35.00, your giftee will enjoy a subscription to our informative monthly e-newsletter and receive the beautifully crafted “Landlines” print publication three times a year that let’s them know how their membership is working for the better. As a member, they will also be among the first to hear about special events and exciting outings, providing them with a deeper connection to the conservation efforts in our region.

To gift a membership, on our giving form select the check box “This is a gift, honor or memorial donation” and you’ll be prompted to enter the relevant information.

PLC's latest protected land, 178 acres at Quail Hill Farm in Surry County
Fall Creek Falls at Mayo River State Park where PLC has protected over 600 acres

8. Make a Donation in their Honor

There are many good causes looking out for nature. If they have a favorite make a gift in their honor. Put the receipt in a holiday card and write a little note about how you know what’s important to them.

If local land conservation is important to them, show your appreciation for them with a tribute gift. When you make your donation, we will send a card or email to your honoree informing them about your thoughtful gesture.

To give in someone’s honor or memory, on our giving form select the check box “This is a gift, honor or memorial donation” and you’ll be prompted to enter the relevant information. You and those you are honoring or remembering, will be listed in our 2023 Annual Report.

This holiday season, break away from the conventional and embrace the joy of giving experiences, knowledge, and support for the natural world. 

Whether it’s a trail cleanup adventure, a guided nature hike, or a commitment to preserving the environment, we hope these alternative gifts ideas will help you spread joy, create lasting memories, and contribute to a healthier planet. 

Warm wishes this holiday season,

The Team at PLC

Consider giving to

Piedmont Land Conservancy

to protect more special places.