Year for the Planet Week 45: A Holiday Gift Guide for Sustainable Eating

Year for a Planet is a personal challenge to be a better human for the planet for a whole year. This year, 2017, is where I deal with my food choices.

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This post was supposed to be entitled: “A Holiday Gift Guide for the The Ten People You Meet in Your Sustainable Eating Journey” but that’s just too freaking long. Anyway:

I’ve talked to so many people about this sustainable eating project that I can classify them into certain personas. If you’re in this process, too, and might be a bit discouraged by your lack of community, here’s what I’d recommend giving them for the holidays:

1. The Self-Deprecator
The one who always says, “You’re so disciplined! I could never do that. It’s too hard.” In the beginning, it will seem flattering, until it becomes not.
Potential Holiday Present: A motivational podcast and a bullet journal with inspirational quotes

2. The One who Prioritizes Convenience
This is the person who knows plastic bags and highly processed food are and for the health and the planet, but buys them anyway “to save time.”
Potential Holiday Present: A zero-waste starter kit

3. The Negatron
This is the person who says that we’re all going to die from climate change anyway.
Potential Holiday Present: A list of nature and climate documentaries to binge-watch

4. The Elitist
This is the person who can do sustainable eating but sees it as a matter of class, shopping in expensive organic markets (maybe even getting the help to do it) and may be reinforcing unsustainability in other aspects
Potential Holiday Present: If an all-expenses-paid trip to the nearest developing country or low-income state is impossible, go get him or her whatever George Monbiot book is available in your bookstore.

5. The Procrastinator
This is the person who says, “I’ve always wanted to do that,” and keeps delaying.
Potential Holiday Present: A bullet journal with a pre-written grocery list, or a 30-day supply of sustainably-sourced ingredients. If you live with this person, change the system in your house.

6. The One Who Thinks He Doesn’t Need to Change
This is the person who thinks his habits are perfect without any need for modification.
Potential Holiday Present: See #4.

7. The One Who is Easily Bored
This is the person who is probably trying to eat sustainably already but is getting tired of eating the same dishes.
Potential Holiday Present: A food app that gives a variety of sustainable delicious recipes so she has more choices and gets a motivational boost.

8. The World Traveler

This is the person whose city changes a lot and may find it difficult to eat healthy and to not eat out so much.
Potential Holiday Present: A zero-waste travel kit, including travel-sized food containers and reusable utensils so ordering takeout doesn’t have to mean using plastic and styrofoam, and mason jars for meal-prepping energy bites—perfect for airport layovers!

9. The Dorian Gray
This is the person who does things primarily out of vanity. This could also be the person in your life who is preparing for a wedding or a major public event and may be trying to watch his diet to look his best.
Potential Holiday Present: A healthy, sustainable cookbook that also promises weight loss and glowing skin. If they see that their goals of looking great when photographed can be achieved with this, they might just get on board. Hey, vanity isn’t the best reason, but it’s still an effective one.

10. The One Who is Terrified of Change

This is the person who may want to develop better eating habits but is just way too afraid of making a move because it will jeopardize his routine, etc. Also known as The One Who Keeps Making Excuses.
Potential Holiday Present: A curated gift basket of varying homemade sustainable meals and zero-waste products, with an accompanying text with grocery list, recipes, and time it took you to make the food. If they see how easy and delicious it could be, they might keep going.

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