Creativity Travel
Fabulous Gifts That Give Back
November 1, 2018
Fabulous Gifts That Give Back

As travellers, we are well aware of the many problems in our world. When shopping for gifts, I like to look beyond the direct recipient to see if what I’m gifting can have a greater impact. Here I share my favourite presents and places to shop for gifts that give back.

Disclosure: I may earn compensation from the purchase of any product or service linked on this website, at no extra cost to you. I only link to products I use and love, therefore feel comfortable recommending.

Donate to a great cause

When you purchase a farm animal, a water pump, school supplies or another present from Oxfam, you are actually donating a money that will be put to use fighting inequality and discrimination. Those funds help provide access to basic necessities such as food and water or supplying relief after a natural disaster. A card is sent to the recipient of your gift explaining how it is changing lives. I love that you can give that frenemy or spoilt brat a pile of manure and still be doing something nice for someone. It makes for an amusing, conversation starting, Secret Santa gift too.

Buy someone a pair of chickens or a pile of poo with Oxfam
Buy someone a pair of chickens or a pile of poo with Oxfam

Adopt an animal

Maybe you are gifting to an animal lover and there are innumerable options for “adopting” an endangered species that needs some support. You can adopt a sleepy-eyed sloth, cute koala or any number of threatened species from around the world through the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Alternatively, look for a local organization such as the National Parks Service in the USA, Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia or APOPO that trains rats to sniff out landmines – WHAT!?  After my visit to the Grand Canyon last year, I adopted several mountain lions on behalf of the kidlets in my life. They didn’t miss out either, with plush toys and an adoption certificate for their new “pet”.

Adopt a penguin with the Penguin Foundation


Subscription boxes are all the rage, so why not choose one that is helping to sustain global artisans such as Globein? A subscription as opposed to a one-off purchase, provides job security and a consistent income for artisans. If you are in Australia or New Zealand, you may like Socially Conscious Club that sends a monthly package of sustainable goodies sourced from charities and social enterprises.

Purchase a membership

If your gift recipient is an art, architecture or history lover, buy them a year’s membership to their favourite museum or gallery. For example, The Met in New York City or the British Museum, London.  Membership dollars are generally used to preserve and maintain museum collections, while your loved one receives free/discounted entry and possibly even invitations to special members-only events.

Don’t forget home museums such as Sydney Living Museums taking care of remarkable heritage homes in Australia, and The Preservation Society of Newport County that runs and maintains the Newport Mansions in Rhode Island, USA.

Support museums like the amazing Newport Mansions
Support museums like the amazing Newport Mansions

Do you have a favourite gift that gives back? Please share it with us in the comments below. See Unique Travel Gifts for Creative Globetrotters for present ideas to delight creative souls taking to the road.

Peace, love & inspiring travel,

Madam ZoZo

Fabulous gift ideas that give back to the world we love to travel

About author

Madam ZoZo

Hi! I'm Madam ZoZo, aka Zoë, an Australian designer, creative consultant, blogger and digital nomad. I'm passionate about travel, design, dance and new experiences that fuel my creativity. I strive to travel in a style that is gentle on the earth and that contributes to the communities I visits, even if it is merely to take away a greater understanding of a different culture. Duende by Madam ZoZo, is where I share the stories of my travels and the duende (soul/inspiration) I find along the way.

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