Sustainability: Thoughtful Giving

Have you heard of overshoot? It is the term to describe what we humans are doing by overusing Earth’s resources so quickly and intensely that it exceeds its ability to regenerate. Some scientists assess that we are currently using 140% of Earth’s resources, and could reach 200% usage by the next decade, or the equivalent of 2 planets.


Why does it matter? With the holiday season upon us, opulence and excesses are a given. It is about more of everything. More Amazon deliveries, more food waste, more meat, disposable tableware, gift wrap, more, more, more…


How about planning for environmentally better holidays by reviewing and resizing our game plan? Going local is a good way to sustainably approach the holidays while boosting our local economy. One idea is to visit our shops on Camino Del Mar, for books, jewelry, or clothing, or to offer gift cards for nearby restaurants or spas. Another one is gifting a weekly farm box subscription for delivery or pickup from a close-by location, from Be Wise Ranch or Garden of Eden, for example.


Saturday afternoons at the Farmer’s Market in Del Mar are quite an opportunity for local finds. I recently visited our market and met Daria Gardynik, a local handwoven artist, who makes necklaces using Japanese Kumihimo braiding techniques along with handwoven table linens and shawls. Other Farmers Market offerings include honey, granola, specialty coffee, body products, stunning orchids, vintage and new clothing, sustainable products, and plenty of fresh produce and food.

Daria Gardynik handweaving at the Del Mar Farmers Market. Photo by Valérie Dufort-Roy.

A better option could be to skip purchasing physical presents, just enjoy the inestimable value of spending a moment together. For me, one take-home from the pandemic is definitely that being with loved ones is priceless, and all the fluff and fuss around meals and presents is just the cherry on top of the sundae. Nice, but not entirely necessary.


If showing up empty-handed is a cause of worry, how about writing a poem, offering a floral arrangement from your garden, baking cookies, or sharing a book from your own collection? Why not donate to a charity in the name of your recipient? Charity Navigator is a great online tool to assess non-profit organization values. Locally, we have Del Mar Community Connections and Del Mar Foundation directly supporting our community.


Enjoying one another does not need to be complicated, pricey, or wasteful. Togetherness can rhyme with reduce, re-use, recycle, and better, too.