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Last year, my youngest son bought me enough carbon offsets that I could drive all year without guilt! (It helps that I commute by bike.) There are many organizations that sell carbon offsets. Buy someone a guilt-free year and help the environment at the same time.

I buy my coffee - yes direct vs. fair trade, shade grown, organic arabica beans from a local cooperative run and managed by the children of coffee growers in Guatemala.
The coffee can be purchased from Global Visionaries (GV) a nonprofit organization. The coffee comes in 12 oz bags in French or Dark roast, ground or whole beans for $12. www.global-visionaries.org

I contribute to the Alternative Gift Guide created by the Social Justice Committee of the Rainier Valley UnitariansUniversalist Congregation. The Guide includes both local service groups and groups in India, Nicaragua and Africa. I buy soccer balls and baseball mits for Nicaraguan children in the name of my nephews and nieces, contribute to BikeWorks and the Rainier Valley Food Bank in the name of other friends and relatives. More info at rvuuc.org

10,000 Villages on the corner of Roosevelt and 65th offers handmade items from artisans in Asia, South America and Africa. It is a fair trade business; the artists set their own prices and buying their stuff gives them the opportunity to earn a fair wage. I learned about it when a non-profit I am involved in had a fundraiser there - the merchandise is affordable and very nice.

Last year I purchased a donation of a starter flock of chickens in a developing country as a teacher gift, through Heifer International! I also enjoy buying locally made artisan gifts at places such as the Phinney Neighborhood Center sale and Soulumination, both this weekend, and my wreath supports the Eckstein orchestra. Am looking forward to hearing other ideas...

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