The Ocean Lover's Green Gift Guide

A few years ago my brother and his wife gave me a Christmas gift that came in the form of a donation to the Heifer International.

While it was an incredibly considerate gift and reflected my values, lets get real. There was no squealing or jumping for joy when I unwrapped the gift. First~ because it wasn't attached to a personal issue I was passionate about, and second, it lacked the "cool" factor. I'm all for green gifts removed from the in-the-process-of-being-improved supply chain. But green gifts can still ignite a spark of excitement. So for those of you hunting for the perfect gift for your ocean/water loving friend~ you are in luck~ check out these thoughtful green gift ideas for water lovers.

Become a Land Lord of the Oceans

Lets begin by dedicating a small plot of the ocean to your loved one through the Ocean Registry. The Ocean Registry ® is a gift giving program designed to promote ocean awareness. The program offers a virtual ocean experience (using google ocean) where you can plot a piece of the ocean as a commemorative location registered to someone as a unique gift. 50% of proceeds are donated to ocean conservation.

Give the Gift of Story

Sea Voices is a coffee table who's who of the ocean activism world. The book features prominent people from around the world who care about our environment and want to help protect our world oceans and includes interviews with oceanographers, artists, authors, photographers, environmentally conscious celebrities and musicians, filmmakers, and surf industry leaders. I've had this book on my coffee table for the past few months and it has grabbed that attention of everyone who has walked by.

Become A Media Mogul
This holiday season I would like to suggest that you give a powerful, long lasting and influential gift~ The gift of story.

Take part in producing the films that have the potential to influence and shape our culture and relationship to the natural world. Here are three worthy film projects that are in production and are addressing water issues through a variety of stories. You (and your loved one) could be a part of bringing these movies to the big (and small) screen.


This feature-length documentary explores three very different lives, each of which has been transformed, in some way, by water. In India, the effervescent "Water Gandhi," Rajendra Singh, brought seven Rajasthani rivers back to life and now turns his attention to the greatest of Indian rivers, the Ganges. In Canada, indigenous activist Eriel Deranger struggles to save her people from the genocide wrought by living downstream from the world's largest industrial development: Alberta's Oil Sands. And in Australia, inventor Jay Harman draws on his lifelong obsession with water to attempt to halve the world's energy use. Depending on how much you contribute you can get a signed copy of the DVD, tickets to the pre-release in the bay area, or your name in the credits.


(Perfect for your mountain climbing, South America loving, river conservation loved ones.
Over the past century more than 45,000 large dams have redefined the course and health of the planet's rivers with disastrous impacts that continue to unfold. Tracing the hydrologic cycle of the Baker from ice to ocean, Patagonia Rising brings voice to the frontier people caught in the crossfire of Chile's energy demands. Juxtaposing the pro-dam business sector with renewable energy experts, the documentary will bring awareness and solutions to this global conflict over water and power. Patagonia Rising finished production in December 2009 and now seeks post-production support.

PEOPLE AND THE PLANET: Healing with Whales


(Full disclosure ~ I'm producing People and the Planet)

People and the Planet is a multiphase media project that launches with a 24 part online video series. The series is designed to invoke your curiosity while telling extraordinary real stories about people healing in the presence of the natural world. Our first story is about a woman who heals people in the presence of whales. When you donate, we'll put your picture in our video (scroll to bottom of the post for the example).


Rowboat is a fun, award-winning, ocean themed card game of mind bending strategy and mind boggling suspense! This beautifully designed ocean-themed game is ideal for travel and game nights! If you like bidding or trick-taking card games like Spades, Euchre, or Bridge you will love Rowboat! And ... while this is not EXACTLY a green gift (they are working on their packaging) the creators of Rowboat are giving half the proceeds purchased through the above link to People and the Planet -- double hitter!

Alright -- so there are a few suggestions for you. If you have additional ones, please feel free to tell me -- I'll be happy to add them to this post.

UPDATED 12/15/10

Bah! I forgot 1 more category: PEOPLE. I am also adding a few awesome additions that have come my way:

Sponsor an Ocean Advocate
Because behind every great leader, there is a mountain of supporters. Here are two ocean stars who have mastered the social network space and are prolific and spreading the message of ocean conservation by sparking interest, intrigue, adventure, and pretty pictures. (Just think of the good you could do by sponsoring them).

Wallace J. Nicols: The People's Scientist
I first met J at Bioneers a few years ago and was inspired by his efforts to protect the turtles. J is a speaker, mentor, ocean advocate, author, and a true "people's scientist". He inspires people to stay engaged with ocean conservation offline and online, and was one of the first to inform the general public about the affects of the BP spill on Turtles. I was so inspired by his Blue Marbles campaign (a play it forward game in the ocean conservation world), that I sent a marble to all of the donors of People and the Planet. J is unique in that he is a scientist who is working out side of the field of academia, which provided more freedom of expression. J recently started a Blue Angels Campaign; a team of independent supporters who make a monthly contribution to support his ability to travel and campaign on behalf of the oceans.

Roz Savage: Ocean Rower
I met Roz during a skype video interview when I covered the Copenhagen Climate Talks. Over the course of the week I interviewed over 15 people but she was the darling who won people's hearts and minds. (Ok,'s dancing penguins were a hit as well). Roz Savage is a British ocean rower, author, motivational speaker and environmental campaigner. She has rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean and is attempting to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific. A latecomer to the life of adventure, Roz Savage was previously a management consultant and project manager at an investment bank, before realizing in her mid-thirties that there might be more to life than a steady income and a house in the suburbs. In 2005, she competed in the 3,000-mile Atlantic Rowing Race, the first solo woman ever to compete in that race and the sixth woman to row solo across an ocean.

What's happening next? See Eat Pray Row - the Indian Ocean, starting in March 2011, and The Homecoming Row, launching May 2012. Roz has a quite the shopping list of things that are needed to make this last row the best one yet.

Thanks to Noah Scalin for recommending The Endangered Species Print Project

ESPP joins with conservation organizations around the globe, whose work puts them on the front lines of the battle to save our planet's diverse and beautiful heritage. The prints are beautiful, and the images are created on post consumer paper possible.

Alright~ so there are a few suggestions for you~ if you have additional ones~ please feel free to tell me~ I'll be happy to add them to this post.