December 16, 2014 12:10 PM   Subscribe

One of my favorite little and silly gifts to give people is adopting a lobster from the UK's National Lobster Hatchery. What are other similar inexpensive and slightly silly -- but ideally also socially/environmentally conscious -- gifts you like to give people? Ideally it's a similar deal where they don't actually get more stuff to deal with, or if they do it's some sort of small acknowledgement that they won't feel bad about throwing out or recycling.
posted by naturalog to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Adopt Hero Rats! They sniff out landmines and tuberculosis.
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:23 PM on December 16, 2014 [5 favorites]

Best answer: It was a temporary promotion for Valentine's Day last year, but somewhere at the Bronx Zoo there's a Madagascar hissing cockroach named after my husband.
posted by telophase at 12:25 PM on December 16, 2014 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Oh Oh Oh! I don't know if it's bad form to share something I worked on, but it's too perfect to pass up.

Check out Names for Change, a site where you can buy naming rights to over 100 of the items most needed by a Durham, NC homeless shelter. You can buy naming rights to a tampon, a teddy bear, processed meat product, a baby bottle, a can of corn, etc.

Giftees get a sweet printable poster and the knowledge they are helping someone in need.
posted by missjenny at 12:31 PM on December 16, 2014 [14 favorites]

Best answer: You can adopt specimens at the Grant Museum.
posted by oneear at 12:45 PM on December 16, 2014

Best answer: Give them trees planted in their honor in Superior National Forest. I typically do this for friends who have pets that pass away so that the pet can have a living memorial.
posted by Rob Rockets at 12:45 PM on December 16, 2014

Best answer: I love to do this with Heifer International. It is quite fun to give someone a "share of a water buffalo" or a "flock of geese." :)
posted by rainbowbrite at 12:50 PM on December 16, 2014 [5 favorites]

Best answer: What, no mention yet of Heifer International? Seems to fit right in with the theme.

Also, you can always arrange an "adoption" via WWF, where among the animals on offer are sockeye salmon, narwhals and penguins.
posted by bearwife at 12:51 PM on December 16, 2014

Best answer:

Also Heifer International. One year people got bees!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:52 PM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I also really like adopting an animal at an animal shelter by sending them a blanket and a bag of food. You might look around for local rescue groups or shelters to facilitate this because I think gifts are always more meaningful when they are in your community.
posted by Saminal at 12:57 PM on December 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

Another vote for Heifer International ( --- you can do a whole flock of ducks, geese or chickens for $30, or for as little as $10 donate something like a 'share' of a goat: it's kind of fun telling someone there's a goat or whatever out there with their name on it, it doesn't clutter up the giftee's house, and it's definitely socially and environmentally conscious.
posted by easily confused at 1:04 PM on December 16, 2014

Best answer: You can adopt a bat from Batworld!
posted by DingoMutt at 1:28 PM on December 16, 2014

lots of zoos have programs like this for a range of their animals...
posted by acm at 1:45 PM on December 16, 2014

Best answer: Less silly, unless you can chose the title, but most libraries have some variation on adopt-a-book and a bookplate in the front can say whatever you like.
posted by carrioncomfort at 3:14 PM on December 16, 2014

Best answer: I've recommended it before, and at EUR199 it's not exactly inexpensive, but "Adopt A Vortex" lets you name a European weather system which then appears on TV and newspaper weather maps.
posted by patricio at 3:56 PM on December 16, 2014

Best answer: On Petfinder (and at our local humane society), you can sponsor an animal. Basically, that means that someone can come adopt that animal for free. I recently got a wonderful cat whose adoption fees had been paid. I then paid it forward by paying the fees of another cat. It's pretty awesome, especially for cats who are less adoptable. My guy is 10 and missing a few teeth, so he wasn't top of anyone else's list. But he's pretty awesome.
posted by guster4lovers at 5:06 PM on December 16, 2014 [5 favorites]

phunniemee, sadly there appears to be a bit of a scam with the fake Scots titles you mentioned.
posted by yoHighness at 2:19 AM on December 23, 2014

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