At the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, we are committed to reducing waste and finding creative ways to curb our environmental impact; from our environmental management system to staff participation in initiatives like Plastic Free July.

With piles of wrapping paper, plastic packaging and the pressure to buy more, the holidays can be a challenging time to keep things green. Fortunately, great trends like choosing local products and giving an experience instead of a gift are starting to catch on. With that in mind, here are a few green holiday gift ideas from the Vancouver Aquarium:

1. Give an Experience: For many, the holidays are all about family, so why not give yours something that encourages them to spend time together? A membership to the Vancouver Aquarium includes unlimited admission for a year plus great discounts and benefits. Best of all, you’ll be giving your friends and family a chance to experience aquatic life and engage with important conservation initiatives all year long.

Gift of membership at the Vancouver Aquarium

Give the gift of aquatic wonder this holiday season.

2. Adopt an Animal: The Aquarium offers two unique animal adoption programs. The Killer Whale Adoption Program allows you to adopt one of B.C.’s most iconic species. Several adoption packages are available allowing you to select the individual whale or pod you would like to adopt. Proceeds directly support research on wild killer whales. We also offer our Aquadopt kit where you can symbolically adopt a sea otter or beluga. Each Aquadopt Kit includes a certificate of adoption, fact booklet, collector card, plush toy and tax receipt for the eligible portion of the gift. Aquadopt and the Killer Whale Adoption Program support the Aquarium’s many conservation, research and education programs.

Green gift ideas from the Vancouver Aquarium

Symbolically adopt an animal this holiday season and support animal conservation.

3. Make a Donation: As a self-supporting, non-profit organization, the Aquarium relies on donations to help fund vital aquatic conservation efforts. Make a gift to the Aquarium in honour of a friend, relative or colleague and share in the season of giving. You can choose the program your donation supports and select an electronic card to send to the person you are honouring or the family and friends of someone you are remembering.

Donate to the Vancouver Aquarium

Donations help fund vital research and conservation efforts such as the rehabiliation of Chester, the false killer whale.

4. Give an Environmentally Responsible Gift: If you’re looking for a more traditional gift, get inspired with an amazing selection of aquatic gifts at the Vancouver Aquarium Gift Shop. We proudly offer environmentally-responsible sustainable products which are easily identified by big green stickers. These products are made from organic or biodegradable materials, use minimal packaging and can be recycled or reused.

Eco-friendly gifts at the Vancouver Aquarium

Choose eco-friendly gifts like our Cate & Levi handmade reclaimed wool selection of stuffed animals at the gift shop.

5. Give Them Something They’ll Definitely Use: Still not sure what to get? You can purchase an Aquarium E-Gift card online and let your friends and family decide. E-Gift cards will be delivered to your inbox within minutes, so they’re perfect for those inevitable last minute holiday gifts.

It’s easy to feel good about all of your purchases at the Vancouver Aquarium as all proceeds support conservation, research and education initiatives. Whether you shop at the Aquarium or elsewhere this holiday season, you can always make choices that reduce the impact on our planet. Share your ideas for green holiday giving this season in the comments below. Remember, where you buy, how you buy and what you buy can make a big difference.

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