Lebanese people are known for the generosity, right? That's what I've always been told. But in reality, much of that generosity ends up being quite wasteful, with one of the examples being the "cadeau de retour" (or return gift or souvenir) that people hand out after special ocassions whether they be weddings or baby showers.

Souvenirs make for great memories, but they’re also a great way to be an extremely wasteful person; spending twenty, or thirty, or - if you’re my spoiled friend - upwards of fifty dollars on a piece of (garbage) porcelain that is going to gather dust on your loved ones’ shelves for decades to come.

Sometimes they’re creepy as hell:

And sometimes, our houses end up looking like this:

How about this one that costs a whopping $89, a porcelain figurine of what looks like a baby prostitute on a horse, so cute:

Or this crazy porcelain statue of a mermaid for $95. Because mermaids are sexy, just like your baby:

But forget all these ridiculous items, they're frivolous and wasteful! Here's a suggestion: my very cool and progressive boss recently had a great idea (this should fulfill my brown-nosing quota for the month). After having a newborn son, instead of purchasing little knickknacks that are either going to get tossed somewhere or make everyone’s house really, really tacky, he opted for presenting his loved ones with certificates of planted Cedars in their name.

This is the certificate you'll receive, with your name printed on it and geographical coordinates for the location of your Cedar tree.

That’s right. Instead of a lame statue of baby, he planted Cedar trees with the help of an amazing organization called Jouzour Loubnan.

The cool people at Jouzour Loubnan work tirelessly to increase the woodland area in Lebanon by planting indigenous trees to restore ecosystems and develop wildlife habitats. You can read more about their projects and follow their progress on their Facebook page.

You can also donate and adopt a Cedar tree here. And if you do choose to gift Cedar trees, they can help you out with all the details.

With this tasteful gift, you’d be helping to solve Lebanon’s growing deforestation problem and at least when this souvenir is tossed away, the Cedar is still planted!

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