By Barbara Kessler

Want to do your part for the environment this holiday season? Some of the best green gifts are those that do double duty by funding an environmental cause and raising awareness.

So here are a few ideas for stirring up the conversation among your friends and family andpanda-wwf.jpg educating your children while helping to save forests and wildlife or fostering agricultural sustainability and education in developing countries.

Talk about making the holidays meaningful. Christian or not, you’ve got to admit, this type of giving is one valid answer to that question: What Would Jesus Do? We like to think he might buy a laptop for a kid in Africa; though truth be told, if he donated to the World Wildlife Fund, he’d probably turn down their thank you gift of a stuffed polar bear so more money could go to help real polar bears. We thought on that eco question and decided that if the stuffed polar bear thank you gift helps your kids get more savvy about what’s happening in the world, then you should graciously accept it. And if these donations come with full or partial tax deductibility (which they do), well, that’s the merry part of the holiday for you, the giver.

So go forth and support an environmental cause. Here are a few to consider.

The National Wildlife Federation

This 70-year-old group is a veteran in the fight to save American wildlife and is a prominent player in the push for stronger global warming legislation, which would help preserve animal habitats.