Maggie Baird’s journey with plant-based eating began more than 40 years ago. The actress and mother to music moguls Billie Eilish and Finneas has kicked that love for sustainable living into hyper-drive since then. Her plant-based influence has transferred over to her children, as Billie Eilish has become an outspoken activist for vegan causes. Most recently, swaying influential designer Oscar de la Renta to drop fur from its line completely in exchange for donning a beautiful gown by the designer at the 2021 Met Gala—earning her the title of PETA’s (youngest) person of the year.
When the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the globe, Baird sprung into action, starting the non-profit Support + Feed to help keep plant-based restaurants afloat, while getting meals to those in need.
In 2022, the organization plans to expand to thirty states and other countries to continue supporting a sustainable and nourishing food system.
But for now, Baird is focused on family time and the spirit of the holidays, and so she sat down with VegNews to talk us through her holiday gift giving, telling us that Support + Feed is highlighting gifts “that not only bring joy to the people receiving them but also are good for the planet, help small businesses, are ethically sourced and proceeds to people experiencing food insecurity.”
1. Lettuce Grow Farmstand
It doesn’t get much more sustainable than growing produce in your own kitchen (or backyard or balcony …) and Lettuce Grow has mastered the art of making it as simple as can be. Started by founders and co-parents Jacob Pechenik and actress Zooey Deschanel, this self-sustaining, upright hydroponic farmstand brings our food even closer to home. And through its Lettuce Give program, the company donates one Farmstand for every ten sold to schools, nonprofits, and community organizations.
2. Todo Verde Seasoning
Created by Chef Jocelyn Ramirez of popular plant-based pop-up Todo Verde, this trio of Mexican seasonings in flavors such as Al Pastor, Carnitas, and Y Tinga, makes the perfect gift for an avid home cook. One set of spices makes over 100 tacos, so this is a gift that will keep on giving.
3. Citizen-T Project T-Shirts
This artist-led, zero-waste, slow-fashion initiative aims to combine activism and art through its shirts. Diverting clothes headed for the landfill, this brand transforms those pieces of clothing into sustainable and wearable art, giving it a new life. A percentage of all proceeds are given to charities and the brand strives to highlight issues related to housing inequality, Indigenous peoples displacement, climate action, and youth development.
4. Lagusta’s Luscious Chocolates
Chocolate doesn’t get much more ethical than those churned out by cult-favorite chocolatier Lagusta’s Luscious. With a commitment to artisan techniques and wildly good flavors (the tahini meltaways are to die for!), these chocolates are one thoughtful and sustainable gift to give to those with a penchant for sweets.
5. Vegan Sunday Supper Meals
Show the veg-skeptics in your life that you absolutely don’t have to miss out on dishes like homestyle Italian cooking with Vegan Sunday Suppers multi-layer plant-based lasagna. 25-percent of the company’s profits go towards helping fight hunger with the help of Baird’s Support+Feed non-profit.
The Cajun Vegan Cookbook
6. The Cajun Vegan Cookbook
Founder of the now closed, but beloved Los Angeles restaurant Krimseys Cajun Kitchen, Krimsey Lilleth, penned this guide to creating traditional New Orleans’ Cajun cuisine in the comfort of your own homes. Whether you’re craving jambalaya, étouffée, gumbo, or hushpuppies, you can find it all in the pages of this cookbook.
7. Happier Than Ever Vegan Classic Chocolate Bar
This chocolate bar launched by Baird’s daughter Billie Eilish features 100-percent organic and vegan milk chocolate and comes wrapped in a compostable nature-flex foil (made from sustainable raw materials) and cardboard box. Doing away with the plastic packaging, this sustainable bar ditches the dairy in favor of rice milk and tiger nut powder.
Support + Feed
8. Support + Feed Yeti
This 18-ounce Yeti bottle is emblazoned with Baird’s non-profit, Support + Feed’s logo, and helps replace the single use plastic bottles in your life. Even better? 100-percent of proceeds go towards helping bring nourishing food to families experiencing food insecurity.
9. One Life, One Chance Children’s Book
Written by Toby Morse, a longtime vegan and vocalist for punk rock band H₂O, this children’s book is based on his band’s most influential songs and belief in spreading Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). Morse says, “When I was three years old my dad passed away. I try to live a life that would make him proud.” With empowering and positive messages throughout, this picture book makes a sweet gift to the child in your life.
Food & Wine
10. Stasher Bags
With a mission to replace single-use plastic bags, Stasher’s silicone bags have already prevented more than one billion single-use plastic bags from entering our oceans and landfills. Plus a portion of every bag sold is donated straight to eco organizations such as Surfrider and 5 Gyres, that are dedicated to preserving and rehabilitating our oceans.
A gift giving tip from Maggie: 25-percent more trash is produced during the holidays—that’s equal to one million extra tons per week. Leave behind the wrapping paper and make cloth bags from t-shirts or materials you no longer use.