“Over the last few years I’ve received an increasing number of letters requesting less disposable ‘stuff’. I’m relieved really, I get great joy from making people happy but was really beginning to worry about the environment. All these things are being shipped around the world before arriving in Lapland, and millions of presents end up as clutter or in a hole in the ground.”
The excerpt above comes from a rare interview with Santa, and it reveals that he has been thinking hard about his role in the world. While bringing presents to billions around the world has been a rewarding experience, it seems Santa is on the search for something more meaningful. 

It's no surprise really. 

The idea of giving fewer, less material, more meaningful gifts over the holidays has been taking off like wildfire. In my own family, who tend to LOVE the Christmas gift-giving experience, there's been much talk about donations as alternatives, or limiting the amount we spend on each person. 

So Santa — ever the savvy marketer — is tapping into that trend. He's donning a green suit (which some say he used to wear before the turn of the last century), and delivering clean energy investments to lucky boys and girls in the U.K. It is, in a very real way, a gift that keeps on giving. 

To do that, he's teaming up with clean energy crowdfunding site Abundance Generation. Below are the details: 

The gift of a Green Energy Investment includes Abundance Generation membership and a handful of their green energy debentures. You can gift an investment of £5, £10, £50, £100 or £1,000 in solar or wind power projects across the UK, helping friends and family be part of the shift to clean energy. This offers a fixed return of 6.65% IRR over a 19-year duration. Ideal as a gift for children, the investment can put into a bare trust until a child reaches 18 years of age. 
Before returning to his reindeer shed to continue route planning with Rudolph, Santa did adopt an unusually serious face and offer the following disclaimer: 
It is important to note that, as with any investment product, there are risks. Part or all of the original invested capital may be at risk and any return on investment depends on the success of the project invested in. All products from Abundance are long-term investments and may not be readily realisable (and their value can rise or fall). Estimated rates of return are variable and estimates are no guarantee of actual return.
Financial returns aside, an investment in a rapidly emerging distributed, low-carbon energy future is a gift that's worth much more than money — or ugly sweaters for that matter. 

Santa recommended you check out Abundance Generation's video too. It will give you a break from all that holiday shopping anyway. For good little boys and girls in the U.S., a donation to Re-Volv or the Solar Electric Light Fund might make a good alternative that Green Santa would approve of.

Related on MNN:

'Green Santa' delivers wind turbines to children
In a rare interview, Santa reveals why he is sick of so much "stuff". He's donning a green suit and delivering clean energy as a gift instead.