Eeek! I’m so excited! When it comes to gifts, I love to seek out the unique, the useful and the fun. I also feel best when I spend my money on products that make the world a little bit better.
So move over Oprah’s Favorite Things! In the Soulicious spirit, I’ve scouted ten gifts for you that are eco-friendly, handmade or fair trade. They are all unique, affordable items you can feel good about giving, and those who receive them will be delighted. It was a tough job, but I’ve tested each and every one, and I hope you love them as much as I do. You might even find yourself buying yourself a special something for yourself, as of course you should! :-)
Happy gift giving … Fa la la la la, la la la la!
Bee Happy Gift Basket
Besides the most adorable name, I love these all-natural lotions and potions handmade in Colorado from beeswax and honey. While all of Kerry’s delicious products can be purchased separately, the ladies on your list deserve this large gift pack with an 8 oz. body lotion, 9 oz. body butter, roll-on bee balm (perfect for rough hands, elbows and feet), cuticle cream and SPF 15 lip balm. Pick from yummy flavors including light vanilla, creamsicle, cucumber melon, almond and lavender. There’s even a citrus basil for your male friends (SoulDaddy approved!) These are top-notch, natural products that work wonders on healing and preventing dry, cracked skin while honoring those with sensitivities. I love. this. stuff.
Where to buy: BeeHappyLipBalm.com
Air Plant Hanging Garden
I was first introduced to air plants a few years ago and think they might be the neatest thing ever. This 6″ x 6″ hanging garden has added a ton of texture and charm to my upstairs hall landing, and it’s just one of many creative living art pieces sculpted by the talented Tim and Anita. Made from the first cut of Portuguese cork that is now home to green mosses and tillandsisas, it is lightweight, eco-friendly and easy to care for. Simply provide bright light, air and an occasional sprinkle of water. Although I haven’t tried it, I’m told that it also does well outdoors (above 40 degrees) and in an office with fluorescent lighting. I know a few nature-lovers with not-so-green thumbs that will really enjoy the maximum beauty with simple care that these gardens provide.
Where to Buy: Etsy.com – The Living Art
The yogis in your life will adore these bags, which run the gamut from simple clutches and shoulder bags to beach, laptop, diaper and cross-body bags. All bags are made in Colorado from new yoga mats that were over-produced, or that studios or stores could not use. The fabrics are either over-runs, seconds, ends of rolls, or made in the U.S.A., while the straps come from the webbing left over when Chaco sandal company sold its business. Talk about reuse and re-purpose These bags are so super cute; I love all the pockets inside, as well as the variety of colors, fabrics and styles. With so many options, there is one to fit every price range and gal on your list. Namaste!
Cost: $10.00-$75.00; BONUS: receive 15% off with code KIM through January, 2013.
Fruit and Vegetable Keepers
This is NOT your mother’s Tupperware, folks. These re-usable fruit and vegetable keepers help you cut back on wasted produce by keeping things fresher, longer. Think washing and straining the vegetables in the container, adding a bit of water depending on what you are storing, and adjusting an air vent open or closed. Even more brilliant: a guide on how to keep which fruits and vegetables freshest is printed on the side. The smallest size includes a divider so you can store multiple items – say blueberries and raspberries – while keeping them separated. These new-age food savers come in three sizes, and are free of BPA, phthalates and lead. Rotting and wasted food be gone!
Where to buy: ReUseIt.com, member of 1% for the Planet and leaders in the grassroots movement towards more sensible, conscious consumption of disposables.
Handmade Moss Jewelry
This is such a creative concept! Preserved green moss is planted into silver-toned jewelry you can wear. Because each piece of moss is individually hand-crafted into jewelry, no two pieces are identical. Full disclosure here: the ring did not work out so well. That’s because this jewelry – with the delicate nature of its centerpiece – cannot get wet. Considering I wash my hands continuously throughout the day, and rarely remembered to remove it, my moss first became flat and then began falling out. That said, Jen does offer a variety of other items that will not be subject to the same problem, including bracelets, pendants, hair pins and earrings. I think any of them would be a unique consideration for yourself or your eco-friendly garden pals; just don’t play in the rain while wearing them!
Where to buy: Etsy.com – Jen’s Backyard Creations
Nature’s Wisdom Wristlet
Remind loved ones to “Be the change,” “Sing your song” or “See the beauty” with these adorable embroidered wristlets that are fairly-traded with Craft Beauty, an organization that provides training and sustainable employment to displaced and disabled women in Vietnam. They provide a perfect everyday reminder of the things that are most important in life, and include two zippered pockets. I love mine for short trips to the store or even jaunts to the park with K-bear as it conveniently holds my phone, lip balm, and a few credits cards and cash. Plus, it just really makes me smile.
Where to Buy: Hip Mountain Mama, family owned and operated since 2008.
Real Tree Branch Cuff Links
The men on your list will be thrilled to sport these wooden cuff links made from the branch of a real tree. Warning: The picture doesn’t do these justice; they are absolutely stunning! At 7/8″ in diameter, each one-of-a-kind pair is mounted to a silver metal cuff link with easy-to-use bullet-back closure, and then buffed with carnauba wax for a flawless finish. The bark is still intact which really adds to its beauty. Even better, all the wood is locally and sustainably harvested or salvaged from fallen trees, contributing to a greener, healthier world. At less than $15, they are a steal!
Where to Buy: www.Etsy.com – A Remark You Made
Eco-Friendly Monthly Craft Subscription
K-bear has had so much fun with these eco-friendly craft kits. Each monthly kit comes delivered to your door with three different projects that will engage children ages 2-6 with the world and nature. The activities are connected by a different theme each month and cover various developmental areas through art, science, and imaginative and active play. All materials are eco- friendly, non-toxic, and sustainable. Children will love the opportunity to create something near, and parents will love that it is easy on the earth.
Cost: $19.50/month. Use code HOLIDAY and receive a 3-month subscription for just $50.00.
Where to Buy: Green Kid Crafts
Reusable Coffee Cozy
For the java lovers in your life, snatch up this reusable coffee cozy that not only replaces the landfill-destined options, but also is warm and cozy in your hands. It truly makes a fun difference, not only in your latte drinking experience but also in the planet. The outside fabric is made of 100% cotton canvas with a contrasting stitch, and each is lined with a thermal fleece to keep your hands safe and your beverage warm. At this price, it is a great teacher present or stocking stuffer. Pair with a gift card from your favorite local coffee shop or a bag of organic, free trade beans for a more substantial gift. Erin has a few fun patterns to choose from – suitable for both genders – that will make coffee (or tea or hot chocolate) lovers smile.
Where to Buy: Etsy – Edisto Relish
Wildcraft: An Herbal Adventure Game
This board game was especially appealing to me as I wanted to learn more about medicinal and edible plants. Beautifully illustrated, Wildcraft features 26 plants on 52 cards; the icons on these cards match up with the icons on the plant cards so you know what plant can help with your trouble card. Even little kids can play! Plus, it has waterfalls to slide down, logs to cross and deer trails to wander down, reminding me of those all childhood board games we used to play. It’s a great alternative to TV and video games; bring back the family board games and connect to nature with Wildcraft. Even better, Wildcraft is made in the U.S.A with 100% recycled chipboard, vegetable based inks and is 100% recyclable.
Disclaimer: I was provided with the above products free of charge. However, all opinions are absolutely, completely and 100% my own. I would (and will!) gift many of these items to my own friends and family. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
What is your favorite gift listed here?
I shared this on Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Monday Mania, Must Try Monday, Natural Living Monday Clever Chicks, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays, The Gathering Spot,Tiny Tip Tuesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Health 2day and Whole Food Wednesdays.