INHABITAT GREEN HOLIDAY GUIDE
SUSTAINABLE STOCKING STUFFERS
CUTE ECO STOCKING FILLERS
For a sustainable holiday filled with cheer, fill your stockings with green gifts this year! Stocking stuffers start the holidays off right; your loved ones will be happy all Christmas night. Here are some of our favorite small gifts – all of which are green, stylish, well-designed, and will fit in a stocking!
ADORABLE HAND MADE FINGER PUPPETS
For your kids or the kid in you! These adorable finger puppets are handmade by artisans in rural Kenya, using natural wool and vegetable-based dyes. We can’t think of a better stocking stuffer for a small child (or a parent of a small child).
$12 from Branch
45 NANO CASE
We featured the Jimi recycled nano case last year, and here’s a new idea: old cassettes (the older musical generation) to protect your iPod nano (the new generation) in sustainable style.
INFLATABLE BALLOON LAMP
This LED-light balloon lamp is a great high-design take on an everyday object. Thanks to the simple hook design, you can bunch two or 20 of the balloons together for a great green chandelier too!
A little mischief can be a good thing, especially with this wooden slingshot pencil. Available from the newly opened San Francisco Curiosity Shoppe (congrats Derek and Lauren!), the object combines toy and tool for some extra office fun.
MINI KEYCHAIN SOLAR FLASHLIGHT
For just $21 you can own the world’s smallest self-powered LED flashlight. This is a great way to introduce family and friends to solar power while keeping an eye out for their safety as well. This little gadget requires no batteries and will last longer than you do, so you never need to worry about it running out of juice.
$21 from Compact-Impact
What better to stuff a stocking with than real live living creatures? This sleekly designed mini-ecosphere brings flora and water to your desktop beautifully for the holidays and beyond.
FLOWMARKET CLEAN AIR, RENEWABLE ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION CONTAINERS
What better gift than the gift of clean air? FLOWMarket sells a line of clever containers labeled with things like “Renewable Energy” and “Sustainable Innovation.” Use them for what they’re labeled with or more practical substances like toothpaste and shampoo.
Great things come in small packages, and these vials of tree saplings from Arbor Day Foundation make the perfect gift that grows. Choose from Redwood, Pine, or Spruce, and give the gift of flora.
These quirky little creatures, made of decomposing natural latex rubber, sprout into melons, tomatoes, and pumpkins. So cute you may not want to plant them, Plant-Me Pets make great desktop companions and are the ideal gift for that impossible-to-buy-for individual on your list.
BAMBU KIDS UTENSILS
Sized perfectly for your little ones’ mitts, Bambu’s line of kid and baby-sized utensils are as cute as they are eco-friendly, durable, and functional. Check out the adult sized ones as well.
RECYCLEBONE and RECYCLEBALL
For the canines in your life, stuff their doggy stockings with these recycled balls and bones from Branch- made from 100% “regrind” first-quality Orbee-Tuff® material that would otherwise be discarded, even your pups can be green!
$12 each from Branch
CHEAP GREEN GIFTS
GREEN GIFTS UNDER $50
$50 goes a long way with these green gifts – good for all your loved ones, they’re stylish, sustainable, and will have your recipients thanking you for months to come…
RECYCLED CASSETTE COIN PURSE
In an age of mp3s, you may wonder “where have all the cassette tapes gone?” These clever little reycled cassette coin purses pose a solution, turning old tapes into usable vessels for all your stray pennies. Hand-made and one-of-a-kind, the cassette tapes are available from Marcella Foschi, Italy.
SOLAR POWERED SUN JAR
Ever wish you could bottle sunshine? With Tobias Wong’s charming lighting concept, you can. Sun Jars collect solar energy during the day and emit a warm amber glow at night. Containing an energy efficient LED and a rechargeable battery, the Sun Jar will give light for up to five hours with each charge.
SIGG ALUMINUM REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES
Deck the halls with reusable water bottles! Every year over 50 billion plastic waters are sent to landfill in this country – despite the fact that tap water is as clean, as safe and way cheaper than bottled water. Show your holiday generosity towards the earth and your fellow man, by picking up one of these stylish aluminum Sigg bottles. It’s better for the environment and better on you wallet too. And in time for the holidays, now you can pick up lovely brushed aluminum Sigg bottles in red and green.
$15.99 – $24.99 from Sigg
RECYCLED GLASS BEDSIDE TABLE CARAFE ecycled Glass Night Set
Similar to Transglass, this bedside table carafe is the perfect solution to midnight thirst. It’s made from recycled glass and gorgeously shaped, so you’ll appreciate it even at 3 am.
JOSH JAKUS WINEPOCKET
From our favorite king of felt, Josh Jakus, this wine pocket will have you arriving to your holiday parties in sustainable style – bring the wine, and leave the bag as a great hospitality gift! Made from a single piece of wool felt made from factory waste.
When you get home from the farmer’s market with a bag full of organic goodies, the last thing you want is to watch them wilt after just a few days. With the Herb Savor, herbs are preserved for up to three weeks with a cleverly designed vessel and a bit of water.
LUMEN OIL LAMP
The holidays are often called the “season of light,” and Adam Frank’s Lumen oil lamp is just the thing to light up the dark holiday nights. Lumen comes in five different nature-inspired designs that project a shadowy image on the wall when lit.
MIO CULTURE SWOOP SOFT BOWL – $35
Great for organizing keys, change, and other tiny things around the house, SoftBowls are made from 100% molded wool and made right here in the US of A by local craftsmen. You can even use them as cozies for your planted creatures! Designed to minimize environmental impact, SoftBowls are produced using less than one-tenth of the energy needed to create their ceramic counterparts.
FREY ORGANIC AND BIODYNAMIC WINES
Based in Mendocino, Frey Vineyards grows organic and biodynamic grapes, and they’re also one of our holiday party sponsors! The wine is great and the company as committed to environmental responsibility as ever was a vineyard.
RECYCLED SAIL AUM SHOPPER – $38
Plastic shopping bags are so 20th century. Upgrade to this AUM Shopper bag from Red Flag design, a Canada-based company that makes great tote bags from recycled sails.
AMERICAN APPAREL SUSTAINABLE EDITION ORGANIC COTTON BASICS
The line is nothing new, but we just can’t get enough of the organic cotton basics from American Apparel, which now come in a variety of great colors.
JIMIX RECYCLED PLASTIC WALLET
We love the whole line of Jimi recycled plastic “wallets” for people who hate wallets and accessories – the JimiX is a great combination of the original Jimi wallet plus a sturdy money clip. Buy four and get the fifth free!
These colorful bamboo bowls are hand-coiled, shaped, and given a food-safe waterproof finish. Produced in Vietnam by manufacturers committed to environmental protection and fair labor laws, the bowls are a perfect housewarming gift for holiday parties.
$12-$15 from Re:Modern
VINTAGE RECORD SNACK BOWL
A perfect gift for the record nerd in your life, the vintage record snack bowl gives new life to damaged or unplayable old vinyl LPs. Great for nuts, popcorn, and conversation starting, you can even custom tailor your bowl down to genre of music (although you can’t choose individual artists).
RECYCLED BIKE CHAIN FRAME
This clever frame turns old bikes into usable and super-cool picture frames to hold pictures of all your loved ones in sustainable style. Available in 4×6 and 5×7 sizes.
GREEN GADGET GIFT GUIDE
For the technologically-inclined greenies in your life, the best gadget gifts are those that are innovative and unique, ideally powered off clean energy. Last year’s picks were great, but there are plenty of new fabulous green gadget gifts to stock up on this holiday season.
ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD XO COMPUTER
Here’s a gift that truly gives back. The beautifully designed One Laptop Per Child computer is the greenest computer around – combing education and social development with ingenious energy efficient product design. Best part? When you buy one of these beautifully designed uber-green computers for a needy child in a developing country, you get one for your little one.
Donate-One-Get-One offer lasts through Dec 31st
BOGO SOLAR FLASHLIGHT
Give the gift of light this year with the BOGO light – a fabulous solar-powered flashlight that costs just $25 – AND with your purchase of the flashlight, one is donated to someone who needs it in a developing country. What better way to give during the holidays?
HyMini personal wind-powered personal charger – $50
We’ve seen an array of solar-powered battery chargers, but the HyMini makes wind your new best friend. The personal wind turbine can be hooked up to various devices to charge your phones, cameras, and other small electronics.
$50 from HyMiny
Yes, there are lots of solar power bags out there these days, but none are as stylish as these foxy designs by Noon Solar. Each bag integrates a flexible solar panel that is capable of charging cell phones, iPods, and PDAs. The other parts of the bag are eco-friendly as well, made from sustainably harvested materials like rhubarb, vegetable-tanned leather, and naturally hand-dyed hemp/cotton fabrics. Not only will you feel good carrying this bag around, but you will look hot as well.
We love 2-for-1 products here at Inhabitat, so naturally we love a solar powered flash-light that can also charge your cell-phone, MP3 player or PDA. The ultra bright LED flashlight (65,000MCD) uses monocrystalline silicon solar panels for power generation and recharging the built-in 700mAh/3.6v NI-MH battery. With the ability to provide light and charge your cell phone in an emergency, this is one versatile “safety” product that every home should have.
SOLIO UNIVERSAL SOLAR CHARGER
Like a smaller, sleeker version of the Voltaic backpack, this chic little device will charge your electronic gadgets cordlessly – using the suns energy. Perfect for today’s mobile lifestyles, the Solio Universal charger makes a great useful gift that won’t break the bank.
BRUNTON SOLAR ROLLS
Roll out the greenest energy to power all your other gadgets – these Brunton solar panel-clad rolls are portable, high-powered, and great in a pinch when your laptop or car battery needs a little extra juice.
UNITED PEPPER ECO USB HUB AND WEBCAM
Does it get any cuter and greener than these alien creature shaped computer peripherals from United Pepper? The company is committed to socially conscious production and eco-friendly materials, so all your high-tech needs are not only green, but super cute.
GLOW IN THE DARK GLOW BRICK
We’re not sure if this counts as a gadget, but we love it. The Glow Brick is a clever little cordless light made from a phosphorescent lightbulb (yes, a REAL lightbulb) embedded in a block of acrylic. It requires no electricity and can glow for up to three hours, “powered” only by light it soaks up from the sun or other artificial light sources, making it as energy-efficient and eco-friendly as it is engaging. (Warning: this is more of a nightlight than a “lamp” – i.e. it is not very bright).
EARTHTECH SOLAR LAPTOP CHARGER
This solar-powered charging kit combines a solar panel with a power pack that will provide up to six hours of runtime for a 25 Watt Laptop Computer.
Zonbu Green PC
This compact and high-performance computer consumes just one-tenth the power of a typical desktop machine – which means you save on electricity bills and the planet by reducing CO2 emissions. And by eliminating fans and hard drives, advanced Zonbu is completely silent, a nice plus for your home environment, too.
KANGURU ECO DRIVE
Let’s face it, in a world where our lives revolve around our laptops, it’s a must-do to back up all your info with an external hard drive. But now you can do it in eco-responsibility with Kanguru’s Eco Drive. The patented Power Saving mode automatically gauges drive usage to drastically reduce energy consumption and prolong the life of your hard drive. These energy efficient, high-speed USB 2.0 hard drives are a great way to add storage to your notebook, PC, or Mac.
LED Z-BAR DESK LAMP
Does a desk-lamp count as a ‘gadget’? Well we don’t care, we love this sleek LED lamp and recommend it whole-heartedly. (Jill has one in her home and swears by it). Clearly we’re obsessed with LED lights, which are uber-efficient, eco-friendly and last forever. This lamp comes in both ‘cool white’ and ‘warm tungsten white’ and last 40,000 hours – which means there’s no need to ever change the bulbs.
ECOPOD HOME RECYCLING CENTER- $328
This compact and efficient home recycling center is the ideal gift for the environmentally-conscious yet high-tech homemaker. Designed by BMW Designworks, the EcoPod collects and compresses all your recyclable material, from aluminum cans to plastic. The space-saving, uber-functional unit also stores your recyclable glass and paper in the removeable bins in the top lid.
POWERCOST ENERGY MONITOR
Studies have shown that when the information is more available and monitorable, you’re more likely to conserve energy. The PowerCost Home Monitor can help you save up to 20 cents on every dollar you’re spending right now on your electricity bill – without changing your lifestyle. With a PowerCost Monitor you can tell at a glance how much electricity your home is consuming – moment-to-moment and in total.
DIY KYOTO WATTSON – £350
If you’ve got a little money to spend and are concerned about energy consumption, the DIY Kyoto Wattson makes a great holiday gift. The cute little device is essentially a stylish, souped-up energy meter that provides a simple means of understanding how much energy your home consumes. The gadget takes measurements of overall domestic energy consumption, then displays the reading both numerically and “non-verbally,” with an ambient red light that dims according to how much power your electronics are sucking through the outlets. Although its made in the UK, you can order from anywhere in the world by emailing the DIY Kyoto people directly.
AMBIENT DEVICES ENERGY ORB
We wrote about the Energy Orb back when it was a hacker project, but now PG&E has supported the technology and released the Energy Orb through Ambient Devices. The glowing orb monitors local energy grids to let you know when they’re maxed out and when is a good time to do your dishes and laundry.
GREENSWITCH WIRELESS HOME ENERGY CONTROL SYSTEM
GreenSwitch is your one-stop option for home energy monitoring (monitoring is the first step towards a more energy-efficient system!). The all-inclusive basic installation package includes installation, energy analysis, and help strategizing your home’s energy consumption.
GIFTS FOR HIM
TOYS FOR BOYS
Here are our favorite suggestions for your brother, husband, father, son, boyfriend, or boy you have a crush on. All these gifts are sure to tickle their sustainable itch…
RECYCLED NYC SUBWAY TOKEN CUFFLINKS
Do you have a soft spot in your heart for NYC? Want to show your support for public transportation in eco-chic style? Check out these cute NYC Subway Token cufflinks from Elsewares. The perfect gentlemanly gift for the New Yorker (or New York fan) in your life, the cufflinks are made from authentic NYC subway tokens recycled from between 1953-1970.
$60 from Elsewares
RECYCLED ECO-GEEK COMPUTER KEY CUFFLINKS
These stylishly geeky cuff links are hand fashioned from old recycled computer keys by Acorn Studios. Who hasn’t been to a wedding where you wish there was an escape key? Gift boxed and tied with a ribbon, these make great stylish eco gifts for your friends, your geeky boyfriend or even for your dad! You can choose any keys on the keyboard (? esc L R * shift, open-apple) and even get custom initials for that special someone. I know what my sweety is getting for Christmas this year!
VOLTAIC SOLAR POWERED BAGS
These solar bags never cease to amaze us, and make a great gift for that nomadic tech-geek in your life. The Voltaic messenger bags and backpacks are mobile power generators, designed to charge all your little gadgets with the energy of the sun. With no power outlets they charge cell phones, cameras, PDA’s, and MP3 player, making them ideal for that gadget-lover-on-the-go.
SOLAR POWERED BLACK ECO-DRIVE WATCH
When we discovered Citizen’s fabulous solar powered Eco-Drive watches, we suddently wondered why ALL watches aren’t solar powered. This sleek black minimalist Eco-Drive watch is so foxy you’ll want to wear it every day.
NAU QUINTESSENSHELL JACKET
For wet winter weather, the Nau Quintessenshell Jacket makes a perfect addition to your green wardrobe. The jacket is made of waterproof, high performance fabric that was originally plastic and industrial waste.
The classic style of Chuck Taylor converse meet the green sensibility of hemp. We think you couldn’t ask for a better combo.
RECYCLED HARDWOOD SKATEBOARD
Give your guy a one-of-a-kind longboard made of 100% recycled local hardwood scrap. Skate your way into style with this FunkinFunctionLongboard hand made especially for you!
The Body Glove ECO is the first environmentally friendly wetsuit, made from non-petroleum based and 100% environmentally friendly materials like BIO STRETCH rubber and ECO FLEX. Your outdoorsy father, brother or beau will be surfin’ in sustainable style.
BIKE POWER BLENDER KIT
For your crazy brother or barbecuing husband, here’s a human-powered solution to margarita parties- hook this kit up to your standard bike to create a stationary bike that blends smoothies, drinks, and protein shakes.
$249 from Bikeblender
GREEN GIFTS FOR GIRLS
For the ladies in your live, give the gift of eco-responsibility – wrapped up in some very fashionable apparel, jewelry, and other girly gifts.
LINDA LOUDERMILK WATER DROPLET NECKLACE
In 2004 worldwide, 2.2 million deaths were attributed to unsafe water. Eco fashion designer Linda Loudermilk’s lovely water droplet necklace is designed to raise awareness and support for clean water issues. Made from reclaimed silver and crystal, every purchase of the water droplet necklace supports a generous donation to the YEW Foundation to fund clean water initiatives.
Yes, there are lots of solar power bags out there these days, but none are as stylish as these designs by Noon Solar, which can charge everything from your cell phone to iPod while you strut around town. This vegetable-tanned leather handbag is environmentally friendly, super useful (with the cell phone charging and what not), and super stylish. Could your lady ask for more out of a handbag? We think not.
RECYCLED ALTERNATOR WIRE CHOKER
Be the envy of all your eco fashionista friends, with this stunning copper choker constructed from recycled alternator wire.
RECYCLED CAPACITOR JEWELRY
Constructed from recycled electronic, robotic, and machinery scraps, Antitechnologos jewelry is both savvy and elegant. Whether you give her a pair of earrings made from capacitors or a necklace made of O-ring gaskets, your favorite girl is sure to be accessorized in geeky green style.
BABYBEARSHOP BELLY OIL
For the mother-to-be in your life, Organic Mama Belly Oil is 99% organic, and protects against stretchmarks, on belly and body. Or use for massage and bath oil!
ETCETERA STOCKHOLM FELT BAG
If you love the feel of felt and don’t want to sacrifice style, the Stockholm bag by ETCETERA is a great gift for your sister or girlfriend that turns low-cost off-cut factory felt into high fashion.
$160 from Supermarkethq
RECYCLED ALUMINUM PULLTAB ESCAMA PURSE
This versatile, glitzy yet practical handbag is made from over 700 aluminum pull-tabs from soda cans. The Socorro purse by Escama is a great example of turning everyday objects into clever design. Hand-crocheted and lightweight, it features a zipper closure, nylon lining, and an inside zip pocket. Making it even more green, the bags are produced by cooperatives of Brazilian craftswomen and are individually signed by the artist who made it. A great gift for your eco-friendly, yet always stylish, girlfriend.
ORGANIC COTTON SHE-BIBLE SWEATSHIRTS
One of our favorites here at Inhabitat, She-bible specializes in great organic cotton basics that are masterfully sewn in unique shapes and forms. Their cotton sweatshirts are structural but supple, made of course from some of the best and warmest organic cotton available.
ASHLEY WATSON RECYCLED LEATHER BAGS
If your lady doesn’t love the idea of leather bags but can’t get on board with the vegan alternatives, here’s a great option: stylish recycled leather totes by Vancouver-based Ashley Watson that are made entirely from reclaimed and recycled high quality leathers.
AVITA RECYCLED CASHMERE TOPS
Avita offers you a guilt-free option for modern, clean cut, recycled cashmere tops that will make you and your lady feel warm and fuzzy inside. Recycled cashmere is just as supple as its original fiber counterparts, but much more eco-friendly.
$130 and up from Avita
ENAMORE ECO LINGERIE
Enamore offers a racy, special occasion lingerie, made from sustainable materials such as hemp, organic cotton, silk, and soya. We love their black and white Peek-A-Boo collection, as well as their silky soft bed jackets and kimonos.
GREEN KARAT ECO-FRIENDLY FINE JEWELRY
Everyone knows diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but now you can buy fancy jewelry with a clean conscience. Greenkarat is the first stop shop for completely sustainable fine jewelry. The green jewelry company uses cultured and recycled diamonds, rubies and saphires instead of mined ones, and 100% recycled platinum and gold in their jewelry. They even do custom orders!
Verē CHOCOLATE- Gift Boxes starting at $20
If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, chocolate is a close second. Verē chocolates are made from the best, sustainably grown, pesticide-free cocoa beans, and “handmade” Verē’s own state-of-the-art Manhattan factory. Most of the truffles, brownies, and bars are organic, gluten-free, and vegan, not to mention ridiculously delicious.
One of out all-time favorite eco designs, Tord Boontje’s line of recycled glassware makes a perfect holiday gift. The beautiful transglass tumblers, vases, and carafes are all recycled from wine and beer bottles from the restaurant industry, which have been cleaned and re-cut into new shapes. Best of all, TranSglass’ Guatemalan fair-trade production process allows the glassware to be produced at a low cost, keeping prices surprising affordable. So even though TranSglass is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, you can still purchase some of your own for under $30 – and know that your money is supporting artisans in Guatemala. Eco-friendly, fair-trade, beautiful, and affordable — could it get any better than this?
$24 from Re:Modern
THE BEST ECO-FRIENDLY KNIT GIFTS
WARM, COZY KNITS MAKE THE BEST HOLIDAY GIFTS
It may be hard to buy gifts for certain people in your life, but you can never go wrong with knit accessories like gloves, hats and scarves. Everyone likes to keep their appendages warm in the winter: men, women, young and old – and you’ll be hard pressed to find something that will be more appreciated than a cozy scarf on chilly winter days. Happily there are a lot of stylish and sustainable options out there in the realm of knit accessories. Here are our top picks:
OEUF CONNECTED KNITWEAR – $33 – $48
Oeuf is a line of sustainable products for babies and small children, (and their caretakers). The company tagline is “good design for all ages”, and some of their precious essential knits are designed around the concept of knitting people together through clothing. The ‘hug me’ sweater and ‘squeeze me’ mittens, which feature child-size mitten pockets sewn into an adult mitten, are the perfect designs for connecting parent and child. Oeuf’s knitwear is made from azo-free dyed alpaca wool, hand knit in a fair trade relationship between the NYC based company and a group of knitters in Bolivia.
DOWNBOUND STRIPEY HEMP SCARVES – $45
This adorable striped scarf is vegan, organic, sweatshop-free, and even affordable to boot, especially considering the aforementioned qualities. You know the vegan hipster dandy in your life would love one of these.
DOWNBOUND HEMP SCARVES – $35
All Downbound’s products are vegan, organic, and sweatshop-free, and in addition to this, really cute and affordable as well. An organic hemp scarf or shawl would make a great gift for that eco-conscious special someone in your life.
BABY ALPACA BOBBLE KNIT SCARF – $45
This adorably cuddly grey scarf is made from 100% baby alpaca hair. Little bobbles adds charm to the scarf without making it seem your little sisters scarf. Super soft and super cute!
STEWART & BROWN CASHMERE KNITS – $79 and up
You might think that $79 for a pair of mittens and $159 for a hat is a little pricey, but if thats the case you probably haven’t put your hands into these exquisitely soft and silky cashmere mittens, or tried out this fantastically warm and cozy cashmere knit cap. 100% pure organic Mongolian cashmere will keep you toasty in the winter.
CASHMERE PEASANT CAP & FINGERLESS GLOVES – $129 and up
Stewart & Brown’s luxurious cashmere knits may not be the cheapest winter accessories around, but they are certainly the cutest. Warm your inner bohemian with 100% Mongolian cashmere.
‘TREE PEOPLE’ SCARVES – BUY ONE AND PLANT A TREE!
With each of these lovely branch scarves that Hiroko Kurihara Designs sells, a tree is planted in Los Angeles via an organization called “Tree People”. This act of giving requires no additional purchase: it’s simply responsible, ethical consumerism. Warm your neck and cool the planet at the same time!
RECYCLED CASHMERE DOVE SCARF – $150
We can’t really think of a more appropriate holiday scarf than this beautiful dove scarf, which is hand-made from recycled cashmere sweaters. Made from super soft 100% organic cashmere, this scarf is not only totally cute, but its made from recycled materials AND it conjures up holiday spirit with its message of peace. Could you find a more appropriate eco holiday scarf? We think not.
$150 from Greenloop
FELT FAUX FOX STOLE BY MVOS – $80
We love this alternative for the fur fox shawl. No foxes were harmed in the making of this scarf – it’s made entirely out of 4mm brown felt.
GIFTS FOR KIDS
CHILDREN’S GREEN GIFTS
Kids love the holidays- for the cheer, the joy, the abundance of cookies, but mostly, for the gifts. This year, why not give green gifts that are healthy, educational, and eco-friendly. The little ones will love them, and you’ll feel great about giving them. Warning: excessive cuteness ahead…
The cuddly Socktopus is in many ways a more exotic interpretation of the famous Sock Monkey. Made from real recycled sweaters, every Socktopus is a one-of-a-kind creation. They are cuddly, collectible, and will surely remind you of those stray socks that were in much need of a home. Handmade in the USA and lovingly filled with hypoallergenic polyester. Recommended for ages three and up because of its button eyes.
Bring on the holiday cheer with this adorable little reindeer onesie made of 100% organic cotton. Rudolph and company never looked so hip and eco-savvy. Three snaps at the bottom make diaper changes a breeze, and it also comes with its own adorable, reusable gift bag.
Whether you are looking for an all-for-one ensemble for your own sweet newborn or are simply in need of an adorable gift set for a beloved peep that you know, Sckoon‘s Organic Cotton Kimono Baby Set with matching elf cap and soft doll just might be the thing. All is neatly tucked away in a natural gift box to make the ultimate baby gift. Available in light blue (shown here), rose color, and natural color. Organic mint leaves will be included upon request when in stock. How yummy is that?
Handmade by artisans in rural Kenya, the perfectly-sized and super-fuzzy owl backpack will have your child toting in eco-friendly style. The pack is made from natural wool yarn, natural vegetable-based dyes, and is the perfect size for all your child’s sleepover goodies- toothbrush, books, and pajamas.
We love this super-soft and dual-purpose blanket-poncho combo from our favorite sustainable design store, Branch. When the center opening is tied together, parents can use it as a blanket for baby. As the child grows, simply loosen the ties to transform the blanket into a warm and cozy poncho. Rolls up for convenient packing and carrying. 100% polyester fleece (made from recycled plastic bottles) with 100% cotton trim. Machine washable. Designed by Anna Rainer, Hajdeja Ehline, and Christie Rixford.
$56 from Branch
Get rid of those old-school nasty plastic “sippy” cups and upgrade to these colorful and durable SIGG bottles. Recommended for ages 2 and up, these reusable bottles are made from a solvent-free, eco-friendly powder base coating and a completely inert inner lining that will never leach harmful chemicals like phthalates (unlike suspect plastic cups). Plus, we love the colorful graphics and super-functional flip-top.
This musical band set is a hit with kids of all ages. Percussion instruments are a great way to get your child making music. They’re easy to play and, besides, what kid doesn’t love banging on drums and cymbals? They’re also a good way to build eye-hand coordination. Made from replenishable wood, this sturdy, nontoxic set is both safe and environmentally friendly.
Winter Water Factory has all the bases covered with this very groovy counting tee for kids and parents. 100% organic cotton with bright, bold graphic designs. Hand-printed on organic cotton using water-based inks for extra softness and wearability.
The Spaceframe modular system is an inspiring and engaging way to get kids thinking about building and sustaining their own customized habitat. Your kids can build a fort, a playhouse, a zoo, or a grand sculptural monument in the safety of your own home. Designed by Scott Klinker, the Spaceframe modular system allows endless possibilities for expression. The 20 piece set is made of a unique material derived from recycled soda bottles.
OEUF ORGANIC HUG-ME SWEATER
Oeuf is a line of sustainable products for babies and small children. The company tagline is “good design for all ages”, and some of their precious essential knits are designed around the concept of knitting people together through clothing. The ‘hug me’ sweater and ’squeeze me’ mittens, which feature child-size mitten pockets sewn into the garment, are the perfect designs for connecting parent and child. Oeuf’s knitwear is made from azo-free dyed alpaca wool, hand knit in a fair trade relationship between the NYC based company and a group of knitters in Bolivia.
BABY ELEPHANT – $22
Does it get any cuter than this? Handmade by artisans in rural Kenya, the adorable little elephant is is made from natural wool yarn, natural vegetable-based dyes, and is sure charm anyone; big or small.
How could your toddler not love this adorable rocking elephant who squeals when you pinch its ear? Inculcate a love of nature and animals early on in your child with these wildlife alternatives to the traditional rocking horse. Even those of us without children want to get our hands on one of these so we can figure out what “elephant sounds” are.
GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK
GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK
It’s easy to get “wrapped up” in the holiday gift giving (and receiving) spirit. The holidays are about giving to those you love, so why not extend that tradition with one of these gifts that give back, which will benefit not just your loved ones but millions of others around the world. Here are some great choices, from trees to magazines to solar-powered flashlights – even jewelry – all of which give back to global citizens in need.
BOGO SOLAR FLASHLIGHT (Buy One Give One)
Give the gift of light this year with the BOGO light – a fabulous solar-powered flashlight that costs just $25 – AND with your purchase of the flashlight, one is donated to someone who needs it in a developing country. We’ve written about it before because we love the product and the idea. Give the gift of light!
ADOPT AN ANIMAL FROM WWF AND GET A CUTE PLUSH TOY
Adopt an animal from the World Wildlife Fund, and you will get a cute plush toy version of your animal. Every donation you make to WWF helps save some of the world’s most endangered animals from extinction and supports WWF’s conservation efforts. We think this is a fabulous way to encourage conservation efforts, by encouraging a love of animals in children! And if you can’t think of a good benefactor for your stuffed owl, wolf, chimpanzee or polar bear, you can donate your stuffed toy to a needy child, with WWF’s toys for tots program.
$50 from World Wildlife Fund
YULE TREE TO BE
Give the gift of a tree this holiday season, and encourage family and friends to nurture Christmas trees (instead of chopping them down year after year as tradition goes). Trees, as you all know, give back to us by filtering CO2 out of the air and producing oxygen. With a little care, you can watch this baby Christmas tree grow each year from a mere seedling to a majestic Noble Fir.
$22 from Uncommon Goods
ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD XO COMPUTER
Here’s a gift that truly gives back. The beautifully designed One Laptop Per Child computer is the greenest computer around – combing education and social development with ingenious energy efficient product design. Best part? When you buy one of these beautifully designed uber-green computers for a needy child in a developing country, you get one for a little one in your life as well.
Donate-One-Get-One offer lasts through Dec 31st
AID TO ARTISANS TOTE BAG
Aid to Artisans is an amazing organization that supports craft production and local economies worldwide. This tote bag supports their Friends of India Handcrafts project, which helps women’s craft cooperatives in rural Tamil Nadu in southern India. These craft cooperatives provide employment for widows, abandoned mothers, and unmarried women. The bags are crocheted with nylon wire by hand, and contribute to the livelihood of more than 250 families.
DESIGN 21 ALLUMONDE RING
Support Design 21, which promotes design for the greater good, with this gorgeous ring designed by Richard Hutten. The sleek design comes in stainless steel, gold, silver, and a few other stunning materials to suit any budget, and proceeds go to Design 21, UNESCO, and a nonprofit of your choice.
DESIGN LIKE YOU GIVE A DAMN BOOK
This groundbreaking book on humanitarian design from around the world is a must for ALL designers. Inspire the designer in your life and feel good about donating to a worthwhile cause while you are at it. All proceeds from the book go to funding Architecture For Humanity’s important work providing shelter in impoverished and disaster-relief areas.
ARCHITECTURE FOR HUMANITY – OWN THE DAY SPONSORSHIP
Donate one day’s salary and sponsor a day’s worth of humanitarian design. You can dedicate a day to a loved one, and pick any day on the calendar – all the money goes to support Architecture for Humanity’s great projects around the world, and your recipient gets their name proudly displayed on AFH’s website all day on the day they own.
Great things come in small packages, and these vials of tree saplings from Arbor Day Foundation make the perfect gift that grows. Choose from Redwood, Pine, or Spruce, and give the gift of flora.
ADOPT AN ACRE AND GET A NATURE CONSERVANCY CALENDAR
Make a donation in someone’s name your to adopt two acres of rainforest land from the Nature Conservancy, and your gift recipient will receive a 2008 Nature Conservancy calendar featuring stunning nature images. Here’s a great example of a gift that feels good to give and receive.
PLANTABLE ECO CALENDAR
Give the gift of time AND flora with this plantable calendar, which will please your planning and planting friends alike. Each month is its own page, so after the month is over, plant your page and watch it grow into blossoming blooms!
GOOD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION
GOOD just announced their new nonprofit partners, which include everyone from Teach For America to Room To Read, Kiva (see below), and the Acumen Fund. A year’s subscription (six issues) is just $20 and ALL subscription costs go directly to the charity of your choice. What better gift could you give than the gift of GOOD and $20 to a great cause?
TREES FOR THE FUTURE
For a mere $45, have 450 trees planted in your friend or co-worker’s name. Trees For The Future, a non-profit dedicated to planting trees to help the environment and rural communities, has restored sustainably productive life to over 56,000 acres of land in Asia, Africa, and Central America. Your gift includes a Treeplanting Certificate and bumpersticker, plus the warm and fuzzy feeling of knowing you’ve done something good for the planet.
KIVA MICROLOAN GIFT CERTIFICATES
Fund a self-starting citizen in a developing nation – and get your money back! Kiva’s microloan model allows individuals to fund other individuals a world away to start their business, open a store, expand their farm, etc. Give the gift of a Kiva Gift Certificate for your loved one to invest.
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