GREEN GIFT GUIDE: For Mom and Dad
Oftentimes the hardest people to buy for in our lives are our moms and dads. They have practically everything, and if they want something new, they tend to just buy it. Most of our parents are becoming hipper and more tech-savvy, possibly with our influence, but sometimes they need a little help becoming greener. We’ve come up with a few items that are sure to delight Mom & Dad while making their lives more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Target is stocking up on green and eco friendly offerings, and these recycled glasses and pitchers are a great example. You can get your parents a whole new set of glassware, or pick and choose which pieces they need. There are wine glasses, tumblers, margarita glasses, bowls, and pitchers. Prices range from $19.99 to $24.99 for sets of four. If you are looking for some higher end glassware, both Green With Glamour and VivaTerra offer some very beautiful glassware as well.
$20 to $25 at Target
These beautiful bamboo salad bowls make the perfect gift for sharing warm holiday meals. Each elegant bowl is handcrafted in China using socially and environmentally sound labor practices. Composed of organically grown bamboo, non-toxic adhesive and finished with food safe natural oils, they make a stylish and sustainable addition to any table.
$24 at the Inhabitat Shop
Whether your parents are connoisseurs of fine wine or just like to have a glass at dinner, a monthly wine subscription for eco friendly wines is sure to be appreciated. The EcoVine Wine Club offers lots of different delivery options – including monthly, bimonthly, seasonal (4 times a year), No Sulfite Added, and Organic Wines. This club claims to be the first and most widely recognized eco wine club, and has added benefits for members like a newsletter with tips, recipes, articles about winemakers and vineyards, and special wine offerings to members only.
$39 to $74 per shipment at EcoVine Wine
If your parents are wine-lovers (see above), give them a beautiful, eco-friendly, recycled-wine-bottle vase that they are sure to treasure. Designed by Emma Woffenden & Tord Boontje, each Transglass vase is handcrafted to exacting standards—produced in a fair-trade manner, by women in women’s co-ops in Guatemala. These beautiful vases are as green as can be: produced using recycled materials, eco-friendly production methods, and promoting manufacturing processes that are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable.
$44 to $60 from the Inhabitat Shop
What moms & dads don’t like a little greenery in their homes? Bring out the inner green thumb in your parents with a super cute and easy ‘Garden-in-a-bag’. Sprouting your own little herb garden has never been easier, with soil, seeds and growing instructions all included in this handy little kit. You can choose from nine different herbs: dill, cilantro, basil, lavender, thyme, parsley, sage, oregano and chives.
$9 from Branch
This line of pots and pans is so great that you’ll want a set for yourself. Ceramacor makes a line of cookware, teaware and soon a line of bakeware composed of natural ceramic materials that are nonstick, nonreactive, scratch-resistant and bacteria-resistant. These beautiful pots and pans do not contain Teflon or any heavy metals and are sure to become cherished cookware items. The company uses natural gas for their kilns and recycles all of their water.
$39 to $399 at Chef’s Resource
Keeping a farm of worms may be a stretch for some of you, but those little guys can produce some amazing and nourishing compost. Your parents may even take it on as a bit of a science project to keep them happy and well-fed. This tower composter, made from recycled plastic, can hold up to 12,000 worms and can handle 5-8 lbs of food per week. If you parents don’t have nearly that many food scraps, you can choose buy a couple trays to accommodate a smaller amount of compost. The spigot allows for drainage of the fluid, which can be used to water and nourish household plants, and the trays can be individually removed to use the compost in the garden. The composter varies in price from $88 to $97 depending on how many trays you want. This is a great way to keep composting all year long, even through the winter. You may also want to consider getting them a book on vermicomposting, like Worms Eat My Garbage, to help them along.
$88 to $97 at Composters.com
FIN’s beautiful long shawl features is a great gift to keep Moms toasty through the winter season. Featuring a timeless design that drapes elegantly, the FIN shawl is made of alpaca wool, a unique material that is warm, much like sheep’s wool, but much softer and hypoallergenic as it lacks lanolin.
$198 from the Inhabitat Shop
Better World Club is like AAA, but better because they support higher fuel efficiency standards, do not support the highway lobby, donate 1% of all revenues to environmental cleanup and advocacy, and even offer bicycle roadside assistance! Their membership rates will match or beat any other competitor out there, and they provide all the normal auto assistance you are accustomed to, like emergency road and tow service, hotel and car rental discounts, travel assistance, and map and trip planning. Bicycle membership starts at $40, while basic auto service is $54 and premium care is $90. This gift will give you confidence that your parents are safe and cared for while at the same time supporting socially sound laws and policies.
$40 to $90 at Better World Club
The ‘Companion’ solar-power / handcrank radio and flashlight is the most useful ECOnomical green gadget gift for any household. Freeplay’s all-in-one Companion radio doubles as a flashlight and can be charged by either cranking the handle or by exposing the solar panel on the top to sunlight. Perfect for emergencies, hiking, camping, and other off-grid parental needs, the ‘Companion’ in is one of the most useful little gadgets we’ve seen in years.
$32 at the Inhabitat Store
We know lots of moms and dads who like to bird watch, and now you can feed birds in sustainable modern style with Amy Adam’s exquisite ceramic ‘Perch!’ birdfeeder. Beautifully modern and minimalist, this ceramic birdhouse hangs from a leather cord and features a wide opening for birds to rest and refuel.
$84 from Branch
Think your parents need a little time alone now that their kids are out of the house? Encourage them to take a romantic picnic for two with this eco-friendly set. The basket is handwoven from natural willow, and it includes a two plates, a cutting board, and utensils all made from bamboo. The glasses are made from recycled glass and the lining and napkins are made from chemical-free cotton. The picnic set has plenty of room for a couple of wine bottles, cheese, grapes and organic crackers, plus any other tasty treat you can think to put in there.
$120 at Uncommon Goods
Coffee may have gotten your parents through many a tired morning and now it’s time to spoil them with great coffee that is both organic and fair trade. Grounds for Change is a family owned business based in the Pacific Northwest that offers organic fair trade coffee from Peru, Bolivia, and Nicaragua. Their collection of coffees, teas, chocolates and gifts are produced in the most environmentally friendly manner possible. The company offsets all of their emissions, composts food waste and coffee grounds, prints on 100% recycled content paper and much more. They also offer a Coffee of the Month gift, which offers a different coffee every month. Packages range in price from $60 to $350 depending on the month and quantity requested.
$60 to $350 at Grounds for Change
Your mom or dad may still be on the go and working hard, figuring out how to use their new computer, and they’re probably not calling as often for technical assistance. Still, it’s about time they got a new computer bag. We love the simple, non-nonsense design of this GreenSmart commuter bag, which can fit up to a 17″ widescreen laptop and is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles in China.
$40 at Terrapass
This beautiful, decorative and edible herb wreath is perfect for the food loving parent. The culinary herbs are wonderfully arranged and provide an aroma that will make their kitchen smell like they were cooking all day long. The wreath is made from organic marjoram, dill, thyme, sage, lavender, anise, cinnamon sticks, and yarrow, and accented with chili peppers.
$65 at Vivaterra