Friday, November 21, 2008

Sustainable Holiday Shopping

With the holiday season approaching, shop for gifts that everyone including Mother Earth will love. Choose gifts that are made from sustainable materials, recycled content, or are fair trade certified. Here are some great ideas for everyone on your shopping list:

For kids:
1. Xeko - a unique trading card game in which players learn about endangered ecosystems and the plants and animals found in these hotspots. The cards are made from recycled paper and are printed with soy based inks. To support Conservation International and their work in ecological hotspots, Xeko donates 4% of the net sales of the game.
2. Earthopoly - a Monopoly style game where players work to save the Earth. The gameboard is made of recycled paper and printed with vegetable inks. The game pieces are all natural or recyclable.
3. The Lorax - this great book was written by Dr. Seuss in 1971 and is now available in an earth-friendly version printed on recycled paper. It tells the story of the Once-ler and his destruction of the Truffula trees and is a great story to teach children about humans and their impact on the environment.
4. Gift memberships to local museums or zoos.
5. Tickets to local theatre performances.

For the home:
1. Plates and glasses made from recycled glass. My favorite recycled glass find is the great glasses made from recycled wine bottles available from Green Glass Co.
2. Give the gift of a good night's sleep with organic cotton or bamboo sheets.
3. Look for earth friendly products made from bamboo a fast growing grass that has natural antibacterial properties. Bamboo can be made into kitchen spoons, cutting boards, bowls, towels, table linens, and so much more.

Hostess Gifts:
1. Fair trade chocolates or coffee - fair trade certified items empower farmers and workers buy insuring they have safe work conditions and receive a fair wage, they use practices that protect the environment, and are taught the business skills they need to compete in the global marketplace.
2. Gift baskets filled with local produce, local wines, and homemade food items.
3. Gift certificate for a massage, green cleaning service, or homemade gift certificates for babysitting, or help with household chores.
4. Introduce a friend to the joy of journaling with a beautiful banana paper journal from Green Apple School Supply. The journals and sketch books have paper made from banana bunch stock fiber and post consumer paper which look like gorgeous handmade paper. The front of the books are adorned with beautiful sketches of animals like treefrogs and dolphins. Green Apple also sells great office supplies like pens, marker, highlighters, and rulers that are made from recycled materials

Once you have the perfect gift, wrap it in a reusable gift bag or a canvas shopping bag that can be used after the holidays.

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