Dads, Brothers and Other Dudes

Manly Men

Looking for something a little more personal than a gift card to the nearest home improvement store? Check out some of these gifts for the special guys in your life.

SAVE (Gifts under $25)

Recycled Floppy Disk Notepads – $5.95 – Recycled notepad paper is sandwiched between used, vintage 3.5″ floppy disks from the early 1980’s.

Record Label Coasters – $18.00 – These coasters are sure to please any music lover. They are made of labels cut from the center of classic vinyl records, sealed to keep out moisture.

SPEND (Gifts from $25 to $100)

Pro V1 Refurbished Golf Balls – $25.99 – These golf balls have been “rescued” from golf course ponds, refurbished and given a second life.

Rolling Rock Beer Glasses – $34.00 – Recycled in Wisconsin, these glasses paired with some local or organic beer make for a great gift.

HYmini Universal Charger – $49.99 – If your gadget guy is always on the go, get him this handheld device that will recharge his gadgets with wind and solar power.

SPLURGE (Gifts over $100)

Passchal Messanger – $235.00 – These very professional-looking messenger bags are made from recycled tractor inner tube rubber.

The Solar Powered Golf Cart – approximately $9,000 – So, it’s not as expensive as the Tesla we mentioned last year, but it goes well with refurbished golf balls.

Need more ideas? Check out our list from last year.

Posted in Holiday Gift Guide by Rhaya on November 21, 2008 | Permalink | No Comments

Moms, Sisters, Girlfriends

Lovely Ladies: Moms, Sisters, Girlfriends

Is seems that many traditional gifts, from clothing and accessories to artwork and home decor are getting a green twist, making this category one of the easiest (in my opinion).

SAVE (Gifts under $25)

TAPP Medium Necklace – $12.00 – The beads on this necklace are made of recycled paper by local artisans in Uganda and purchased at high local market value. Once they are resold, profits are used for community development in Uganda – including community based education and HIV/AIDS awareness.

LUSH White Christmas Holiday Gift Set – $15.95 – Any girl will feel pampered with this gift set that included the classic scents of a LUSH Christmas: almond icing Snowcake soap and buck’s fizz Snow Showers shower jelly. LUSH products are hand-made, vegetarian (or vegan) and not tested on animals. Many of their products are also available naked.

SPEND (Gifts from $25 to $100)

Hand Painted Espresso Cups – $27.00 – “Formed of local, naturally harvested clay and hand-painted by gifted artists in Guatemala, proceeds from these cups go towards building the area’s first school.”

Bar Code Baguette Clutch from Recycled Plastic Wrappers – $48.00 – Who knew bar codes could be so chic?

Belgian Thermal from Mission Playground – $52.00 – Made of 100% Organic Cotton, Mission Playground supports fair labor suppliers and donates a portion of sales to environmental non-profit organizations

SPLURGE (Gifts over $100)

Women’s Hemp Toemale Boots – $110.00 – Two words: Coconut Buttons. Need I say more?

Need more ideas? Check out our list from last year.

Posted in Holiday Gift Guide by Rhaya on November 18, 2008 | Permalink | No Comments

2nd Annual Holiday Gift Guide

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas Holiday Gift Guide

They’re putting lights on the city trees and playing Christmas music in department stores. Believe it or not, the holiday season is just around the corner. Once again, we will be doing the “I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas: Holiday Gift Guide” here at As with anything we do around here, we recommend thinking about the mantra “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” as you do your holiday shopping. In a world with so much STUFF, we encourage you to give meaningful gifts that carry little impact or an important message.

Keeping in tradition of last year, we will be posting gift ideas on Tuesday and Friday every week from now until December 19th. The list will be posted in the Holiday Gift Guide category, which you can get to by clicking on the button at the top of the far right column.

Here is a run-down of the calendars and dates. If you have any suggestions, you know how to reach us.

Tuesday, Nov. 18: Lovely Ladies – Mothers, Sisters, Girlfriends
Friday, Nov. 21: Manly Men – Brothers, Dads and Other Dudes
Tuesday, Nov. 25: Babies & Beyond – Babies and Toddlers
Friday, Nov. 28: Teens & Betweens – Kids and Teenagers
Tuesday, Dec. 2: Sweethearts – Significant Others
Friday, Dec. 5: Woof & Meow – Pampered Pets
Tuesday, Dec. 9: Do-It-Yourselfers – Home-made Gifts
Friday, Dec. 12: The Giving Gifts – Charitable Donations
Tuesday, Dec. 16: Stocking Stuffers – Smaller Gifts for Others
Friday, Dec. 19: For the Procrastinators – Last Minute Gifts

Posted in Holiday Gift Guide by Rhaya on November 14, 2008 | Permalink | No Comments

Last Minute Gifts

For The Procrastinators

Christmas is a week away, and for whatever reason, you still haven’t done your shopping. Here are some last minute gift ideas that won’t require paying outrageous overnight shipping fees, or braving the over-crowded, picked-over shopping malls.

Organic Bouquet – Prices Vary – Available online and in some natural food stores (like Whole Foods), organic flowers or a gift basket are a great last minute gift for a holiday hostess.

Organic Wine – Prices Vary – Paired with organic flowers, or some other organic edibles (such as cheese), organic wine is a great gift for someone who doesn’t need more “stuff” but would enjoy sharing a glass of wine and some conversation.

Green Dimes – $15.00 and up – Give and take away? Reduce someone’s junk mail by up 90% this year. Gift packages start at $15.00

E/The Environmental Magazine Subscription – $20.00 – For your green-minded family or friend, a gift subscription to E, The Environmental Magazine lasts all year long.

Homemade Gifts – Prices Vary – If you have the time and materials, no one has to know you waited until the last minute to make one of these homemade gifts.

Charitable Gifts – Charitable gifts usually are given with a simple printed certificate (or can be personalized if you make a handmade card) which allows for extra procrastination.

Posted in Holiday Gift Guide by Rhaya on December 18, 2007 | Permalink | No Comments

Smaller Gifts for Whomever

Stocking Stuffers

These crowd pleasers work well as stocking stuffers, “Secret Santa” at the workplace or for gift exchanges where the recipient is unknown.

Do Just One Thing: 2008 Day-to-Day Calendar (Calendar)
by Danny Seo
– $11.99 – This is a good stocking stuffer for someone who is interested in making some personal changes to help the environment. Bonus points go to Danny Seo for making the calendar from recycled materials and the entire casing is returnable to the publisher for recycling.

Head to Toe Starter Kit from Burt’s Bees – $15.00 – Burt’s Bees products are 99% to 100% natural (they let you know the precise number on the product) and they believe in the the importance of sustainable business practices. This kit comes with a variety of trial sizes for your recipient to use and find their favorite, which my just be all of them!

SIGG Water Bottle – $19.99 – Lightweight, durable, eco-friendly (and stylish)! A SIGG water bottle is a great way to encourage others to ditch their bottled water ways.

Recycled Glass Holiday Ornament – $28.00 – These ornaments come in festive colors and are made from recycled glass bottles.

Give the Gift of an Experience – Prices vary – Gifts cards usually mean less waste, and gives the recipient some options of their own. Give the gift of a night out, like at a restaurant that is known for serving local foods, theatre tickets, etc.

Car Wash Tickets – Prices vary – When I was growing up, I could always count on car wash certificates being in my stocking on Christmas morning (maybe they were a hint from my parents). According to E/The Environmental Magazine it is better to take your car to the car wash, rather than washing it at home. Look for one in your area that uses environmentally-friendly practices, or try a waterless option.

Posted in Holiday Gift Guide by Rhaya on December 14, 2007 | Permalink | No Comments

Charitable Gifts

The Giving Gifts

The best gift is the one that is given to someone who is really in need. This year, consider making a donation in the recipient’s name to one of the suggested charitable causes below.

Nothing But Nets Campaign – “Nothing But Nets is a grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa.” For just $10, you can purchase a net that will be given to a family and instructed on how to properly use it.

Heifer International – Through Heifer International you can give the gift of livestock to a family (and if you can’t afford the whole water buffalo, you have the option to donate a share). This truly is the gift that keeps on giving, because “recipients agree to share the offspring of gift animals with others in need, making them equal partners with Heifer in the fight to end world hunger.”

Kiva : Loans That Change Lives – Kiva puts you in touch with an entrepreneur in a developing country, to help get their business off the ground and help lift them out of poverty. Eventually your loan will be re-paid, and you will have the opportunity to provide another loan to a different business owner with that same money.

Changing The Present – This site has a very wide variety of causes that you can donate to. From as little as $2 to gifts as large as $500, there is certainly a cause on this site that would make a fitting gift for the recipients on your list.

Sustainable Harvest International – As their mission statement states: Sustainable Harvest International is “building a global network of local partner working toward environmental, economic and social sustainability.” Their donation/gift options vary from providing a Community Grain Silo ($60) to Saving 200 Acres of Tropical Forest ($600). For just $25, you can provide families with the seeds, nursery materials and training to plant 100 trees.

World Wildlife Fund – A cute and cuddly animal adoption available through the WWF Gift Center is a good donation for the younger family members. For some animals that aren’t so cute and cuddly (and thus receive less attention) check out the EDGE of Existence web site.

Posted in Holiday Gift Guide by Rhaya on December 11, 2007 | Permalink | No Comments

Homemade Gifts

Do It Yourselfers

It really is the thought that counts when it comes to these homemade gifts. Avoid the mall, and give a gift that that is one-of-a-kind.


Spiced Nuts – These are a tasty treat, that is a healthier alternative to the traditional holiday sweets.

Soup – If you aren’t traveling far, the gift of some soup (in glass jars, so it can be refrigerated or frozen) can be a truly appreciated gift. As a recipient, I can vouch for how grateful I have been for a gift like this, when the snow is falling and I am in the mood to eat something wholesome and warm. Need some ideas? Check out our recipes for chili, mushroom soup, corn chowder or apple butternut squash soup.

Local Goods – If you are traveling, put together a basket (or reusable bag) of locally-made edible gifts. Take the opportunity to tell the recipient about the reasons to eat local and on a lighter note, talk about the difference between how your region’s local foods differs from theirs.


Pinecone Frame – A picture is worth a thousand words… especially when it comes in a handmade frame.

Paint Chip Card Holders – Use those free paint chip samples you picked up last time you redid a room, and make this business card holder for the hip individual in your life.

Terrarium – Give someone the gift of a green thumb (even if they don’t have one) with an easy-to-care-for terrarium. Look for apothecary jars (or similar container) at local flea markets, antique stores and/or garage sales.

Spoon Ring – Next time you are at the above mentioned local flea market, antique store and/or garage sale, look for a sterling silver spoon that you can turn into a one-of-a-kind ring.


Bitty Booties – Create some original felt booties for the special little one(s) in your life.

Reusable Bag – No need to give an eco-friendly bag to someone if you can make one of your own! Especially sentimental (or potentially hilarious) if you can use a tank top that the recipient is familiar with.

Posted in Holiday Gift Guide by Liz on December 7, 2007 | Permalink | No Comments

Pampered Pets

Woof and Meow

Here at, we plead guilty to pampering our pets (evidence shown here, here and here). Don’t forget about your furry friends this holiday season, with one or more of the suggestions below.

SAVE (Gifts under $25)

Catnip Pillow Toy – $5.95 – Cats do love their catnip, and yours will especially love this toy, filled pure organic catnip, handmade in Montana.

Sckoon Organic Cotton Bone Pet Toy – $12.90 – While you might not be able to control everything that goes in your pup’s mouth, these toys are organic, inside and out, and use metal free, environmentally friendly dyes.

Bone of the Month Club from Three Dog Bakery – $16.95 – These treats are all natural, oven baked and sure to bring a wag to any dog’s tail.

Hemp Dog Collar by Earthdog – $22.00 – Hemp is an eco-friendly material that softens with wear. Not too mention, they are machine-washable, for those dogs that can’t resist a mud puddle.

SPEND (Gifts from $25 to $100)

Dog or Cat Treat Jar – $27.95 and $34.95 – These jars are better for storing treats than plastic. And by keeping treats in here, you can buy those natural treats in bulk (and thus reducing unnecessary packaging.)

“Nap” Cat Tree – $84.00 – Any cat owner knows how much cats like cardboard. Give your cat a place to curl up on this 100% corrugated cardboard contraption, treated with a zero-VOC, non-toxic paint.

SPLURGE (Gifts over $100)

The Farmhouse Dog Bed – $120.00 & up – “Generously stuffed with organic kapok” these soft beds are hand crafted with a washable cover.

Whiner and Diner pet feeding stations – $150.00 & up – These pet dishes are hand-made from recycled wooden wine crates. Stainless steel bowls and the elevation off the floor helps keep away bacteria, and assists in the digestion of food (especially in larger breeds).

Posted in Holiday Gift Guide by Rhaya on December 4, 2007 | Permalink | No Comments

Significant Others


You may have already found gifts for your significant others in the Lovely Ladies or Manly Men categories, but if you are looking for something to share as a couple, we recommend the following gifts.

SAVE (Gifts under $25)

BottleNeck Scarf – $15.99 – Gift your sweetie the gift of warmth with one of these scarves, or better yet, by a matching pair. BottleFleece™ is made from 85% post-consumer recycled fibers obtained from plastic soda bottles and post industrial waste. The scarfs (and other products on this site) are hand-sewn in Portland, Oregon.

Organic Double Dipped Peanut Butter Cup Truffles – $20.00 – As we mentioned before, Endangered Species Chocolate sells only ethically traded chocolate, from farmers who are paid fair wages (thus promoting more sustainable farming practices). The company also donates 10 percent of its net profits to organizations that benefit animals, people, and the environment.

SPEND (Gifts from $25 to $100)

Organic and Fairtrade Cotton Bathrobes – approx. $99.90 – Bundle your sweetheart up in one of these bathrobes made from 100% organic and Fairtrade certified cotton.

Organic Sheets from Target – Prices Vary – Affordable and organic. Also available in Bamboo.

A Romantic (and Local) Dinner for Two – Prices Vary – Take your loved one out to dinner at a restaurant that uses local ingredients. Look for one in your city at or

SPLURGE (Gifts over $100)

Deluxe Organic Hemp Duffel Bag – $165.00 – Get packing (together) with this heavy-duty 100% organic hemp bag canvas with waterproofing fabric protection. Sweatshop-free and 100% vegan (no leather).

Sierra Club Outing – Prices Vary – Choose a region and take a environmentally responsible “vacation” abroad, or in your own backyard.

A Furry Friend – Prices Vary – While we don’t recommend surprising anyone with a new pet (and the responsibility that goes along with them) — a dog or cat can be a wonderful addition to many households. If you have the attention, time and finances available to commit to a furry friend, don’t head to the nearest pet store! Instead, spend some time determining what pet is best for your home. (Two great sites are and the Humane Society web site). If you decide you are ready to give a pet a loving home, visit your local shelter or and give a dog or cat a second chance at a happy life.

Posted in Holiday Gift Guide by Rhaya on November 30, 2007 | Permalink | No Comments

Kids and Teenagers

Teens and Betweens

Set an example for the young people in your life by giving gifts that are “cool” and green.

SAVE (Gifts under $25)

Jimi™ Wallet – $15.00 – Perfect for carrying student IDs and a drivers license, this slim, colorful, water-resistant “wallet” is made in the USA from 100% recycled materials. Even better, the manufacturer invests 1% of this product’s sales revenue into environmental causes.

Street Sign Cuff Bracelets – $20.00 – These handmade bracelets are made from recycled street signs.

SPEND (Gifts from $25 to $100)

iTunes Gift Card – $25.00 – When music styles change, MP3s won’t end up in a landfill like old CDs do.

Levis Eco Jeans – Prices Vary – Made from 100% organic cotton.

Solio Charger – $99.95 – Help kids and teens “unplug” by charging their cell phones, iPods and other handheld devices using this solar power charger.

SPLURGE (Gifts over $100)

H-racer-and-Hydrogen-station – $115.00 – No need for batteries with this, the “smallest hydrogen fuel cell car in the world”.

Voltaic Solar Daypack – $240.00 – Similar to the charger above, this backpack uses solar power to charge cell phones, PDAs, GPSs, iPods, cameras, etc.

Miss Rio Ottoman – $350.00 – This ottoman is colorful and cool, and made from unworn, overstocked flip-flop sandals. Sure to brighten up any bedroom or dorm room.

Posted in Holiday Gift Guide by Rhaya on November 27, 2007 | Permalink | 1 Comment

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