Calling Green Divas & Green Dudes in search of eco-friendly holiday gift ideas!
But first, what’s better for the environment—online or brick and mortar shopping? Here are a few notes on that:
Although packaging accounts for 22% of the carbon dioxide emissions of an item purchased online, customer transportation accounts for 65% of emissions when buying the equivalent item at a retail store, according to the study, conducted by Carnegie Mellon’s Green Design Institute. ~ LA Times
Transportation is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions in both retail and e-tail product pathways. When purchasing a book from a bookstore, each household drives separately, but delivery trucks take purchases to many customers on a single route. There’s also a decent chance that the delivery truck is more fuel-efficient than your family sedan. ~ Stanford Magazine
According to the Center for Energy & Climate Solutions, shipping two 20 pound packages by overnight air — the most energy-intensive delivery mode — still uses 40 percent less fuel than driving 20 miles round-trip to the mall or store or wherever you’re going; ground shipping — which is much more efficient than overnight air— checks in at just one-tenth the energy used driving yourself. ~ Treehugger
For the gifts you aren’t making (please check out GD Meg’s 10 easy DIY gift ideas for the non-crafty green diva or dude) or buying locally, consider giving one of the gifts below to yourself or to one or more of the green divas or dudes—or health nuts—in your life. Giving an eco-friendly holiday gift is also a great way to introduce the people in your life to something that can help the environment and/or their well-being. And those already living the green life will appreciate your green minded thoughtfulness.
[Read Green Diva Meg’s 9 Ways to have a fun, mindful and eco-friendly holiday season]
This healthy and eco-friendly holiday gift guide is just the tip of the iceberg…
….(one that’s hopefully not melting too fast), meant to highlight some products you might not know about, green products that are new to us this year and some of the old standard green presents:
Eco fashion for green divas and green dudes.
Thousands of chemicals are used to manufacture clothing: “Exposure to these chemicals increases the risk of allergic dermatitis, but more severe health effect for humans as well as the environment could possibly be related to these chemicals. Some of them are suspected or proved carcinogens and some have aquatic toxicity,” says Giovanna Luongo, PhD in Analytical Chemistry at Stockholm University.
“Cotton is considered the world’s dirtiest crop due to its heavy use of pesticides. Aldicarb, cotton’s second best-selling insecticide and most acutely poisonous to humans and wildlife, is still used in 25 countries, including the U.S., where 16 states reported it in their groundwater. The dangers are recognized by the EPA and they have signaled its phase out in 2018.” ~ Rodale Institute
Also worth considering—if clothing doesn’t have a Fair Trade label, there’s a decent chance it was manufactured under inhumane conditions. Even child labor. Who wants that on their conscience, much less body?
[Read: Conscious Fashion 101 for more information]
So… one can never have enough eco undies. Nothing worse than toxic fibers on our private parts, if you ask me. I mean, think about it.
PACT clothing (which includes under garments and more) is sweatshop free, Fair Trade with zero child labor, organic, non-GMO and more. There’s much to choose from for both men and women.
Another groovy women’s eco fashion brand that I just discovered (but have not yet tried) is Synergy Organic Clothing. This sustainable and organic fair trade clothing line includes yoga gear and is Green America Approved.
How about eco accessories? For the green diva fashionista consider cork handbags. Why is cork eco-friendly? It’s rapidly renewable and biodegradable. For some great accessories and even luggage, check out Artisan, which creates their pieces with hemp and low impact dyes.
Holiday gifts for a greener home.
A green home is not just better for the environment (toxins can be lurking in so many products!), it’s healthier for people and pets!
Eco style for bed, kitchen and bath. Founded by sustainable textile pioneer Marci Zaroff (who’s been on our radio show, which you can listen to here), Under the Canopy is just one great source for stylish and affordable ECOfashion. You’ll find all sorts of stuff for kitchen, bath, bedroom and more. Can’t go wrong here! Another great green home company is White Lotus.
Get practical with green cleaning products. There are so many potentially harmful chemicals in conventional cleaning products—and so much potential waste with the use of paper towels (to make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons of water are consumed). So why not put together a crafty basket (maybe you have on stowed away in the basement; otherwise they’re fairly easy to find at second hand stores) filled with green cleaning goodies:
- Skoy Cloths are great replacements for paper towels—they’re reusable and washable (I’ve had mine for over a year!). They also have scrubs, which work great on hard to remove food stuffs!
- Toss in some non-toxic toilet bowl cleaner, dish and dishwasher soap and laundry detergent. Seventh Generation is a trusted green brand, which I use all the time. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and even Target carry a few of these items.
- Top it off with toxin-free air freshener like Fresh Wave. They have traditional sprays, but their odor eating crystals work pretty well, too. Candles are another great way to clean the air, as long as they’re 100 percent beeswax or soy. Candles have the added bonus of creating ambiance. Conventional candles can be unhealthy!
Non-toxic beauty & personal care holiday gifts.
Acure Organics is a family owned and operated company founded on sustainable principles to provide the “highest quality fair trade, natural and certified organic personal care products.” All of their products are free from animal testing, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, harmful preservatives and artificial colors. Phew! Listen to our Green Divas Product Picks review radio show segment to hear GD Meg and I rave about their products.
Personally, I love love love the Mandarin Orange + Moroccan argan stem cell body lotion. An aromatherapy session every time I apply it. Truly, there’s not an Acure product I don’t love (although I wasn’t thrilled with the non-scented lotions because, hey, who doesn’t love an aromatherapy session?)—no un-natural fragrances! I could almost eat the stuff! (Not a paid endorsement, but comp samples were received and I continue to purchase Acure Organics products.)
Help your giftees dump their toxic toiletries and get the protection they need with this Essential Survival Kit from HoneyColony.com. This chemical free kit is loaded with personal care products including Best Natural Antiperspirant; Best Organic Silver Ointment; Best Natural Sunscreen; Food-Grade Vaseline Alternative: Petroleum Free Nutroleum Jelly; Natural Halitosis Remedy; and Best Natural Itch Remedy: Food-Grade Calamine Lotion. Great stuff! And Honey Colony was founded by friend of the show Mariam Heinen (director of the breakthrough documentary Vanishing of the Bees), so it’s a company we trust.
I’ve been using Josie Maran’s toxin-free make-up for years and swear by it. I’m not a fan of cakey foundation and really don’t need the coverage (except for my occasionally vampire-ish dark under eye circles)—which is why I’m into Josie’s tinted moisturizer. It’s dewey and so natural looking. Josie Maran touts itself as “Luxury with a Conscience” and uses pure, Fair Trade Argan Oil, grown and harvested responsibly by co-ops of Moroccan women who earn a living wage. (I did not receive any free samples, although I’d certainly enjoy some. Hint hint!).
Be nice to the earth when applying make-up with Eco Tools: Perfect for those green divas who want to be gorgeous from the inside out. From make-up brushes to bath and spa accessories… hair brushes and even faux eyelashes—these amazing tools bring out the eco-conscious beauty in you. Find them here.
Holiday gifts for health.
StretchClock app for a feel better, more productive day at the computer. “It’s like a one minute vacation every hour.” If you work at your computer (or are simply addicted to Facebook or video games), StretchClock is for you! The app will interrupt whatever you’re doing on your computer and provide a one minute video stretch. It gets better: the video is always beautiful scenery and the narrator is funny. If I forget to turn the app on in the morning, I definitely notice a difference in both body and mind. The app is free; but if you want a wider variety of stretches, I recommend the Premium version which is only $29 annually. You can get a group discount for your office!
Share this post on social media and mention The Green Divas for a chance to win the Premium app (comment below with a link to what you shared… to qualify, The Green Divas needs to be tagged).
Colloidal Silver Healer: Silver Healer produces a nano-particle blend of ionic and colloidal silver that can be easily absorbed by the body. It is one of the most powerful natural antibiotics in existence. Purchase at HoneyColony.com. Save $100 plus enjoy free shipping for orders totaling $40 or more… if you hurry!
Superfoods! Have a health nut you’re trying to buy for? Superfood it! And make sure it’s organic and, when possible, in its raw form. I make smoothies all the time and add bee pollen, chia seeds, Maca, Spirulina and wheat grass.
Raw cacao powder, coconut oil, organic raw vanilla powder and raw honey make up my matcha tea concoction every morning—that could be its own basket. A couple other superfoods I enjoy? Goji berries and cacao nibs together with a dash of sea salt.
Eco-friendly books for the readers—young and old—on your list
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