November 13, 2009

2009 Green Holiday Gift Guide by Really Natural

reindeer.jpgWhether you celebrate a religious or pagan holiday, the winter festivities are rapidly approaching. During the days of shorter light and the returning of the sun, giving gifts to loved ones and friends that are both sustainable, affordable,and unique is much easier than it was just five years ago. The following is a list of our favorite natural products we have reviewed in 2009 and highly recommend to you for their quality and value. Although you can't really put a price on sustainability, we all have to live within our budgets. You can always review our monthly round-ups or past eco-friendly holiday gift guides to get even more great green gift ideas

extrema cookware.jpgGreen Home

  • Green, Eco-Friendly Non-Stick, Non-Scratch Extreme Temperature Ceramic Cookware: Finally, there is a safe, green alternative in non-stick, non-scratch cookware. Cermacor's Xtrema cookware is amazing! From saucepans to tea kettles, "Xtrema is healthier than any other cookware and we have documented scientific and laboratory testing to prove it." There are many, many benefits to Xtrema, beside avoiding teflon or aluminum.

  • First Made in the USA Filtered Stainless Steel Water Bottle by EcoUsable: n the great reusable water bottle debate, Kleen Kanteen is always criticized for being made in China, and Sigg has fessed up to having BPA in its epoxy liner all along. Finally, there is a stainless steel water bottle made in the USA, and it has a bonus feature of filtration! EcoUsable 25oz Filtered Water Bottle - Stainless Swirl is so cool! It is the absolutely best stainless steel water bottle on the market that I have found, and the filter will last for approximately 12 months.

  • Durable, Beautiful, Eco-Friendly, 100% Organic Bamboo Rugs: Are you looking for a unique, eco-friendly rug for your home? A bamboo rug may be just what you are looking for to add to your home decor. Simple, durable, and beautiful, these moso bamboo rugs have a non-slip pad on the bottom that works on any floor surface (concrete, wood, tile, carpet, etc.). Bamboo rugs are also easy to clean and an be used outdoors, as well as high traffic areas.

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  • Icebreaker Stylish Merino Wool Shirts for Men and Women: Icebreaker is a sustainable company from product to packaging. Each step of the process (source, ethical manufacturing, transparent supply chain, and animal welfare) is part of the company's philosophy. They even add a compound to their plastic bags to assist in "oxo-biodegration" should the bags end up in a landfill rather than be recycled.

  • Natural Smart Wool Socks are Cool, Warm, and Funky: I am one of those people that is plagued by cold feet (I blame my mom for smoking when she was pregnant with me and negatively affecting my circulation). I don't like itchy wool socks, but I don't like synthetics fabrics either. Smartwool Socks are the perfect solution. These socks are 86% wool, 13% nylon, and 1% elastic. The nylon keeps them from being itchy, and for that, I will tolerate a little synthetic fiber in my socks. The high content of wool works as natural odor control (I should get my daughter a pair), temperature regulation (keeps your feet warm when it's cold, and cool when it's hot), and wicks moisture away from sweaty feet.

  • Organic Designer Jeans by Joe's Jeans: Designer jeans are the raging trend, and yes, they are expensive. If you are going to spend a lot of money on a pair of jeans, they ought to be organic. Joe's Jeans makes their famous Socialite style in an organic cotton fabric. These stylish jeans are 98% organic cotton 2% elastane.

  • Eco-Friendly Yoga Apparal by BuddhiWear: I'm Just Here for Savasana: It's true, my favorite asana is savasana. This final relaxation as a corpse is the perfect ending to any yoga practice, and now I've discovered an organic, eco-friendly top by BuddhiWear to express my love for savasana. The Women's Buddhiwear "I'm Just Here For Savasana" Long Sleeve Scoop Neck Organic T-Shirt is lightweight, super soft, and comfortably fitted. Since BuddhiWear's clothing is 100% organic, each shirt saves 1/3 pound of chemicals from entering our soil, air, and water.

  • Upcycled Eco-Friendly Jewelry on Etsy by Squishy Sushi: I've discovered an affordable, unique eco-friendly jewelry maker on Etsy: Squishy Sushi.
    My background is in graphic design but I have recently begun designing jewelry as well. All of my pieces have an asian flair to them and are made from recycled papers and other jewelry findings. As a graphic artist, I'm drawn to beautiful bits of printed material and enjoy mixing them with other media. All pieces are hand crafted by me in my studio, in San Francisco, California.

Baby and Kids

  • Handmade Himalayan Wool Baby Booties by JelliBee Baby: Cheerfully bright, perfectly warm, and beautifully formed, these felted wool booties make a fitting baby gift. All natural, organic materials, handmade in the foothills of the Himalayas. Made in accordance with Fair Trade practices and green processes, these booties have little tootsies feeling good, while you are doing good.

  • Green Toys 100% Recycled Plastic Tea Set: The Green Toys Tea Set is made in the USA from 100% curbside collected, recycled plastic milk jugs. Knowing this product is made from curbside collected plastic gives me peace of mind, considering I know it was part of closing the loop, as well as I am assured these toys are not made from industrial waste plastic. Besides being made of recycled materials, this tea set is sure to enchant your child (no matter the gender), as we have experienced in our home. Who doesn't love a tea party?

  • No Batteries: Haba Terra Kids LED Lantern Makes Real or Play Camping Fun: Haba's Terra Kids Camping Lantern fits the bill, as it requires no batteries and encourages children to include camping in their dramatic play, as well want to get outside during night time hours (of course, under adult supervision). This lantern has a compass on the top, a lightweight carabiner for clipping onto backpacks, and is powered by a hand crank. Just three minutes of cranking produces one hour of light, which also makes this toy useful in case of power outages.

  • Eco-Friendly, Recycled Toys by Sprig Toys: This toy is made from recycled plastic in Europe (Czech Republic) and contains no paints. It's durable, perfect for sand play, and comes with minimal packaging. Sprig Toys, Inc., is an eco-friendly company dedicated to making the best toys the right way.

  • Sweet Organic Baby Clothes by Hessnatur: We've been fortunate enough to review beautiful natural fiber clothing by Hessnatur before, now we have discovered their organic baby apparel line! Super sweet, soft, and adorable, Hessnatur's organic baby line means everyone in the family can dress in eco-fashion. Hessnatur is always fair trade, organic, and sustainable, which is exactly what baby deserves against their fresh, delicate skin.

  • Aurora Naturally Plush Toys Made from Soy and Kapok Win Toy Award: Aurora Naturally Plush Toys are eco-friendly stuffed animals. The exterior of these toys is made from 100% soy fiber, and the stuff comes from kapok seed pods, a sustainable rainforest crop. Recently, Aurora Naturally Plush won 2008 Amazing Toy Award.


  • Safely Relieve Common Pregnancy Skin Problems of Acne and Itchy Skin with Belli Pregnancy: This is a wonderful lotion that uses lemon oil, chamomile, and shea butter to provide lasting relief for itchy skin. When I was pregnant, I was plagued with an itchy back from my growing, stretching skin, and no lotion could provide relief. I am not pregnant now, but this lotion did a wonderful job on my dry fall/winter hands. This product received a score of three out of ten for toxicity by the Environmental Working Group.

  • Kiss My Face Natural and Organic Shimmers and Shines for Kissable Lips: Kiss My Face's newest natural, organic products are for your lips! Sheer Organic Shine and Sheer Organic Shimmer are 100% natural, 91% organic, and made from natural minerals. Vitamins A and E help protect and heal your lips, and the colors are beautiful. There are six shades of "glorious glosses" and six "tempting tints". They even contain stevia!

  • Vegetarian Cookbook: Vegan Lunch Box Around the World: Of course, the recipes aren't limited to lunches, and this cookbook is super user-friendly. The layout is aesthetically pleasing, and each recipe includes allergen information. The color photographs are beautiful, and I like how Jennifer includes regional American recipes as part of the international flare, making this vegan cookbook truly universal for any nationality. From mango noodles to caramelized squash and apples, your child will be the envy of the whole school with these lunch box goodies.
  • Green Children's Literature: The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales: Children deserve to be read to and sharing literature is a great way to learn appreciation for our Earth. The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales (One World, One Planet) is a collection of stories and activities to inspire your family to become a "thoughtful caretaker of our planet".
  • Zen and the Art of Green Body Cleaning: Clean Body: The Humble Art of Zen-Cleansing Yourself is an amazing little book about green beauty care. According to author Michael Dejong, you only need five ingredients to take care of you body needs. From cuticle conditioning to toothpaste, everything is contained in this highly organized book.
  • Promote Backyard Biodiversity with Native Plants: Written by Douglas W. Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded explains how you can bring more wildlife into your backyard by planting native plants. Even just a few native plants can help you become a backyard ecologist. This book contains extensive lists of native plants for regional habitats, as well as incredible photographs.

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Posted by Jennifer Lance at November 13, 2009 4:14 PM

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