The Good Gift Guide
The “new” present is one that inspires people to live healthier lives, makes the world a better place, supports good people and companies, doesn't create excess waste… And, of course, makes your getters really, truly, very happy! We’ve got the goods inside this guide, so wrap up your gift giving, easily and eco-ly!
Good Gift Guide The “new” present is one that inspires people to live healthier lives, makes the world a better place, supports good people and companies, doesn't create excess waste… And, of course, makes your getters really, truly, very happy! We’ve got the goods inside this guide, so wrap up your gift giving, easily and eco-ly! Content, product testing and layout by Borden Communications + Design On Changing the Present Instead of careening madly around stores desperately purchasing gifts this holiday season (translation: possibly useless stuff that is not needed or wanted), make the getting and giving of gifts smart and easy - change the present this year! The “new” present is one that inspires people to live healthier lives, makes the world a better place, supports good people and companies, doesn't create excess waste…and of course, makes your getters really, truly, very happy! Remember that your money is your power and every penny you spend is a vote for something. Buying made-in-China, lead-laced toys or buying an organic piece of clothing made in Canada tells the maker to make more…what do you want more of in our world? Spend wisely, and buy from your own local businesses that support good values. Aside from the many wonderful online eco-focused stores, there are many local retailers featuring smarter products these days - so think outside of the giftbox and wrap it up our way! We hope our Good Gift Guide inspires you in your quest to give the perfect eco-happy present. Stop before you shop! (and read this) SHARE YOUR OWN GIFTS If you have great taste and talent (or are just creative), have a good time putting these gifts together - they will be truly appreciated. cook or bake something and deliver it once a month knit mitts [scarves sound much easier though] offer up what you're good at [babysitting? handywork?] put together a photo album or make a video collect your favourite recipes and put them into books or boxes create a masterpiece - photography or art GIVE GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING We know these do not seem as indulgent or as romantic as some other gifts may be, but they are useful and will save time, money, health and the planet, so consider them! reusable (safe) water bottle or mug stuff to make a home really clean & chemical-free safe toys - no plastic! non-petroleum crayons - beeswax or organic soy tree-free paper goods Local, weekly fruit and vegetable boxes GIVE A GIFT THAT ISN'T A THING These are our favourite to receive (and if you are a really good friend, you can tag along, too!) It's also a great way to support the businesses you already appreciate. a membership - art gallery, zoo, gym a night out at the movies, tickets to a show or concert an experience [a weekend away, spa services, day trip] a session with an “eco coach”or green cleaning service a donation to a favourite charity downloadable music certificates cooking class or go out to dinner [local and organic, of course!] books for inspiration + enjoyment set of organic cloth napkins reusable bags (foldable AND washable) litterless lunch products eco-fied first aid/emergency kit solar or crank powered gadgets a tree to plant BE CREATIVE! The last time we checked, wrapping gifts was not on people's fun things to-do list (We personally use unwrapped gifts as an opportunity to be both lazy and eco-responsible…see how it all works out?) GIVE GIFTS THAT ARE INDULGENT [BUT NOT REALLY!] Items in this category can soothe the soul and be luxurious yet not take a huge toll on our world. fair-trade chocolate, coffee or tea organic, toxin-free cosmetics and personal care products organic bedding or bathrobe local, organic wine use reusable containers or bags to package use old newspapers, magazines or comics to wrap did you know that newspaper strips curl like ribbon? use tea towels, microfibre cloths or clothing to envelop use scarves, bandanas, belts or shoelaces to tie use fresh herbs, old buttons or cut up textiles to adorn use tree-free cards or make your own (even from other cards!) FOR THE Fitness Freak Whether you have made the decision to start committing to a workout plan, you’re a working stiff trying to squeeze in some squats, or you're a gym-a-holic and you downward dog all day long, get armed with these essentials. Bend and Stretch Your mat matters. These WovnBranch mats are PVC-free and toxin-free, and made with a 100% recyclable, eco-friendly TPE material so you can focus on your health and fitness instead of nasty chems. Even more, with every purchase from this Toronto based company, a bed net gets donated to a family in Africa to help keep them safe from malaria. Now that’s zen. WovnBranch www.wovnbranchcom No Sweat Don't wipe your sweat on those bleached, white towels the gym gives you, that are washed in toxic detergent (yuck). Be a trendsetter and take your own 100% organic cotton, fast-drying beautiful hand towels. The hang tag makes it easy to attach on to clothes, bottles, or backpacks. People Towels www.peopletowels.com Perfect Reflection Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fittest of them all? You are, since you're staying hydrated drinking from your sleek 100% stainless steel bottle (both inside and out). No paint, no plastic and a sustainably harvested bamboo lid, makes this bottle truly one of a kind. Klean Kanteen Reflect www.kleankanteen.com Super Powers Scoop this super protein into any smoothie for some real organic plant power. This triple source vegan protein is fueled by sprouted rice, dulse red algae, and cranberry. Burn fat and boost energy, all in a days work! No fake junk in these bags and great for kids too. It’s really good for you. Really. BOKU Super Protein Powder www.bokulovelife.com FOR THE Multitasking Maniac Since we cannot clone ourselves (tragic!), we need hard-working gifts that are "get-methrough-the-day" helpers! These are welcome additions to life - try them! Step on This Enjoy all the benefits of acupuncture...anywhere you go or anywhere you sit. The travel-size mat is perfect to rest your feet on while watching tv, under your desk while working, resting it on your neck, or even sitting on it! The Spoonk Mat’s spikes increase blood circulation, boost energy levels, release muscle tension, heal joint pains and induce deeper sleep. Bonus? It takes no extra time out of your already busy day. The Spoonk Mat www.spoonkspace.com Sweet Dreams When a chance for some “you” time presents itself (whether or not it was forced), these pleasure pillows filled with organic flaxseed and natural lavender and chamomille flowers, provides soothing relief whether you heat them up or cool them down, giving you maximum therapeutic benefits. Mette Vangso Eye Catcher www.mettevangso.com Ultimate Aroma Combining traditional Chinese culture with modern technology, this essential oil aroma diffuser also plays soothing music, and creates an ambience with soft LED colours. With a handcrafted maple base and hand-blown glass top, this design recalls the concept of yin and yang to create harmony. Puzhen Aroma Diffuser www.puzhen.com Extra Mile Go faster, longer, and stronger with this blend of schisandra, goji berries, rhodiola and eluethero. Mix into water and sip to help increase your strength and stamina, boost energy, and prevent fatigue. Powered by just 4 adaptogen herbs - no fillers, gluten, caffeine, sugar, additives, or preservatives. Four Sigma Foods www.foursigmafoods.com FOR THE Happy Homemaker Happy Homemaker or perhaps the aggravated I Have-To-Do-All-These-Chores-Maker! Regardless of the spin, these are the healthy helpers we all need! Tumble These! Nothing makes for a happier home then a good set of BaaLLS. Save time, money, your health and our planet by using dryer balls made from 100% certified organic wool. Reducing your drying time by 40% and softening your clothes all without the use of chemicals (imagine that!). Add a couple of drops of the Fresh BaaLLs Blend of pure essential oils and your BaaLLS (and clothes) will smell great...by nature! BaaLLS www.baalls.com Walk All Over Me The professional cleaning industry believes that 85% of indoor dirt is tracked in from the outdoors on our shoes and pet paws. Remove shoes at the door - toxins won't come in, and you'll have an excuse to buy a new pair of (eco) slippers! Get a doormat and make sure it's PVC and phthalate free! Pictured is a doormat made from recycled flip flops Just a dose Get real clean with eco-effective Molly Sudâ€™s laundry powder that cleans without harsh chemicals, fillers, or anything toxic or carcinogenic. Made up of just 5 earth derived ingredients, only 1 tablespoon is needed per load. Safe and gentle for your skin, your clothes, and our world. Mollyâ€™s Suds Laundry Powder www.mollyssuds.com What's on your ear? Have you ever thought about how greasy fingerprints, dirt, oil, and disgusting bacteria live on your cell phone? Think about where you place your cell...the bottom of your purse, a checkout counter, the dirty drink holder in your car (eek!). Available in January 2013 - Spread the gossip, not the germs! E-cloth Cell Phone Cleaning Cloth www.portstyle.com FOR THE Eco-Bully These products are perfect for the ones that think they know every eco-trick and product in the book. Not only will the eco-bully/know-it-all be amazed at how genius these green gifts are, but they will be super impressed that you found them first! P.S. There really is no such thing as a "green" product - everything has an impact! So much more than a glass drinking straw Ever thought about how many plastic straws get tossed each day? So many are left in the bottom of takeout bags or removed from the drink and put onto the table or bar without even being used. Aside from ensuring that you'll never sip out of toxic plastic again, these glass straws come with a lifetime guarantee - yes, they are that confident. Strawesome Glass Straws www. strawesome.com No Strings Attached You know by now that skipping the lineup (and the trip to the bank) for your tea and making your own loose leaf at home is healthier for you (goodbye bleached bags and staples). Wanna go the distance? Compost those used tea leaves too! It's eco-intelligent and healthy for all! Bola Glass Teapot www.forlifedesign.com E is for Eco A fun, inspiring, perspective changing read that not only identifies what we should be avoiding to lead a heathier life, but also simple solutions to immediately replace the “bad” with something better...or even, nothing at all. This nonpreachy, lighthearted book is short and to the point - try doing a letter a day! Alphabet of Avoidance www.thealphabetofavoidance.com Plate it Forward The best way to get people in the eco spirit is with the newest way to “pay it forward”! As they nibble away at your plate of freshly baked goodies, they'll uncover a message that encourages them to bake, plate, and deliver to another unsuspecting recipient. Doing good has never tasted better. Boom Boom Cards www.boomboomcards.com FOR THE Very Vegan Whether you're already in the raw, trying to convince someone to go vegan, you're a wannabee in the making, or a vegan veteran, these usables will have everyone cheering for kale chips! Blend and Snap! You may not realize that you need this appliance, but you do. You really, really do. Fully automatic (once you add ingredients) making smooth drinks, hot soups and cool ice creams in just seconds. Blendtec Designer Series www.blendtec.com Kitchen Staple A collection of 175 raw, vegan and gluten-free recipes that use 5 ingredients, and take only 15 minutes to prepare! From hearty breakfasts, to satisfying soups, to main courses, and desserts, each recipe is easy to follow, and incredibly delicious. Raw, Quick & Delicious by Doug McNish www.dougmcnish.com As local as it gets! Hire a farmer to tend to your yard and yield the best organic crops the season has to offer. Don't have the landscape? Have local and organic fruit and veggies delivered right to your front door on a weekly basis. Now that's a fresh gift idea. Our Choice of Toronto Services: www.youngurbanfarmers.com www.mamaearth.ca Spiral or Slice Take your favourite raw veggies and spiralize them into a delicious noodle recipe or slice them perfectly in just minutes. Raw zucchini turns into amazing spaghetti the kids will even eat (plus itâ€™s carb free!). Youâ€™d be surprised how many different dishes this tiny hand powered appliance can create. Vegetable Spiral Slicer www.upayanaturals.com FOR THE Eco-Kid Children are our future. Teach them well and arm them with products that they'll love (and serve a purpose too). It'll inspire everyone to make better choices. That's a guarantee. Tick Tock What’s impressive about this kid-friendly watch is that the company fully discloses their green efforts on their website, and they don’t claim to be perfect! We’re all for transparency and companies doing their best... And kids learning to be on time of course! Sprout Watches www.sproutwatches.com Colour your World These colouring blocks are made from pure beeswax with colouring agents that are safe for our health and the planet. Their size and shape are designed to fit in a child’s hand and appeal to their senses. They encourage creativity and deliver beautiful effects. Stockmar Wax Blocks www.stockmar.de Stay Warm With a great selection of children’s clothing and jackets, Patagonia believes in doing everything they can to share our undomesticated lands and waters. Their revamped Footprint Chronicles showcases their transparency in all that they do. Patagonia www.patagonia.com Arm Candy Infused with elements sourced from the highest and lowest points on Earth, the white ball, carries water from Mt. Everest, and the black ball holds mud from the Dead Sea. Clear beads link the two, signifying that throughout life’s circular journey, your path is your own. Lokai www.mylokai.com FOR THE Gadget Guru You know those crazy long lineups queued around corners when the newest gadgets are due to arrive? Know someone who might be standing in one? These "e-wasters" will need to learn that they can get all they need without the negative impact on their health and our world. Take Cover The Pong's radiation reduction case promises to protect you from radiation, while the form fitting case protects your ipad. The patented multi-fold cover is the only iPad case that doesnâ€™t decrease 3G reception, plus, it comes with all the radiation redirecting technology that makes it a Pong. Carrying an iPad may not be original, but this case is. Pong Radiation Reduction Case www.pongresearch.com Shield Extreme Radiation from our electronics is dangerous, especially for our kids. Stick this silicon based microprocessor on your phone to neutralize harmful radiation. Picking up your phone may be unavoidable, staying safe doesn't have to be. Aires www.airestech.com Electrifying Stuff Know someone who is constantly on the search for the next best product? Maybe you? Watch and share The Story of Electronics, it will get everyone thinking in a whole new way (it's free, short & online!). Do you think our stuff is designed for the dump? Story of Electronics www.storyofstuff.org/electronics Turn it Up The solar powered, portable, bluetooth sound system, with high efficiency solar panels, can connect to your smart phone, tablet or computer via Bluetooth so you can play your tunes anywhere you go. Now this is something to start a rukus over! Eton Rukus www.etoncorp.com FOR THE Beautifying Bella A girls' cosmetic routine can be as unbreakable as her love for Brad Pitt. However, if you have ever glanced at an ingredient list on your soap, concealer, lipstick or body lotion (if there was even a list at all) it would make going all-natural a no brainer. Do not fret, there are safe alternatives and you don't have to compromise quality. A Shinier, Healthier Smile These products help your skin feel beautiful long after you wash your face. A natural fermentation process brings out the best of their already amazing ingredients, producing enzymes, proteins and amino acids that literally feed your skin. The combination of locally harvested Canadian Glacial Marine Clay, organic coconut oil, and flower water leaves your skin always looking and feeling healthy. Haut Cosmetics www.hautcosmetics.ca Instant Life The Stratus Instant Skin Perfector can be rubbed all over for a flattering healthy glow. With certified organic ingredients, natural mineral pigments, and antioxidants, this beauty stick delivers the performance of a luxury highlighter without any chemicals. Vapour Beauty www.vapourbeauty.com Face Food Donâ€™t dry out! Keep your face looking its best with this deeply nourishing Rosehip Oil that is certified organic. Naturally loaded with essential fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants, your skin will instantly feel smoother and softer, and restore your healthy glow. Kosmea www.abundancenaturally.com Stay Polished Whether you're a do-it-yourselfer or a salon-going-manicure-maven, make sure that what you're putting on your nails is safe. Try cruelty-free polishes that are made without harsh chems, like Aquarellaâ€™s water-based polishes safe for even your youngest bella! Aquarella www.aquarellapolish.com FOR THE Music Maven Tune into your favourite playlist with the respect it deserves. These innovative music accessories are not only head turners and crowd pleasers, but they’ll do your music justice. Music to Your Ears You don't have to sacrifice on quality to help save the environment. Cables made from PVC-free material and housing made from wood means you can rock out without toxins coming in. Best part? The sound is even better than you would get from conventional headphones. Big sound, small footprint. Thinksound Ear Buds www.thinksound.com Rise Up And listen up! These over-ear headphones are sound isolating and engineered to play your music with all the energy and emotion intended. They deliver a crisp and clear sound, and are made with earth friendly materials so you can enjoy your tunes knowing you made a difference. Marley www.thehouseofmarley.com Big Sound, Small Footprint Need big sound? No big deal. Bring your fave iPod or iPhone tunes with you and blast it on the portable speakers for all to hear. Too sunny to stay inside? Even better. With the high efficiency solar panel, it charges itself with just the power of the sunlight (so leave the batteries and cords inside). Eton Soulra www.etoncorp.com Music to Your Ears! Every aspiring guitarist should own one of these! Use your own credit cards, old driver’s license, student Id’s, or whatever you can find to create unique guitar picks. Pick Punch is available in 5 different shapes to suit your preference and express the true artist in you. Strum away. Pick Punch www.pickpunch.com FOR THE Sustainable Stylist Style and sustainability can go hand-in-hand. It’s all about knowing what’s behind the label and what’s attached to it. Be fashion forward, while having minimal impact on our environment. Look good. Feel even better. Zip It The term “puffy” doesn’t apply here. The unique diamond-shaped quilting creates a beautiful, flattering silhouette. Made with 100% recycled polysester and filled with renewable goose-down, this supremely warm jacket is an eco must-have for winter months. Nau 3 Simmer Down Trench www.nau.com Throw On On a mission to keep things simple and essential, FIG manufactures every piece of their clothing line entirely in Canada. They are committed to creating comfort with local and organic fabrics. Whether pairing over leggings or jeans, this cozy shawl hooded sweatshirt will be one of your fave fashion staples. FIG Clothing www.figclothing.com Sock it to Me Colourful, cozy and stylish socks for men, women and kids. Made by a LOVELY company in the USA that uses low-impact dyes, no bleach, and Certified Organic Cotton. They are so soft and comfortable you’ll never want to take these off, making for eco-happy feet all winter long. Zkano www.zkano.com Slip In These are boots with a truly good sole. Made from coconut husk, these just might be the comfiest shoes your feet will ever slide in to. You really need to read about the company’s dedication to goodness and style to believe it. Thankfully, Po-zu now ships all of their footwear worldwide. Piper Tan Boot www.po-zu.com FOR THE Wonderful Wrapper Being eco means not buying and wrapping everything up in sight without thought. Get creative with wrapping by using reusable bags, old newspapers or magazines, tea towels, scarves, shoelaces to tie, old buttons or cut up textiles and tree-free cards or make your own. The bonus is that you are giving so much eco-ness along with each gift! A Gift within a Gift Instead of wasting your time and money wrapping up big elaborate (and disposable) baskets, make this already beautiful market basket part of the gift itself! It has a sturdy frame, comfy rubber handle, and tearproof fabric available in a variety of colours and patterns. Reisenthel Carry Bag www.reisenthel.com Re-use It These colourful reusable bags are perfect for wrapping any gift for any age, size, gender or cost! They are durable, machine washable, and roll up like a pair of socks to carry on the go. These bags are so great, it's a bonus if there's even a gift inside of them! Flip & Tumble www.flipandtumble.com Smart Clip It With a colourful selection of siliconesealed lids, these various sizes of tempered glass containers are perfect to hold your homemade shortbreads, cranberry sauce, precious jewellery or (hair) accessories. Itâ€™s the gift package that keeps on giving. Wean Green Tubs www.weangreen.com Read it and Wrap Instead of putting your old reading material in a blue box, use it to wrap up your gifts. Get extra creative and find pictures, graphics, and letters to make a personalized card. Cool tip: newspaper can be cut and curled just like curly ribbon. Try it! What Should You Do The Day After? Re-use Wrapping paper and ribbon from others Re-create The big pile of holiday cards from everyone (make them into note cards) Re-gift Unneeded and unwanted stuff Re-mindâ€Ś Family and Friends that next year they can do what you've done so well this year Enjoy the giving and receiving! Happy Holidays! More of Lisa Bordenâ€™s Favourite Things www.thebordenbiglist.com