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 GIVE GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING If you have great taste and talent (or are just creative), have a good We know these do not seem as indulgent or as romantic as some time putting these gifts together - they will be truly appreciated. other gifts may be, but they are useful and will save time, money, 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 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 books for inspiration + enjoyment set of organic cloth napkins 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 reusable bags (foldable AND washable) businesses you already appreciate. litterless lunch products a membership - art gallery, zoo, gym eco-fied first aid/emergency kit a night out at the movies, tickets to a show or concert solar or crank powered gadgets an experience [a weekend away, spa services, day trip] a tree to plant 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!] 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 Perfect Reflection Super Powers Don't wipe your sweat on those Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the Scoop this super protein into any bleached, white towels the gym gives fittest of them all? You are, since you're smoothie for some real organic plant you, that are washed in toxic detergent staying hydrated drinking from your power. This triple source vegan protein (yuck). Be a trendsetter and take your sleek 100% stainless steel bottle (both is fueled by sprouted rice, dulse red own 100% organic cotton, fast-drying inside and out). No paint, no plastic algae, and cranberry. Burn fat and beautiful hand towels. The hang tag and a sustainably harvested bamboo boost energy, all in a days work! No makes it easy to attach on to clothes, lid, makes this bottle truly one of a fake junk in these bags and great for bottles, or backpacks. kind. kids too. It’s really good for you. Really. People Towels www.peopletowels.com Klean Kanteen Reflect www.kleankanteen.com 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 Ultimate Aroma Extra Mile When a chance for some “you” time Combining traditional Chinese culture Go faster, longer, and stronger with presents itself (whether or not it was with modern technology, this essential this blend of schisandra, goji berries, forced), these pleasure pillows filled oil aroma diffuser also plays soothing rhodiola and eluethero. Mix into water with organic flaxseed and natural music, and creates an ambience with and sip to help increase your strength lavender and chamomille flowers, soft LED colours. With a handcrafted and stamina, boost energy, and prevent provides soothing relief whether you maple base and hand-blown glass top, fatigue. Powered by just 4 adaptogen heat them up or cool them down, giving this design recalls the concept of yin herbs - no fillers, gluten, caffeine, you maximum therapeutic benefits. and yang to create harmony. sugar, additives, or preservatives. Mette Vangso Eye Catcher Puzhen Aroma Diffuser www.mettevangso.com www.puzhen.com 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 Just a dose What's on your ear? The professional cleaning industry Get real clean with eco-effective Molly Have you ever thought about how greasy believes that 85% of indoor dirt is Sudâ€™s laundry powder that cleans fingerprints, dirt, oil, and disgusting tracked in from the outdoors on our without harsh chemicals, fillers, or bacteria live on your cell phone? Think shoes and pet paws. Remove shoes at anything toxic or carcinogenic. Made about where you place your cell...the bottom the door - toxins won't come in, and up of just 5 earth derived ingredients, of your purse, a checkout counter, the dirty you'll have an excuse to buy a new pair only 1 tablespoon is needed per load. drink holder in your car (eek!). Available in of (eco) slippers! Get a doormat and Safe and gentle for your skin, your January 2013 - Spread the gossip, not the make sure it's PVC and phthalate free! clothes, and our world. germs! Pictured is a doormat made from recycled flip flops Mollyâ€™s Suds Laundry Powder E-cloth Cell Phone Cleaning Cloth www.portstyle.com www.mollyssuds.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 E is for Eco Plate it Forward 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! 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! 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. Bola Glass Teapot www.forlifedesign.com Alphabet of Avoidance www.thealphabetofavoidance.com 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 As local as it gets! Spiral or Slice A collection of 175 raw, vegan and Hire a farmer to tend to your yard and gluten-free recipes that use 5 yield the best organic crops the season spiralize them into a delicious noodle recipe ingredients, and take only 15 minutes has to offer. Don't have the landscape? or slice them perfectly in just minutes. Raw Take your favourite raw veggies and to prepare! From hearty breakfasts, to Have local and organic fruit and zucchini turns into amazing spaghetti the satisfying soups, to main courses, and veggies delivered right to your front kids will even eat (plus itâ€™s carb free!). Youâ€™d desserts, each recipe is easy to follow, door on a weekly basis. Now that's a be surprised how many different dishes this and incredibly delicious. fresh gift idea. tiny hand powered appliance can create. Raw, Quick & Delicious by Doug McNish www.dougmcnish.com Our Choice of Toronto Services: Vegetable Spiral Slicer www.youngurbanfarmers.com www.upayanaturals.com www.mamaearth.ca 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 Stay Warm Arm Candy These colouring blocks are made from With a great selection of children’s Infused with elements sourced from pure beeswax with colouring agents clothing and jackets, Patagonia believes the highest and lowest points on Earth, that are safe for our health and the in doing everything they can to share the white ball, carries water from Mt. planet. Their size and shape are our undomesticated lands and waters. Everest, and the black ball holds mud designed to fit in a child’s hand and Their revamped Footprint Chronicles from the Dead Sea. Clear beads link the appeal to their senses. They encourage showcases their transparency in all two, signifying that throughout life’s creativity and deliver beautiful effects. that they do. circular journey, your path is your own. Stockmar Wax Blocks Patagonia www.stockmar.de www.patagonia.com 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 Electrifying Stuff Turn it Up Radiation from our electronics is Know someone who is constantly on The solar powered, portable, bluetooth dangerous, especially for our kids. Stick the search for the next best product? sound system, with high efficiency this silicon based microprocessor on Maybe you? Watch and share The Story solar panels, can connect to your smart your phone to neutralize harmful of Electronics, it will get everyone phone, tablet or computer via radiation. Picking up your phone may thinking in a whole new way (it's free, Bluetooth so you can play your tunes be unavoidable, staying safe doesn't short & online!). Do you think our stuff anywhere you go. Now this is have to be. is designed for the dump? something to start a rukus over! Aires www.airestech.com Story of Electronics www.storyofstuff.org/electronics 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 Face Food Stay Polished The Stratus Instant Skin Perfector can Donâ€™t dry out! Keep your face looking Whether you're a do-it-yourselfer or a be rubbed all over for a flattering its best with this deeply nourishing salon-going-manicure-maven, make healthy glow. With certified organic Rosehip Oil that is certified organic. sure that what you're putting on your ingredients, natural mineral pigments, Naturally loaded with essential fatty nails is safe. Try cruelty-free polishes and antioxidants, this beauty stick acids, vitamins, and antioxidants, your that are made without harsh chems, delivers the performance of a luxury skin will instantly feel smoother and like Aquarellaâ€™s water-based polishes - highlighter without any chemicals. softer, and restore your healthy glow. safe for even your youngest bella! Vapour Beauty www.vapourbeauty.com Kosmea www.abundancenaturally.com 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 Big Sound, Small Footprint And listen up! These over-ear Need big sound? No big deal. Bring headphones are sound isolating and your fave iPod or iPhone tunes with engineered to play your music with all you and blast it on the portable the energy and emotion intended. They speakers for all to hear. Too sunny to deliver a crisp and clear sound, and are stay inside? Even better. With the high made with earth friendly materials so efficiency solar panel, it charges itself you can enjoy your tunes knowing you with just the power of the sunlight (so made a difference. leave the batteries and cords inside). Marley www.thehouseofmarley.com 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 Sock it to Me Slip In On a mission to keep things simple and Colourful, cozy and stylish socks for These are boots with a truly good sole. essential, FIG manufactures every piece men, women and kids. Made by a Made from coconut husk, these just of their clothing line entirely in Canada. LOVELY company in the USA that uses might be the comfiest shoes your feet They are committed to creating comfort low-impact dyes, no bleach, and will ever slide in to. You really need to with local and organic fabrics. Whether Certified Organic Cotton. They are so read about the company’s dedication to pairing over leggings or soft and comfortable you’ll never want goodness and style to believe it. jeans, this cozy shawl hooded sweatshirt will be to take these off, making for eco-happy Thankfully, Po-zu now ships all of their one of your fave fashion staples. feet all winter long. footwear worldwide. FIG Clothing www.figclothing.com Zkano www.zkano.com 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 Smart Clip It Read it and Wrap These colourful reusable bags are With a colourful selection of silicone- perfect for wrapping any gift for any sealed lids, these various sizes of material in a blue box, use it to wrap age, size, gender or cost! They are tempered glass containers are perfect up your gifts. Get extra creative and durable, machine washable, and roll up to hold your homemade shortbreads, find pictures, graphics, and letters to like a pair of socks to carry on the go. cranberry sauce, precious jewellery or make a personalized card. Cool tip: These bags are so great, it's a bonus if (hair) accessories. Itâ€™s the gift package newspaper can be cut and curled just there's even a gift inside of them! that keeps on giving. like curly ribbon. Try it! Flip & Tumble www.flipandtumble.com Wean Green Tubs www.weangreen.com Instead of putting your old reading 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