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!)
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
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.
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
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
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
Four Sigma Foods www.foursigmafoods.com
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.
Pictured is a doormat made from recycled flip flops
Mollyâ€™s Suds Laundry Powder
E-cloth Cell Phone Cleaning Cloth www.portstyle.com
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Story of Electronics www.storyofstuff.org/electronics
Eton Rukus www.etoncorp.com
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
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
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
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
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).
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
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
Sock it to Me
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.
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.
FIG Clothing www.figclothing.com
Piper Tan Boot www.po-zu.com
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
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