8 Green Your Holiday Clean
12 Play Nicely: Choosing Safe Toys
44 A Little Perspective
16 Cold Prevention Starts at Home
46 Naturally Beautiful
47 Feeling Guilty About Your Live Christmas Tree?
48 Green Teens
4 Welcome to Kaia!
6 Dear Kaia
50 It’s a Wrap: Green Gift Wrapping
55 Product Fail
52 Stocking Stuffers They’ll Love 56 New Year’s Eve Deck Party 60 Holiday Looks
Holiday Gift Guide (pgs.
26 Ladies 29 Couples 30 Bosses & CoWorkers 32 Babies & New Moms 34 Little Guys & Gals 38 Teen & Tweens 42 Pets
On the Cover: Photo by Jacqie Q Photography Choosing Safe Toys p. 12 Green Teens p. 48 Holiday Gift Guide p. 20 No-Fail Menu Ideas p. 56
Kaia Magazine started more than a year ago as a dream. Today, Kaia is a reality and we, the editors, could not be more thrilled. Over the past few months, we have poured our hearts and energy into making Kaia a name that you can look to for guidance and inspiration for all things that encompass healthful living. We have embraced the value of teamwork, the power of the web, and reveled in the idea that when those two aspects combine, change can be made on a grand scale. Our vision is a world in which consumers are informed, educated, and mindful in their purchases, where individuals reflect on the outcomes of their decisions, and where an eco-friendly attitude comes easy to the next generation. Kaia Magazine strives to empower each of us to sustain the health of our earth, our bodies, and our relationships â€” all with a practical, modern perspective. We are so excited to be sharing our passion with you. 4
Editors: Amanda Hearn Gretchen Sowers Sarah White
Inspired by her family, Amanda discovered a passion for sustainable and healthy living. Her inquisitive nature and love for educating launched her career as a blogger, social media marketer, and graphic designer. Alongside her husband and three children, Amanda can often be found belting out tunes with her iPod and making plans on the spur of a moment.
Editorial Contributors: Sarah White Amanda Hearn Gretchen Sowers Conor Small Scarlet Paolicchi Trevor Hearn
The Eco-Friendly Family
Photographers & Illustrators: Jacqie Parsons Kenneth Lieb Advertising Inquiries: email@example.com
Questions, comments, letter to the editor? firstname.lastname@example.org
Gretchen is a toddler-wrangler by day and an HGTV junkie, writer, & researcher by night. After resigning from a full-time performance gig (teaching), Gretchen took her natural health and wholesome eating experience online to educate about healthful living. She has an obsession with Walt Whitman and Spanish poetry. Gretchen married a man who taught her to climb mountains. They have one son.
Advertisements and submitted articles do not necessarily reflect, in whole, the views of all Kaia Magazine editors.
Mindfully Frugal Mom Sarah devotes her time to creating a healthy lifestyle for her family while saving money. A former high school English teacher, she enjoys MLA and iambic pentameter more than is probably normal. She is married and has two children. When Sarah isn’t blogging or writing for Kaia she can be found performing mash-ups of nursery rhymes and Lady Gaga songs.
Copyright 2011 Kaia Magazine. All rights reserved. About Our Gift Guide In an ideal scenario, the idea of “Sustainable Living” referenced in our tagline would mean all would craft their own gifts, fashion materials into recycled treasures, or give gifts that need no wrapping--gifts of experience or gifts from the heart. But there is a second part to our tagline: “In Real Life.” While we would love for every person to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as possible, we know that not everyone has the means nor ability to create a handmade gift, nor does everyone have relatives who find a charitable donation the best expression of gratitude and love. And, frankly, thoughtful giftgiving is fun (we sure enjoyed picking them out for our gift guide!), and we don’t see any harm in continuing the tradition.
Dear Kaia, “My family insists on buying the kids plastic toys even though we prefer wood, fabric, or nothing at all! What to do?" Ok, first, take a deep breath. In my experience, family members buy plastic toys for one of four reasons. 1. Because they are widely available in most stores. 2. Because they genuinely think that the talking, moving, pooping doll that will supposedly teach your child sign language is an educational gift. 3. Because they are attracted to plastic toys. 4. Because they have no idea what kind of gifts your child might want. I very much doubt that there is a fifth answer, which reads: Because they are trying to sabotage all your noble intentions, want to deny your wishes for your child’s childhood experience, and are generally nefarious people. If that is true, I’m sorry, can’t help you. But if that last reason does NOT describe your family, I can offer some suggestions. First, make it easy for family to give eco-friendly toys to your child(ren). Set up an Amazon wish list: you can add items from ANY website (not just Amazon), and then email it out to everyone, complete with links for purchase. Many grandparents and other relatives genuinely don’t know about the newest Waldorf doll you are pining for. Make it easy for them to make a good choice. Second, be upfront. Say, “Mom, I know that Fart-on-Me Franky sounds awesome, but those loud toys are really overstimulating to me and Johnny. He really loves making his own action
figures with blocks. Maybe you can get him this bamboo block set he played with at his friend’s house last week.” Suggest an alternative. “You know, Dad, Emma doesn’t need any more toys, and frankly, we don’t have room in our house. But she would love a membership to the zoo! That could be something fun just for the two of you!” Or, be passive-aggressive. Say, “When we left Jill’s house last week, Sophie was saying she wanted to paint her toes with Piggy Paint like Jill does. It’s too bad she doesn’t have any.” (Follow up with a pitiful look lamenting your daughter’s sad, deprived childhood) Finally, if none of these strategies work, you just have to suck it up. Is it really worth having a parental meltdown ruin your Christmas dinner? Make it a learning experience, and have your child donate one or more of the undesired items to an organization like Toys for Tots. That’s really what I call getting in the spirit.
“What are some alternative holiday activities to rampant gift-giving and over-consumption in general?” This is a tricky one. It seems embedded into our national DNA to go over the top with gifts and spending during the month of December. (Well, it could be argued that Americans as a whole overspend in general, but that’s a discussion for another day.) Why not create some new traditions this year? Visit a soup kitchen and volunteer to help serve their holiday dinner. Adopt a local family in need and donate gently used and
new items to help them have a merrier holiday. Create traditions based on time rather than gift giving: spend a whole day baking and decorating Christmas cookies. Organize a potluck dinner (or dessert, or wine tasting) for local friends and make that a new tradition. Yes, it may be difficult to institute a change, but the memories will last a lot longer than the newest toy or gadget.
“How can I avoid processed food during the holidays?” At Parties: The most difficult place to eat healthy is at a catered event, because you have no control over what is served. An oft-cited rule is to have a small, healthy snack before you leave for the party so you won’t be ravenous when you arrive. A handful of almonds or a piece of fruit is a good bet. When you are at the event, stick to whole food options like crudités, the fruit/veggie plate, cheese or cuts of meat, because at least you know what is in them. Try to avoid heavy dips and passed hors d’oeuvres that probably contain a number of unidentifiable ingredients and preservatives. As a Guest: Being a guest in someone’s home can be tricky to negotiate. Whenever possible, offer to bring a dish like roasted vegetables or home-baked bread. I know very few people who would refuse an offer of homemade bread. If your host insists she has everything under control, then just make good choices while you’re there and eat healthfully the next day. After all, the holidays only come once a year.
“How can we avoid the excess packaging and wrapping that most toys come in?” First of all, don’t add to the insanity with yards of paper gift wrapping. Use a tree-friendly alternative like the ones detailed on page 48. When choosing toys at the store, look for items that advertise that the packaging is made from recycled materials, and make sure you recycle any cardboard or paper once you get them home. Try to avoid toys that are packaged in excessive plastic which is harder to recycle. When you’re shopping online, look for Amazon’s Frustration-Free packaging, which is made from recycled materials and is free of plastic clamshells, bindings, or wire ties.
“Are there green options for those who are allergic to real Christmas trees?” Instead of resorting to an artificial tree, which generally contain a variety of toxins like dioxin and PVC, why not think outside the box? You can make a lovely tree out of grapevines, which can be decorated with your favorite ornaments the same way a traditional tree would be. Want to take it a step further? Skip the tree altogether and amp up the rest of the decorations in your house. Go hog-wild with LED lights, ornaments and pieces of nature, like twigs, branches, nuts, cinnamon sticks and more.
Green It’s Wintertime: Do you picture snowy landscapes, warm nights cuddled in front of a roaring fire, and cold, clear nights? No? Maybe instead you picture days of being cooped up in the house, recirculating stale air, and passing germs back and forth. Instead of breaking out the aerosol can of industrial-strength germ eradicator, why don’t you skip the toxic chemicals with some of our favorite eco-friendly products: • Seventh Generation Disinfecting MultiSurface Cleaner, Wipes & Bathroom cleaners disinfect naturally with greatsmelling thyme oil. (seventhgeneration.com) • Einshine Stainless Steel cleaner from BetterLife: Keep your energy efficient appliances looking like new -- without having to worry about toxic fumes and residues. (cleanhappens.com)
• Even the Kitchen Sink cleaner from BetterLife will scrub off the most difficult surfaces without scratches or toxins. And it won’t leave any yucky residue on your eating surfaces! • Want a truly chemical-free option? Invest in the Activion Ionator HOM to clean and disinfect using only tap water. (activeion.com)
| by Sarah White
Mindfully Frugal Mom
& Amanda Hearn
The Eco-Friendly Family
Your Holiday Clean Want to save some money? It is easy and frugal to make your own green cleaners. You could even make a few, place them in a metal bucket with some wash clothes and give your green cleaning package as a gift!
Air & Fabric Refresher Spray: Use when your home is smelling not-so-fresh. Mix 1 ½ cups water, 1 ½ cups unflavored vodka, and 20 drops of essential oil in your favorite scent (peppermint is a good holiday pick-me-up!).
All Purpose Cleaner: Works for bathrooms, kitchens, even flooring! If you are worried that your house will smell like a salad from all that vinegar, it won’t -- just as soon as the vinegar dries.
Shake together in a repurposed, clearly labeled spray bottle. While this mixture is certainly earth friendly, it’s definitely not kid-friendly, so please keep out of reach of children.
Into a repurposed spray bottle, mix: 1 3/4 Cups Water 1 3/4 Cups White Vinegar, and 20 Drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil (if you want a disinfecting boost) and/or your favorite essential oil (optional).
Wood Cleaner: If you really want to make your wooen furniture shine, mix 1 tablespoon olive oil with 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Apply with a dry cloth after cleaning.
The tradition of sending out cards for the purpose of wishing merriment to friends and relatives originated in 1830 when a philanthropic rish e Flou om) k a fl Englishman commissioned the first Christmas card. Snow ulture.c rC (Pape
Fast forward to the present, and over 20 billion greeting cards are sent within the United States each year. We don't know anyone who doesn't like getting a cheerful holiday card in the mail. But the practice of sending holiday cards begs the question: where is all that paper coming from, and where will it go? Here are three quick options -- good, better, and best -- to help you decide how to spread your cheer this season.
Good: Send out cards as usual and make sure to recycle all the
cards you receive.
Better: Purchase your cards from a responsibly sourced card company like Paper Culture. Not only is each card printed on 100% recycled paper, the company actually plants a tree for each order you place.
Best: Send eCards and put the money you've saved toward a Prius.
Assorted - AmericanGreetings.com
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| by Sarah White
Mindfully Frugal Mom
via C PSC .gov
How to choose toys that are safe and chemical-free!
* via CPS
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Toy safety goes well beyond choking hazards. Most toys that are mass-produced contain some level of chemical exposure that has been identified as problematic. So when your child is screaming for Rock & Roll Rodent or Boob-Job Dolly, what is a parent to do? There are a select group of chemicals that are particularly harmful. They include (but are not limited to): • • • •
BPA (Bisphenol-A) Lead Cadmium Bromine
• • • •
Chlorine (PVC) Arsenic Mercury Pthalates
All of these chemical elements have been identified in animal studies as being carcinogenic. Additionally, some disrupt production of hormones in the human body, and others cause birth defects.1 *Violation of Lead Paint Standards via CPSC.gov
What toys include these chemicals? Everything from toy jewelry, to clothes, to popular toys like those musical learning tables that everyone has, to toy cars. You can input your toys into the database at HealthyStuff.org to see if your items have detectable levels of lead, chlorine, cadmium, bromine, arsenic, or mercury. It should be noted: even though an item has a measurable level of one of these chemicals, it does NOT indicate definite exposure. Keep in mind, though, that children’s bodies are smaller than adults’, and so they are presumably affected more significantly. You can also check the Consumer Product Safety Commission regularly to see what toys have recently been recalled.
What should I do if items in my home contain these chemicals? Frankly, if you find that any item in your house contains any level of harmful chemicals, you should remove it from the home. In addition, to minimize risk, you could run an air purifier with a HEPA filter, and vacuum the area thoroughly. These small steps help create a healthier home in general.
! s n o i t p o Safe
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Which toys are safe? There is no simple answer to this question, but there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of bringing chemical-laden toys and products into your home. • Purchase items Made in the USA or Europe. While this is most definitely NOT a guarantee of safety, historically, items that have been recalled (especially those sold at big box retailers) have been Made in China. • Newer items tend to contain less of these harmful chemicals -- especially lead -- as regulations and general awareness have increased. • Stay away from items with a #3 (PVC) or a #7 (BPA) printed on the bottom. • Purchase toys made of natural and organic materials, like bamboo and organic cotton. • Wood toys are great -- just be sure that if they are painted or finished, non-toxic paints and/or dyes have been used. • Purchase toys and products from sites like Ecomom.com and Abe’s Market, which have already vetted their items for safety and healthfulness. 1. http://www.healthystuff.org/departments/toys/chemicals.introduction.php
Green Toys Chef Set
Plan Toys Fun Stacker
â€œIf there is no joyous way to give a festive gift, give love away.â€? -- Author Unknown
Illustration by Kenneth Lieb
Cold prevention starts at
| by Gretchen Sowers
It happens every year. Sometime in December, Facebook statuses start to read like a virtual doctor's waiting room: "Ugh. Can't.Breathe." "Our whole house is sick with the flu!" "Won't be making it to the potluck...Brayden's come down with something!" Coughs, sniffles, sneezes, and worse seem unavoidable in the winter months, but there are ways to prevent illness.
Handwashing, handwashing, handwashing. Nothing prevents the spread of illness more effectively than handwashing. Be sure you are using the hottest water you can safely stand (children should not be subjected to high temperatures, however) and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Use a toxin-free soap like Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shikakai Spearmint Peppermint Hand Soap; no anti-bacterial agents necessary. Eat well. Reduce the amount of refined sugar, dairy, processed wheat, and caffeine in the winter months (and really, any time). These foods are common inflammatories, meaning it takes your body longer to process and digest them. While your body is busy eliminating that entire batch of cookies you made (I'm guilty), it is less likely to efficiently handle an attack on your immune system. Keep yourself primed for cold season by enjoying vegetablebased soups, lots of whole grains such as 16 quinoa and brown rice, clean proteins like
organic, free-range meat, and save the sweets, rich sauces, and other treats for special occasions only. Exercise. You’ve heard it before. Exercise keeps your body strong, but also helps build white blood cells which fight off infection. Drink plenty of water. Calculate your height in inches (for example, 5'5”=65 inches). The number of inches tall you are is the number of ounces you should consume in a day. Can't stomach too much water? Try homemade vegetable broth or herbal teas--both will keep you hydrated. Get a full-night's sleep. While you dream, your body fights the baddies. Give it ample time by making sure you're in bed at a reasonable hour and you rest at least 8 hours. Are your kids sleeping a lot? More than likely it's the body's natural defense against invasions.
Image: Gretchen Sowers
Home-Grown Remedies Perhaps youâ€™ve done everything you can to prevent a cold and you still feel as though something is coming on. Prepare this home remedy TODAY so you can be armed with it when a cold hits.
Elderberry Syrup 1/2 c. dried elderberries (use 1 c. fresh if available) 3 c. water 1 c. local honey
Cold Tonic This homemade cold remedy contains ingredients used for centuries to aid in colds and flus. Vinegar acts to rebalance the bodyâ€™s ph level. Onion and garlic are known anti-inflammatories as are horseradish, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Pair with local honey to get the benefits of antihistimines in local pollen.
Place berries in a saucepan and cover with the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer over low heat 30-45 minutes. Smash the berries to a pulp. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and add 1 c of honey, or adjust to taste. Bottle the syrup and store in the refrigerator, where it will keep for 2-3 months.
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1 Qt. Braggâ€™s Apple Cider vinegar 1 onion, chopped 1 head garlic, peeled and chopped 1/4 cup fresh grated horseradish 2 T turmeric cayenne pepper 1 c local honey*
Remember, the better you take care of your body and the more you take note of what goes into it, the less likely you will be to get sick!
Combine the vinegar, horseradish, onion, garlic, turmeric and pinch or two of cayenne. Cover and let sit in a warm place for 3-4 weeks.
After that time, strain the mixture, add the honey and rebottle. (A quart-sized Mason jar works well, but you will have about 9 oz. leftover.) Refrigerate. Take 1-2 T at the first sign of a cold and continue throughout the day (approximately every 2-3 hours) until the symptoms subside. Take a tablespoon of this homemade syrup daily to strengthen the immune system. Elderberries have been used for centuries for their anti-viral properties.
My Throat Is Killing Me ...
These natural remedies are tried-and-true methods to rid you of one of the most difficult parts of a cold: the sore throat. Honey* & Lemon Stir some honey and squirt some lemon juice (fresh is preferred) into tea or just hot water. Shortcut: take a large chunk of lemon, squeeze it into hot water, then dunk the rest of the chunk in and let it steep. *Honey should not be given to children under 1 year of age. Salt Water Dump a couple teaspoons of salt into some hot water, let it dissolve, then gargle away. Vinegar A tablespoon of vinegar in hot water makes a wonderful gargle, as well. Throat Wrap Soak a cloth in very cold water. Wrap cloth around the front of your neck. Cover with a small towel. Cover all of that with a scarf and tie to hold it close to the skin. Rest for at least an hour. The cold is thought to bring blood to the area and help with healing and easing inflammation.
wedge. Enjoy! The alcohol is thought to kill any bacteria, the honey soothes the throat, while the lemon provides vitamin C. If anything, the concoction will help one relax for some muchneeded rest! As with any new health practice, please consult your health provider before attempting to administer these remedies. A healthy diet, an active life, and a positive attitude can prevent the worst of cold and flu season from knocking you down for the count. I lift my spoonful of elderberry syrup-Cheers! To good health! Recommended Reading Food & Healing, Annemarie Colbin The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Murray & Pizzorno
Images: sxc.hu Lemon: Zsuzsanna Kilian
Good-Old Fashioned Hot Toddy Fill a teacup with boiling water. Add Â˝ oz of brandy and a teaspoon of honey. Add a lemon
CHERISH THE FREEDOM OF SAFER CHOICES
You’re already doing your best to raise your family in a safe and healthy environment. But did you know that today’s homes are filled with pesticides and chemicals from everyday objects and foods? Discover how to eliminate your children’s exposure to manmade toxic substances and provide them with the best future possible.
Essential advice and simple solutions for all stages of parenting. Keep kids healthier. Reduce environmental threats. Green your home. Our new trusted eco-guide will show you how! Pick up your copy today.
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For the Guys Whether he’s your husband, partner, dad, or grandfather, the men in our lives deserve a gift given with purpose and an earth-friendly flair. Surprise him with one of these experiences or thoughtfully-chosen gifts.
Great Gift, Bar None
You choose the ingredients and name for your personalized energy bar! Organic options make us very happy. (Starting at $32/box of 13, youbars.com)
Make your man a Localvore.
Investigate your area’s local food artisans. Is there a butcher shop in the vicinity? Check it out for jerky or freshly-cured meats. If your recipient really enjoys his cuts of beef, consider a gift-certificate so he can choose exactly what suits his carnivorous needs. Other foodie options might involve local cheeses or baked goods. Craft-brewed beer has become so popular, it is almost a cliché. Chances are, you can find a local brewery to purchase your guy a sampler pack of their brews. Or, go all out by ordering him a growler and setting-up a brewery tour! Bonus Points if your local brewery is sustainable, like New Belgium in Ft. Collins, CO! (newbelgium.com)
Ya Feel Me, Dawg?
Texting Gloves--These Touchy Texting Gloves from Etre are perfect for smartphone and iPad users. Find them in the U.S. at Fair Indigo, an online store featuring fair-trade, eco-friendly, organic and recycled products. ($55 fairindigo.com)
The Scent of Clean
Kick the artificial fragrances! Get your guy chem-free by gifting a fragrance oil from Wiggle Perfume. We like Remedy, Wiggle’s signature men’s fragrance, for a scent that every guy will enjoy. ($15 wiggleperfume.etsy.com)
For the Next Food TV Star
Non-stick cookware is generally coated with toxic chemicals. Choose a stainless-steel option or a classic cast iron pan for your chef, like this enamelcoated one from Lodge. ($60 lodgemfg.com)
Sporting event tickets, concert tickets, or museum passes--Is your husband an avid sports fan? Does your brother adore Bach or Breaking Benjamin? Maybe your father-in-law craves more art in his life. Buy them the experience of enjoying one of their favorite activities!
Want to clean up your man’s routine?
Try the products from Every Man Jack. Our editor’s hubby loves the Cedarwood scent! (Starting at $6 everymanjack.com)
For the Guys I Wanna Be in Pictures
Why use up natural resources by creating a paper photobook? Use the (free) Blurb software and your guy can have photobooks on the go: right from his iPad or iPhone. (Buy or Sell It for $2 blurb.com)
Lava Hot Java
Your man’s commute shouldn’t be accompanied by tepid beverages. Give him the Klean Kanteen Insulated for piping-hot joe without BPA. (16 oz. $26 kleankanteen.com)
Sprout Watches are everything you want them to be: eco-friendly and conflict-free. Made of recycled materials, corn resin, and without lead or phthalates, these watches are a new take on a classic gift. ($75 sproutwatches.com)
Modlet stands for “modern electric outlet.” Plug it into any outlet in the home to track and control power usage of appliances through web-based software. The Home Starter Kit could save your guy some green right out of the box. ($60 themodlet.com)
For the Ladies If you are shopping for a woman of distinction in your life, there are so many options for gorgeous, healthy, and sustainable items. All of the finds on this page come with the knowledge that you are making a healthy choice for her and her environment.
Isn’t She Lovely?
Made from Argan Oil, the gorgeous “Lovely” palette by Josie Maran is designed to flatter any skin tone. Endlessly versatile, the kit can be used on lips, cheeks or eyes. ($18 josiemarancosmetics.com)
Paper or Plastic?
How about neither! Tote groceries, clothing, and anything else with this set of 5 Animal Planet-themed reusable bags from Envirosax. ($40 reuseit.com)
Is she truly unique? So are these hand-crafted handbags made entirely from recycled seat belts! (Starting at $38 seatbeltbags.com)
Canâ€™t decide what to get for the woman who has everything? Try a gift card to Pure Citizen. Every company featured on Pure Citizen is making a healthy impact -- through environmentally sound production, fair trade practices, or use of recycled materials. Plus, when you purchase a gift card, choose to send a percentage of your savings to the Legacies of War foundation. (purecitizen.com)
Who says winter needs to be dark and dreary? Brighten her day with this gorgeous upcycled Indian Sari Scarf ($48 uncommongoods. com)
No Potato Sacks Allowed
Organic, fair-trade clothing doesnâ€™t have to mean free-form sewing from burlap sacks! This beautiful structured coat from Indigenous Designs will keep her warm and sexy, too ($160 indigenousdesigns.com)
More than a Bracelet
This seven strand bracelet is made by women artisans from Uganda out of recycled, naturally dyed paper. ($28 globalgirlfriend.com)
For the Ladies A-Tisket, A-Tasket
She’ll love a Reisenthel Market Basket! Make trips to the farmer’s market, a picnic, or gardening a breeze. ($40 reuseit.com)
Oh So Yummy!
These caramels from Theo will leave your lady loving you and feeling good knowing that these chocolates are all organic and fair trade! ($27 theochocolate.com)
She’ll be looking hot with flirty nailpolish colors from Scotch Naturals. They are water based with non-toxic colorants. ($15 scotchnaturals.com)
Raise Your Glass!
This is a club that’s easy to join! Made from all organic grapes from all over the world, The Organic Wine Company will send her 3 bottles of wine to her doorstep every month. Attach a cute little corkscrew to the gift card. ($50/month theorganicwinecompany.com)
Couples Parents, siblings, hosts of holiday parties...couples deserve a great gift to enjoy together!
Baby, It’s Cold Outside!
Consider making a winter campfire kit or fireplace kit for your recipients. Include a yule log (directions below), matches, pie irons, scarves and gloves, treats, and a bottle of brandy or wine.. To Make a Yule Log: Start with three logs of substantial size for burning. Bind them together with wire and/or raffia. Tuck fresh pine, fir, or cedar boughs under the raffia. Decorate with berries, cinnamon sticks, and holly. Attach a gift tag with “warm” wishes!
Crown Me the Winner!
V: King is an outdoor lawn game based on a Swedish viking game. It’s handcrafted in Vermont! ($99 playvking.com)
A couple that spends time in the kitchen together will love to receive this completely organic and edible wreath made of fresh herbs. ($42 arenaturals.com)
Are your friends still using the towels they received for their wedding shower (20 years ago)? Buy them a high-quality, organic upgrade that won’t go ragged. ($40 arenaturals.com)
I’m going on a picnic...
True, this gift may not be used until spring, but how could we resist a picnic set of this caliber? A handwoven basket contains dining accoutrement made from 100% all natural and renewable resources. Eco-charming! ($125 uncommongoods.com) 29
Bosses & CoWorkers No matter where your workplace stands on gift-giving, everybody appreciates a little something. In general, gifts to co-workers and bosses should be more about an expression of caring than a grand gesture. Show your thoughtfulness with one of these whimsical gifts.
Hemp Snack Tote
Worth Your Salt
All sorts of delectable yumminess awaits in this reusable snack tote. Fillers included! ($43 ecoexpress.com)
An exotic twist on a kitchen staple. Organic Himalaya Salt and Pepper Grinder Set. ($14 sustainablesourcing.com)
Orange you Generous!
Oranges are a traditional stocking stuffer from the time of St. Nicholas. Show your benevolence by giving this delicious Orange and Ginger Marmalade. ($15 abesmarket.com)
Stand your Ground
And stay alert -- give this delicious Holiday 2011 blend. Grounds for Change Certified Organic, Fair-Trade coffee ($8 groundsforchange.com)
A Rose By Any Other Word...
...wouldnâ€™t be fairly traded and organic. VeriFlora Certified roses means they were grown with the least environmental impact. Five percent of your purchase goes towards the Green America initiative ($50/dz organicbouquet.com)
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Babies & New Moms The holiday season, particularly, brings to mind the importance of birth and gentle mothering. Pay homage to new life and the incredible mamas that birth them with these wonderful gifts.
Cloth diapering saves trash from entering landfills and saves parents hundreds of dollars. Help them decide what system works best by gifting a cloth diaper sampler package. ($56 jilliansdrawers.com)
Cozy and Cuddly
Our editor loves this sleep sack from Wee Urban for its breathable, organic cotton and well-thought out design. ($50 weeurban.com)
Do away with typical pastels and buy baby this empowered red outfit from Positively Organic. ($54 positively-organic.com)
Help baby learn his name from Day One with this personalized set of blocks from Little Sapling Toys. ($44 littlesaplingtoys.etsy.com)
Reclaimed wool makes each one of these Peek-a-Boo Puppets from Cate&Levi a unique surprise. ($25 cateandlevi.com)
A Little Something...
Earth Mama Angel Baby’s New “A Little Something For Mama-to-Be” includes all the essentials for pampering a pregnant body--100% organic and toxin free. ($20 earthmamaangelbaby.com)
Hold Them Close
Perfect for the holidays, this richlycolored Beco carrier is easy to learn and great for mom and baby bonding. ($140 becobabycarrier.com)
Kelly Wels is on a mission! Her book, Changing Diapers is the perfect resource for those new to cloth diapering. Our favorite chapter is entitled, “Daddies and Diapers”. ($18 kellywels.com)
Mama can keep the loving memory of nursing her children forever preserved in this sweet pendant. ($67 hollyday27.etsy.com)
No Drab Bags
These organic fiber bags are stylish enough to double as a large purse but perform marvelously as a roomy diaper bag. Our editor loves hers! ($106 tootsntots.com)
It’s a Wrap
This beautiful 100% cotton crossover shirt will keep mama warm and stylish from pregnancy through nursing. ($83 1intheoven.com)
Little Guys & Gals The holidays are so full of wonder and fun for the preschool set. Entice thier senses and keep them safe with these fun, non-toxic eco-friendly gift ideas!
Little guys love all things that move, roll, and go! This truck from Green Toys is safe, non-toxic, Made in the USA, and best of all, FUN! Have a little girl that loves trucks too?! This truck also comes in a fun pink/purple combo! ($28 greentoys.com)
The Discovery Kids Solar System Magnifinder Puzzle from Masterpiece is made from sustainably harvested and recycled pieces. ($15 planethappytoys.com)
Beautiful Baltic Amber
Commonly used for teething babies, your little girl will love this necklace for it’s natural delicacy, while you will love it for the healing properties it contains. Genuine baltic amber jewelry contains succinic acid, which has been known to strengthen the immune system, relieve pain, and promote general wellness. (Starting at $21 inspiredbyfinn.com)
Kiddos Love Creativity!
A crayon roll and a pad of paper is an easy gift that will definitely be used. What little one wouldnâ€™t like their very own set of crayons in this adorable roll. ($6 HappyBabeeandBeeyond.etsy.com)
Put the FUN in multifunctional!
This handcrafted black cherry wagon is 3 toys in 1! It is a wagon, a pull toy, and 100 red oak blocks. There are hours of amusement in this one beautiful piece. The best part is that it will still look great in your living room and make a beautiful heirloom! ($325 woodentoy.com)
If your little guy loves trains, he will he love creating his own with this playset from Made by Me! ($15 jilliansdrawers.com)
Do you hav-a Haba?
Haba has an adorable variety of plush dolls that any child will love. All Haba toys are hand-assembled in an eco-aware environment. ($32 moolka.com)
Little Guys & Gals Get Hands On!
Eco-dough is made of all-natural coloring and is packaged in recycled tubes. And if some gets “accidentally” eaten, no worries (not that we’d recommend it!) Also, check out Crayon Rocks: made of soy wax and tinted with mineral powders, they’re shaped precisely to help little hands perfect the “tripod grip.” ($20 for Eco-Dough & $7 for Crayon Rocks imaginechildhood.com)
Make a Memory!
A parent’s favorite gift for this age is generally one that doesn’t make noise or take up a lot of room. A membership to the local museum or zoo makes everyone happy. You can make unlimited trips to kidfriendly, educational spaces, support a local non-profit, and best of all, there will be one less annoyingly loud -- and sharp -- item to trip over. You can also get them a gift to feel good about! Adopt a Species at The Smithsonian starting at $40! (nationalzoo.si.edu)
Boys and Girls alike will cook up loads of delicious pretend fun in Camden’s Kitchen by Camden Rose. This play kitchen is so gorgeously made, you won’t want to keep it in the playroom! ($249 camdenrose.com)
Hello Hanna Paper-Dolls are a classic toy with a modern sensibility. All Hello Hanna’s paper dolls are made of FSCcertified recycled paper. ($12 hellohanna.com)
Banish Bumps in the Night
Solpals solar night lights will also get rid of the bump in the electric bill. Simply position the solar panel on a sunny window, and you’re good to go! Also great for getting off the grid and banishing power cords from little ones’ sleeping quarters. ($30 solpals.com)
Kids of all ages love creating a funky beat: Try the Junior Rhythm Pack from JamTown! ($50 planethappytoys.com)
Go On an Adventure!
Sstory-building playsets put your little one (not some battery-operated voice) in control. Let his imagination run wild. We love the Dino Adventure Rig! ($25 sprigtoys.com)
Teens & Tweens The younger set can be challenging to gift. Here are a few ideas sure to make you “the cool relative,” or, at the very least, elicit a genuine, “thank you!”
Shimmery, sparkly, beautiful, tasteful color in this set from Everyday Minerals will please both teen and parents alike. ($14 everydayminerals.com)
What Goes Around...
This simple leather wrap would suit any guy or girl. ($60 theprettypeacock.etsy. com)
Where’s My Flash Drive?
These über-cool cuffs are handmade from repurposed linoleum flooring that protects the included USB key. ($30 oopsmark.etsy.com)
Keep that expensive cell phone safe in a fun, handmade case. ($25 yummypocket.etsy.com)
Remember scouring the CD rack for the latest albums? Those days are over, dude. Give your teen an iTunes giftcard and save the plastic jewel cases for the recycling bin. Up your awesomefactor by suggesting albums by LCD Soundsystem or, an old favorite, Radiohead. (Starting at $15 store.apple.com)
Funk up your teen’s attire with these sneakers made in Africa. Your Oliberte purchase supports local economies in Ethiopia. ($167 ethicalocean.com)
Good Enough to Eat
The yummy-smelling soap creations at this Etsy store might make this gift hard to give away. ($5 soapopotamus.etsy.com)
Who doesn’t love a bean bag chair? Who doesn’t love a product made from recycled materials and organic cotton? Eco Sak has it covered! Give the ultimate gift of comfort that will last for years. ($219 ecosak.com)
Teens & Tweens Teens Turning Green
Check out these products from Teens Turning Green, an initiative that seeks to inspire the next generation “from conventional to conscious” living. Their skincare line uses only botanical and organic ingredients. (Starting at $7 teensturninggreen.org)
A greener alternative to a coveted teen item, Samsung’s Replenish is built with recycled plastics and reduced hazardous substances. Did we mention that this Android phone has an optional solar charger battery cover?! (check your provider)
Wiki Wiki Chica Chica
Your teen will look cool and love it in this Turntable tee made from ethically sourced cotton and durable water based inks from PLB Design. Check out great styles for the guys too! ($27 plb-store.com)
Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is real, it is more common than most women realize & can be deadly.
You ARE Loved is a nonprofit organization committed to raising awareness about tampon related TSS and providing factual information about menstruation.
FACT: Anyone who uses a traditional tampon (brands like Kotex, OB, Playtex, & Tampax) is at risk for TSS.
FACT: Every box of tampons sold in the USA contains information about Toxic Shock Syndrome. FACT: Tween, teen and 20-somethings are at greatest risk because they have not yet developed the antibodies needed. FACT: No one has ever reported TSS as the result of a 100% cotton tampon (brands like Maxim Hygiene, Natracare, & Seventh Generation) or a disposable menstrual cup (Instead Softcup). Additionally, reusable cups provide a much safer alternative to traditional tampons (brands like Diva Cup, Keeper, and Lunette). FACT: Each woman shown on this page experienced TSS
Read their stories here.
Toxic Shock Syndrome develops when the common bacteria, Staphylococcus Aureus, produces a toxin which is absorbed into the bloodstream. The toxin rapidly overwhelms the immune system and attacks the major organs, leading to kidney failure, collapse of the lungs and in severe cases, cardiac arrest. Alarmingly, half of all known cases of Toxic Shock are women using TAMPONS. Learn more about Toxic Shock Syndrome and how you can help at
Pets They warm us and comfort us. They soothe us and make us laugh. They curl by our feet (or head) and ask for nothing but love in return. Show your pet a little extra this year.
Plant More Bathrooms
Treat your feline to some gourmet treats. These adorable cupcakes are filled with organic catnip. ($2 thecatnipcafe.com)
For every 10 shampoo bars sold, DERMagic plants a tree. ($8 dermagic.com)
Shed deer antlers are filled with 100% natural goodness. ($9 organicpetboutique.com)
Straight from the Earth
Gift some catnip or dog grass, available in biodegradable rice hull herb pots, to show your love of pet-friendly plants. ($16 greatgreenstore.com)
Holidays can put as much stress on pets as on their owners. Calm your wired pup (safely and holistically) with Bedtime Biscuits from Wagathaâ€™s. ($9 wagathas.com)
45+ Blogs & Just As Many Chances To Win! Great brands like: AppleCheeks, Rockin’ Green, Eco-Nuts, PlanetWise, Charlie Banana, BabyLegs, Grandma El’s, Gro-Via, Itti Bitti, Thirsties, & More!
A Little Perspective
| by Trevor Hearn
A reflection on the holiday season.
As I sat on the eve of another Thanksgiving, I found myself rolling through my childhood memories of this special occasion. Turkey Day has been my favorite holiday since I was a kid, and I look forward to it all year long. I love the simplicity of it- family and friends gathering to spend time together, simple as that. What’s not to love? Well… here’s one thing I don’t love about it: the lack of respect that Thanksgiving receives.
For our family, the day starts off by hoping the kids let us get an extra hour or two of sleep. Then a large number of our friends and family will gather for dinner at my parents’ house. The sight of that smorgasbord of turkey, noodles, dressing, pies, and all the other fine eats brings a tear to my eye. I’m a guy that can put away some food, and I take my holiday dinners pretty seriously. My Mom and I wager each year on how many pounds I can gain over the course of the day. To me, it’s not just eating, it’s more like I’m the Allies invading German-occupied Europe. There is strategy to every move, each decision could mean the difference between victory or defeat...
Okay, okay, back to business. So where’s the love for this great holiday? When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was a pretty big deal. Nowadays, Thanksgiving is being overshadowed by two things: Black Friday and, believe it or not, Christmas.
Let’s start with Black Friday. Retailers offer
incredible sales on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and millions of people will swarm the stores to get these deals. But do these stores really need to open at 4 am, 2 am, or even midnight? Each year the stores open earlier and earlier, and the crowds get bigger and bigger. Why can’t stores open at normal hours or offer sales that last all weekend? These sales tactics lead to mass chaos and very unholiday-like behavior. We’ve all seen the news stories of caffeine-fueled shoppers charging into a store, and some poor Joe Schmoe gets trampled into the pavement and has to eat through a straw for the next 3 months, just so Jane Schmoe can save 50% on her KitchenAid mixer.
Here’s something else to think about: how about the thousands and thousands of store employees who will have to get out of bed at midnight after Thanksgiving just to go to work and deal with these hoards of shoppers in the middle of the night? Could you imagine going to bed at 5 pm on your holiday, your day off from work, because your store is opening at 2am? And just think about the unnecessary energy consumption involved with stores opening in the middle of the night. Black Friday symbolizes greed, plain and simple, at a time of year that is meant to reflect thankfulness and giving.
Illustrations by Kenneth Lieb
Moving on to my next issue- Christmas.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, there’s nothing else like it. But when I drive to the store in mid-November and pass a dozen houses with Christmas decorations and inflatable Santas glowing in the yard, then I have a bone to pick. All I can think is, “It’s November! It’s pre-Thanksgiving! This isn’t Field of Dreams- if you decorate it, he will come!” Christmas won’t be here until December 25, no matter how early you decorate. Some people will say they decorate early before the weather gets too cold. I understand that, but just because the house is decorated doesn’t mean that the lights have to be turned on each night. Besides, there is something special about going out and decorating in December when it is cold and snowy, then tipping back some hot cocoa with a little Jack Daniels- it gets you in the Christmas spirit. Clark Griswold didn’t have any trouble busting out his decorations in a foot of snow, and he had like 30,000 lights. It’s bad enough that stores put out their Christmas items on the days following Halloween. I began seeing Christmas lights the second week of November. That’s roughly forty days before Christmas. That would be like putting your Halloween decorations out on Labor Day, or putting your July
4th decorations out on Memorial Day, or putting your Valentines decorations out on New Year’s Eve. In my opinion, the longer the Christmas holiday gets stretched out, the less special it becomes. Well, it’s time for me to get back to daydreaming about the holidays the way they are meant to be. This year make sure you stop and remember what they are all about, and let’s remember to give Thanksgiving the respect it deserves next year. It isn’t about shopping, and it isn’t about Christmas, it’s about giving thanks for all the blessings in our lives, and spending time with the ones we love. Christmas always comes, and we’ll still manage to find deals on the things we want to buy, but until it comes, let’s remember to pause and enjoy this special day. It comes only once a year.
A Palette for Everyone These shimmering, neutral picks for holiday color are not only flattering for all skintones but are safe choices to use on your skin. Free of GMO’s, parabens, petrochemicals, sulfates, synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, and triclosan, you can feel and look eco-gorgeous!
If you haven’t found their site yet, consult the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database for info on thousands of products. F. C.
B. A. H.
D. A. Jane Iredale PureBrow Gel ($16.50 janeiredale.com) B. Everyday Minerals Comfy Eyeshadow ($7 everydayminerals.com) C. Everyday Minerals Hot Chocolate Eyeshadow ($7 everydayminerals.com) D. 100% Pure Pot Rouge in Rosy ($15 100percentpure.com) E. High Definition Cake Eyeliner in Brown by nveyEco ($30 nveyeco.com) F. AfterGlow Hydra Gloss in Smooch ($24 set afterglowcosmetics.com) G. PritiNYC Nail Polish in Monkey Puzzle ($12 pritinyc.com) H. Leopard Orchid ($12 pritinyc.com)
Images: Gretchen Sowers
Feeling Guilty About Your Live Christmas Tree? Donâ€™t!
A live Christmas Tree is actually a great option. Even better would be a locally grown, organic Christmas tree. People often wonder if the plastic tree that can be reused year after year is better than the fresh cut fresh Christmas tree. The answer is, for now, stay away for the plastic Christmas trees! Most plastic Christmas trees are imported from China and the PVCthey are made from cannot be recycled and frequently contains lead, which we know is detrimental to a child's brain development. In addition, the manufacture of PVC releases dioxins, a cancer hazard, into the ecosystem. Live Christmas trees, on the other hand, are a renewable resource with Christmas tree farms generally planting more than they harvest each year. The live Christmas trees preserve green space while they are being grown, as well as produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. Christmas trees should be recycled after Christmas through curbside programs or other creative ways from chipping and mulching to backyard bird sanctuary.
| by Scarlet Paolicchi Family Focus Blog
Of course, you could always go the creative route and avoid a traditional Christmas Tree altogether. I remember one year when I was growing up, my mother found a dead limb from a weeping willow on one of our walks and said she thought it was so pretty. We decided to bring it home and use it as our Christmas tree that year. True it had no leaves, but its branches were beautiful when strung with lights and decorated with sycamore balls and pine cones. Another year we just used a potted palm house plant we had. But if you love the wonderful fresh pine scent, go ahead and get a live tree this year, guilt free!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, on Donner and Blitzen!
– This is a Call Global warming terrifies me. So do clowns, Nurse Ratched, and the Amityville Horror. These things operate outside my control, yet greenhouse gases represent the debt I’m inheriting. All things considered, I had a blissfully ignorant childhood, and am paying for my goods and comfort by melting the nearest polar cap. All of us, this rising generation, shoulder a noxious burden. Headlines ‘expose the truth’ of my (our) climate situation. Environmentalists scream that we assess our carbon footprint. And the holiday season rumbles into the station, burning deadly toxic fumes. This social, economic, train of a season requires something to run on, and so far that remains fossil fuels, something so ingrained into society that, in the near future, we may be trying to roast chestnuts over a new ice age. Optimism aside, certain steps can be taken (especially by young students) during the most wonderful time of the year to negate frozen futures: 1. Get an Education – We’ve escaped the clutches of professors for a certain amount of time. Thus, when not drowning in eggnog, there’s ample time to discover: what is global warming? What are the immediate dangers? Why does my carbon footprint not carry a size at the mall? Literally, type into Google, “global warming”. The work is done in half a second and 82 million results.
2. Establish Short Term Solution – sustainable living is by no means simple living, and until recyclable iPhones hit the market, we must do our own research to make little efforts. Create goals; try to recycle bottles. Or stop buying bottled water; buy a lovely reusable bottle and fill it daily. Then, buy your friends classy bottles. Congratulations, you’ve established a clique. Christmas has never saved so much. One thing teens (with a reasonable intelligence) have in common is placement as students. Our efforts to ward off glaciers thus focus in schools. Other things that come to mind: use notebooks of recycled paper or carpool with friends when traveling.
| by Conor Small Email
Images: Christian Ferrari
3. Assimilate others – sounds gloomy, yes? Well, I’d only add it in seriousness; we started this process of global disregard through bad habits. One entrepreneur’s cash-grab (see: drilling, oil) was improved and spread, and suddenly society built on it. Now, the youngest generation can turn the tables and apply the human capacity of mob mentality. Begin taking steps, and do them with your family and friends. You’ll be traveling to further relatives, yes? Spread. Have some extra time off school? Research, reuse when possible, and spread. Not all will follow suit, but those who do will spread to others… who spread to others…. Creepy how close to bacteria we are. We’re part of this Earth, and we’ll save it as a species, not individual saviours. It’s a pool of ideas, spreading for benefit. 4. Shop informed – This carries some crossover with the second point, but let’s assume this hasn’t come to the mind of the infamous reader yet. At some point, we’ll have to go shopping for others, for ourselves, for holiday supplies, for food, for escape. Transform, grow into the informed consumer; the idea of “shopping green” may seem expensive, but even one item’s difference could make momentum shift to this sustainable initiative.
Watch for recycled supplies. Pay attention to environmentally friendly movements. A great example: Timberland has established a line of “Earthkeepers”, boots and shoes build with recycled leather and rubber. The line continues to establish new products every year, from boots to boat shoes, yet even a change in footwear proves the difference we can make. 5. Community Service – In employment, extracurriculars, and school, I’ve done community service; most of it has beautified the environment and cleaned up what others threw down. Although it requires some self-ingratiating babble, this shows that community service exists everywhere, in all facets of possibilities. The work becomes almost irritation in usefulness: protecting the environment, spending time benefitting others, for something can be added to a resume. Or a college application. Or… I’m choking on my own pragmaticism. This is a season of giving after all. So go make a difference, and have a fantastic holiday. I’ll throw out the challenge to create a environmental Christmas carol (please don’t take it too seriously).
It's a Wrap!
| by Sarah White
Mindfully Frugal Mom
Green Gift Wrapping
According to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, for each week between Thanksgiving and New Yearâ€™s, more than a million additional tons of waste are generated . All that extra garbage is due in no small part to the piles of gift wrap that we use to adorn our holiday gifts. There is nothing festive or merry about nearly 6 million tons of garbage being tossed into landfills. 1
Extra! Extra! Save your Sunday paper and wrap kids' gifts in the colorful comics! Just toss it right into the recycling bin when you're done.
Two-For-One: Wow your friend or loved one by wrapping their gift with a reusable shopping tote. These can be obtained as cheaply as $.99 from grocery stores, or splurge a bit with a fun holiday shopping tote.
Image: Sarah White
This year, why donâ€™t we pledge to use reusable, recyclable, and waste-free wrapping! Once you get started with reusable wrapping options, you are only limited by your imagination for fun and beautiful wrapping solutions.
Make the container part of the gift: Pick up some buckets, cans, or flower pots from a thrift shop. Some eco-friendly cleaning supplies could go in a metal bucket; gardening supplies would look adorable in a flower pot. You could also wrap up toiletries in a luxurious hand towel, or a baby gift in a soft organic cotton blanket. Be creative, and make the wrapping match the gift! Get it in Print! Those old magazines are a treasure trove of wrapping possibilities -- Check out this great tutorial on how to make beautiful bows and gift wrap using old magazine pages. You could even find magazine wrapping that hints at the gift: a bamboo cutting board would be even more fun wrapped up in a recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine.
Do You DIY? You can make your own fabric gift bags. Grab up all the spare fabric scraps you can find -thrift stores are a great option, or just buy some remnants from Jo-Ann's. Then, just follow this easy tutorial. If you're not the crafty type, you can purchase cloth gift bags as well. I like these -- designed by a middle school student -- from Lyziwraps. The Whole Package. Don't just stop with the paper -- try to eliminate the use of petroleum based adhesive tapes by securing your wrap job with raffia, twine, or even yarn for a pretty finishing touch. http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/PublicEd/Holidays/ 1
Stocking Stuffers They’ll Love a. Pucker Up!
Loving Naturals Organic Lip Balm ($3 luckyvitamin.com)
b. Use it Again!
Reusable produce bags. ($12 essereusablebags.com)
c. Keep Your Eye on the Ball
Handcrafted cup & ball toy. ($12 earthentree.com)
d. A Beautiful Moment . . .
Capture one with this tea infuser. ($15 mightyleaf.com) d.
e. Read Green!
Don’t Throw that Away! A recycling book. ($7 amazon.com)
f. Let’s Keep it Clean
Pale Ale Cedarwood Beer Soap. ($13 abesmarket.com) f.
g. Green Your Teen or Tween The Green Teen. ($12 amazon.com)
h. Pop the Cork!
On New Years with this Bamboo Corkscrew! ($7 wineopeners.com)
i. Lather Up!
Love the lather, hate the plastic? Eco-Pouf! ($2 naturalmarket.com)
j. Let the Good Times Roll!
Card Case made of recycled bike tire tubes! ($15 uncommongoods.com)
k. Suds Up!
Ollie’s Happy Hand Sudz by Taslie ($16 taslie.com) k.
l. Ditch the Chemicals!
Nellie’s Dryer Balls decrease drying time. ($15 nelliesallnatural.com)
m. We Love Reusable Bags
Especially those that fold up super compact! ($6 chicobag.com)
n. Pretty in Piggy
Super safe, water-based Piggy Paints rock! ($9 piggypaint.com)
o. Shake Rattle and.. Recycle!
Eco Rattle made from wood & reclaimed plastics. ($7 sprigtoys.com) o.
p. Organic Candy Canes
What’s a stocking without candy canes? ($5 candywarehouse.com)
q. Love Your Skin
With super luxurious reusable cosmetic pads. ($8 homesteademporium.com)
r. Drink it Up!
With a set of beautiful Glass Dharma straws! ($33 glassdharma.com)
Be sure they get their lump of coal - soap! ($4 burntmill.etsy.com)
t. Skip the BPA!
Get a Klean Kanteen! ($14 reuseit.com)
There are some gifts that no one should get -- or give. Enjoy our editors’ thoughts on these ridiculous, redundant, and downright absurd products.
Holiday < French Toast Stick Maker
Sarah: “When a knife doesn’t cut it.” Amanda: “It looks like a torture device.” Gretchen: “This has RECALL written all over it.”
Microwave Egg Poacher >
Sarah: “For people who need another single-purpose kitchen gadget.” Amanda: “Mmmm, eggs with a side of plastic! Thanks Mom!” Gretchen: “Nothing like the scent of petroleum and microwaves in the morning!”
< Boogie Board
Sarah: “A $60 Magnadoodle for Adults.” Amanda: “Ahh, who needs a pen and paper anyways?” Gretchen: “As if typical boogie boards weren’t embarrassing enough...”
Dentist Kit >
Sarah: “As fun as a trip to the dentist!” Amanda: “Is this suppose to encourage good dental hygiene?” Gretchen: “Good to know it’s anatomically correct; I also have only seven teeth.”
| by Gretchen Sowers
New Year’s Eve Deck Party! New Year’s Eve conjures two scenarios in my mind: glitzy soirees with guests decked in their finest party-wear, joyfully sipping cocktails by the music of a full band and kissing as the ball drops at midnight, or, cozy evenings with friends or family, sharing snacks and jokes about Ryan Seacrest’s stage makeup, and fighting sleep to stay awake until midnight. Instead of reveling in the norm this New Year’s Eve, ring in 2012 with a party which embraces the fun of the season: the crisp, cold air, the warmth of friends, a fire, and a great beverage, and the exhilaration of starting new traditions.
East Meets West....
When the temperatures drop, conjure up ideas of warmth by turning to foods and decor inspired by warmer climates. Indian and Middle-Eastern spices are the perfect accompaniment to holiday fare, and the bright colors of the Eastern continents contribute festive flair!
Serves 8 Adults
Ancient Spices Beer Can Chicken Classic Middle-Eastern spices meet a common American party fixture: the beer can. The 56 result is a lesson in delicious diversity.
Ingredients: 2 whole chickens, 3½ -5 lbs. each, washed, neck & giblets removed, dried inside and out 4 cloves of garlic, minced 4 T. olive oil Spice Rub (see below) 2 opened, half-full cans of beer Ancient Spices Dry Rub (for 2 chickens) 3 T. garam masala 2 T. sea salt 1 T. cumin 1 T. coriander 1 T. white pepper 1 T. garlic powder 2 tsp. cayenne pepper Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Spread generously over meat.
Images: Gretchen Sowers
1. Pre-heat your grill or prepare the coals for indirect heat. Drink half of each beer and put the other halves aside for the chickens. For each chicken: 2. Combine the garlic and olive oil and rub the chicken thoroughly, inside and out, with the mixture. 3. Next, repeat with the spice rub, making sure to cover the entire bird. 4. Slide the prepared chicken atop the beer can. 5. Transfer chickens to the grill, carefully balancing the cans on the grate. Use the legs to help balance. If necessary, place each chicken + can in an oven-safe 8x8” pan, but you will need to increase the heat. 6. Close the lid and cook over indirect heat for 1-1¼ hours until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees F in the thigh or 165 degrees F in the breast. 7. CAREFULLY remove from the grill (the can and its contents will be HOT!). Allow chicken to rest 10 minutes before carving.
1 large yellow onion, chopped 2-3 T. olive oil 2 T. mild curry paste (adjust amount and type of curry to your heat preference) salt & pepper chopped cilantro Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to evenly coat. Separate the potato mixture onto four large pieces of aluminum foil; fold into packets. Grill on the top rack of your grill for 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Top with cilantro.
Grilled Stick Bread Indian naan bread is traditionally prepared with yeast, then flattened and cooked on a hot stone or skillet until bubbly. This version omits the yeast and combines bread dough with the American camping tradition of food on a stick and cooking over open flame.
Grilled Curried Potatoes and Snap Peas This riff on a classic Punjabi side dish is a “snap” to pull together. Ingredients: 8-10 red potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 2 ½ c. fresh or frozen snap peas
Ingredients: 2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 cup warm milk 1/2 cup plain yogurt 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp sugar 3/4 tsp baking powder pinch of baking soda 1 tsp chopped cilantro Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour sugar, milk, yogurt and slowly combine, to form a soft dough. Cover with damp cloth and let rest for 2 hours. (This could be done before guests arrive.) After two hours, toss in the cilantro and knead the dough gently for about two minutes, adding flour until dough is stiff enough to shape. Shape pinches of the dough into long snakes and wind each piece around a skewer. Lay skewers directly on a heated grill and cook until firm, about 3-5 minutes. The dough may also be made into flat disks and cooked directly on the grill.
fluffy. Add the almond paste and mix until completely incorporated. Add the cinnamon, cocoa, cake crumbs, salt, and baking powder, and mix until combined. Rest dough overnight in the refrigerator. Once your dough has rested, roll it out 1/4 inch thick. The dough will be very sticky, so use plenty of white flour to roll it out. You may use up to a cup of flour when rolling. Dip your cookie cutter into flour before each cutting. Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 1520 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and dust with colored sugar.
Sparkling Cinnamon Stars Ingredients: 1 egg plus 1 egg white 1 pound almond paste 1 cup sugar 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 1/2 tbsp Dutch Cocoa 2 1/2-3 cups chocolate cake crumbs Pinch of salt Pinch of baking powder Beat the sugar into the eggs until light and
Ingredients: 1 oz sambuca 1/2 oz amaretto almond liqueur 8 oz coffee or hot cocoa Combine all ingredients in a mug & top with fresh whipped cream!
Images: Cookies: Sarah White - Beverage: Stanley Leung
Marry North American winter foliage with the bold hues of India. Dress your tables in brightly-colored tablecloths and adorn seating with vivid cushions. A row of pine cones alternating with candles in mirrored glasses is simple and modern. Top it all off with DIY garlands and donâ€™t forget to include baskets of extra blankets, hats, and gloves for anyone who may have forgotten their own.
^ We love the bold colors and intricate design of the Leela Indian Textile Collection ($15 to $35 WorldMarket.com)
^ Balance bold patterns with these sleek solids! Moroccan Tea Glass Candles, Set of 4 ($20 WorldMarket.com)
> Tie it all together with these fun floor cushions in a chunky stiped pattern. Chili Pepper & Amethyst Striped Floor Cushion ($45 WorldMarket.com)
s k o o L day
i l o H
Be funky, fashionable and eco-chic!
Clothing seems to be the Final Frontier among green products: organic, natural fabrics, free of dyes and toxic laundering chemicals, available in a range of styles, manufactured ethically and traded fairly, are difficult to find. So, what is one to do when planning attire for holiday functions? Try these ideas on for size: -Scour local thrift stores and consignment shops for basic pieces to dress up with accessories or funky styles to layer with items you already own. -Organize a clothing swap with friends. Encourage them to bring shoes, jewelry, and other accessories, too! -Wear something you already own and purchase accessories that will last the test of time. Check out some of our favorite finds!
a. This bracelet is certainly disarming. Reclaimed brass bullet casings create this look. ($58 uncommongoods. com) b. Eco-friendly cotton jersey scarf with a funky flair. ($42 ecoShag.etsy. com) c. While there is some controversy surrounding the manufacturing of silk, choosing a quality tie, such as this one from Jack Franklin, over a cheaper or synthetic version, ensures buying only once. ($32 wearjack. com)
d. The fact that it is 80% recycled wool and manufactured in the USA makes us love this enduring hat even more. ($40 stormykromer.com) e. Stylishly recycled and repurposed bike tires create a wardrobe statement with these handmade belts. ($32 uncommongoods.com)
f. Bright, bold, and fashion-forward, these fingerless gloves from Indigenous Designs serve a functional purpose. ($36 indigenousdesigns.com) i.
g. Heâ€™ll stay toasty and trendy with a scarf made of reclaimed wool sweaters. ($45 fairindigo.com) h. These pretty, tapered hoops made from reclaimed brass will take her from day-to-night, holidays-to-everyday. ($40 hoveylee.com) i. Classic style, classic fiber. 100% cotton newsboy cap from Hippy Tree will suit any guy. ($34 hippytree.com)
Warm Holiday Wishes from our families, to yours.
-Kaia Magazine See you in 2012! Illustration by Kenneth Lieb
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Premiere Issue - Holiday Gift Guide, Green Teens, Choosing Safe Toys, No-Fail Holiday Menu Ideas and more!