One of the big consumer trends of the year is the idea of going green. This season, consider the wide range of options for choosing something organic and environmentally-friendly. Eco-consultant Renée Loux shares her unique and affordable holiday gift guide:
Toby Pomery's classic, stylish jewelry is made entirely from reclaimed gold and silver — the hand hammered gold eclipse hoop earrings are elegant, refined and available with or without conflict-free diamonds. Green giving has never been so fine.
The Ultimate Salt Collection
This collection of salts from all over the world will wow anyone who loves food. It includes rare finds like Chardonnay Oak Smoked salt, Murray River Flake salt (naturally pink and flaky from a salt bed under the Murray River in Australia, excellent as a finishing salt), Red Hawaiian salt, Fluer de Sel and Alder Smoked salt.
Rechargable candles (LED votive candle lights)
Rechargable candles set an inviting mood without the danger of an open flame — LED light bulbs are phenomenally efficient, using only 10% of the energy of standard incandescent bulbs and last a lifetime.
Soy wax candles
Natural candles made from soy and beeswax are made from renewable resources and burn cleanly keeping indoor air fresh and smelling good. Paraffin candles (what most conventional candles are made from) is made from petroleum and pollutes the air inside, so be sure to look for wicks made from paper (conventional candle wicks may contain metal and even lead, which burns soot that is dangerous to breathe).
GNR skin care products
The GRN line is so clean you could almost eat them. It's formulated with high-grade, result-oriented ingredients including white tea, blue chamomile, pomegranate, all without paraben preservatives, artificial colorant or fragrances.
Gift certificates are inherently green; there's no packaging, no wrapping, just pure pleasure. Exhale Spas offer a wide range of transformational services including facials, massage, manicure and pedicure, yoga classes, core fusion classes. One gift that will keep giving is their "Magic" facial using a cold laser, which takes years off or a manicure/pedicure using formaldehyde-free nail polish
Give the gift of fresh air for the planet and carbon offset by having trees planted for friends and family. Tree People's programs plant trees in urban areas (they have planted more than 15,000 trees across Los Angeles last year alone — on city streets, campus and parks) and in reforestation projects.
Their "Fruit Tree program" has planted 60,000 fruit trees throughout Southern California over the past 20 years, 3,100 to underserved areas and community gardens in just the last year adding food, shade, beauty and cleaner water to the urban landscape. It's a gift that keeps giving for fresh air, clean water and growing beauty!
Nauhi Ollin handmade bags
These fashionable bags are made entirely from recycled materials. Handmade by folding and weaving candy wrappers, gum wrappers, and soda bottle labels, these bags are fashion-forward and eco-chic. Up to 4000 individual candy wrappers are passionately and patiently folded expertly in a fair-trade program — employing women in innovative economy. Day bags and evening are available in a great range of sizes, shapes and colors. Talk about turning rubbish into real value!
Bamboo bath mitt, socks & baby items
Bamboo is incredibly fast growing and doesn't require the use of pesticides to thrive. It yields a delectably supple fabric, which feels similar to cashmere, that has a natural anti-bacterial agent and dries quickly. These bath mitts and socks are indulgently soft and an eco-friendly dream - once you try them, all else will pale in comparison - I even the bath mitt to dust my computer for lint-free cleaning.
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Bamboo baby goods
Consider a stuffed panda bear made of 100% bamboo and stuffed with super-soft, untreated bamboo fill; Bamboo Hooded Towel for bath-time snuggles and baby socks.
Living home starter kit
A great selection of great-smelling, non-toxic household cleaners (scented with plant essences designed for each room).
OXO LiquiSeal travel mug
Not all travel mugs are created equal. This mug will not spill or leak — the three silicone seals insure no spills, ever — one click to open, one click to seal. I regularly put it in my tote bag while full of hot tea without a second thought. The double wall insulation really keeps it hot (or cold!) inside and the no-drip drinking spout really doesn't dribble. A must have for an on-the-go cup 'o pleasure.
Solar back-pack (Voltaic Systems)
This back-pack is fitted with solar panels for power on-the-go! Charge a cell phone or i-Pod while on the move. A great gift for kids and adults alike who don't want to be without juiced-up gadgets at any time.
The joy and fun of unwrapping a gift is as priceless as the resources that go into making wrapping paper — take your pick from a number of recycled wrapping papers including beautifully colored motifs like this 100% recycled.
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