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Green Gift Guide

Gift-giving is difficult. You want to give something fun, practical, and meaningful all at once.

Lucky you found us. Read on.

Tees For Change

Tees For Change
The greatest thing about organic clothes? Well, the guilt-free conscience, of course. But a close second is just how damn comfortable they are.

Exhibit A is Tees For Change, started just last year by a mom-to-be as a personal expression of positive thinking about her upcoming delivery.

Reminiscent of a simpler time when Wham!-inspired “Choose Life” t-shirts ruled the fashion world, Tees For Change come in simple, bright colors with simple, bright sayings: “Today Matters,” “Seek Balance,” and others, including the pre-birth message that started it all – “Be Courageous.”

All the tees are fair trade and made under sweatshop-free conditions from 100% organic cotton in the U.S. or 70% bamboo/30% organic cotton in Turkey. Tees For Change also has partnered with Trees for the Future to plant a tree for every tee or onesie purchased.

Items sell for between $24 and $46 on the Tees For Change website.

Niagara Conservation's Water EcoKit

Niagara Conservation's Water EcoKit
Perhaps best know for its flapperless toilets, which have been recognized with Home Depot's Merchandising Innovation Award, Niagara Conservation this year has assembled a neat little package that can get any homeowner on the fast track to conservation.

For about $40, the Water EcoKit gives you an efficient showerhead; three extra-lowflow sink aerators; a water saver and a fill cycle diverter for toilets; a flow meter bag; and a leak detection kit. Don’t be nervous that ‘low-flow’ means poor pressure – they still let through plenty of agua to do the job, plus Niagara says you save almost $300 a year (about 25,000 gallons of water) if you implement the whole shebang.

Bonus for parents of toddlers: Cut out the windows and the door on the kit’s packaging and you got yourself a playhouse for the little one’s stuffed animals or action figures (as my 2-year-old can attest).

Revenge Is ... Tee

Revenge Is … Green Products
Whether you’re buying for a hardcore tree-hugger or a bandwagon environmentalist going green because it’s the latest thing to do, Revenge Is … offers an array of clothes and gear that will let your lucky somebody flaunt their persuasion with panache.

Revenge Is … bags, and even the tees, are made with recycled plastic bottles and emblazoned with catchphrases like “This Used To Be A Plastic Bottle,” so wearers can let everyone know they’re concerned about the environment – or at least concerned about looking like they’re concerned about the environment.

Either way, you’re helping spread a righteous message.

T-shirts run $38, metallic hot/cold mugs (with fine mesh filter for loose tea!) are $18.95 and bags are $10.95.

And for more bags-made-from-bottles goodness, check out Wavyo, whose sacks are so stylish – made in limited edition runs of 100 bags per design – you just might ditch your purse. Wavyo also strictly adheres to fair labor laws, and all bags are handmade in the U.S.

Verterra Dinnerware

Verterra Single-Use Dinnerware
Being green is about being altruistic. It’s about being concerned for something greater than the individual. It’s about caring about our world and our kids’ world.

It IS all those things. But sometimes, it’s also about being cool.

And nothing will get the guests at your next soiree murmuring “wow, cool,” like Verterra’s dinnerware made from leaves.

That’s right, leaves. More specifically, fallen palm leaves gathered in South Asia and pressed together using only water, no chemicals. Founder Michael Dwork says the process uses 90% less energy than recycling.

You can use Verterra plates/bowls/platters in the microwave, the oven, whatever (better skip the dishwasher, though) and toss them in your compost heap the next morning – they naturally biodegrade in 2 months.

The best thing about Verterra? It allows you to inject ultra-hip uniqueness into your party and be a steward for the Earth at the same time.

Packs of 10-12 run between $8.99 and 12.99.

Sodastream Machine

Sodastream Machine
Those Europeans have it all over us on some things – fashion, automotive design, dry wit, vacation time, penguin-shaped carbonated-water makers.

We here at Green Among Gray can’t make your work week shorter, but we can help you out with that carbonated water one: introducing The Penguin, a simple, sleek, fun little contraption that you just might come to rely on nearly as much as your Keurig. These “sparkling water makers” are huge in Germany and Switzerland and Soda-Club USA is hoping the same will be said for the U.S.

The Penguin comes assembled and ready to use. You just put it on your counter, place one of the included glass carafes into it, give it a couple pumps, and voila, sparkling goodness! Add in some of the all-natural flavoring (or the not-so-all-natural packets if you want Coke/Pepsi/rootbeer/Dr. Pepper-type drinks) and you’ve got yourself a rewarding, refreshingly bubbly concoction.

All well and good, but how’s this a green gift, you ask? One word: Plastics.

Actually the elimination thereof. Soda-Club says the average American consumes over 600 cans or bottles of soda and sparkling water each year. Relying on the trusty Penguin eliminates those bottles and cans (so just clap your hands).

It’s cheaper in the long-run, too, since your only cost is the initial payment of about $200, plus refills for the CO2 canisters the Penguin uses to do its thing. (And for those of you who worry about all things CO2, rest your guilty consciences – the CO2 used in Soda-Club water is the same amount used in other beverages, so it’s a “carbon neutral” switch, so to speak).

You can get the Penguin at Williams-Sonoma stores or at Soda-Club USA’s site.

Organically Grown Baby Apparel

Organically Grown
The tree hugger in your family or circle of friends expecting? Help the ‘rents-to-be set their little seedling down the green path with Organically Grown's newborn clothes.

Organically Grown’s super-soft, brushed jersey and terry velour gowns, onesies, blankets and the rest are all made from organic cotton. What that means is their manufacturers follow the Global Organic Textile Standard – 100% cotton with no toxic heavy metals, no formaldehyde, no genetically modified seeds, and a guarantee that fair labor practices are followed.

The 3-piece sets come nicely presented on a padded hanger and sell for $20-$38 at Macys, Gottschalks, Dillards or Buy Buy Baby.

More green gift recommendations coming soon ...

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“Green Gift Guide”

  1. Anonymous Laraine Says:

    Love this! Great ideas!