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Giving Green

Economical eco-friendly options


Giving can be just as fun as receiving. Here are some green and eco-friendly gift ideas that will have your family and friends rocking around the Christmas tree.

Holiday giving can be just as much fun as receiving. For those on your list who want more than just their two front teeth, giving green doesn’t have to be boring–or costly! Here are some gift ideas that will have your family and friends rocking around the Christmas tree.

Food & Drink

Gourmet Nibbles

Sahale Snacks has holiday cravings covered with glazed nuts in delicious flavours such as Honey Almond with Cranberries and Sea Salt, Cashew with Pomegranate and Vanilla, and Almond PB&J. Organic and healthy, these tasty delights will tickle anyone’s taste buds.

A Cup of Bliss

Alleviate the stresses of the holiday season by giving Mighty Leaf’s premium organic teas in handcrafted silken biodegradable pouches. The rich flavours of organic Earl Grey, Hojicha Green, and Mint M?nge will make for truly silent nights.

Snack Basket

Everyone loves a great snack. For the foodies on your list, Skeet & Ike’s Organics’ wide variety of all-natural snack foods can be arranged in a nice basket wrapped with a bow. Choose from Chocolate Nut Mix, Tamari Roasted Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds, Roasted Almonds, Wasabi Peas, Granola, White Cheddar Popcorn, and Sea Salt Popcorn.

Chocolate Delight

Say “mmm” to Denman Island Chocolate’s delectable organic dark chocolate bars. In flavours ranging from Zesty Orange to Simply Dark and Cool Mint to Espresso Chunk, these delicious, mouth-watering treats are sure to delight even those with the most discerning tastes.

Kids & Toys

Step into Christmas with Sardines

Mimi the Sardine’s collection of colourful, fun, and functional lunch bags will make kids happy to carry their lunches to school. Made from environmentally certified cotton fabric; water-soluble dyes; and an acrylic, chemical-free coating, these lunch bags
are water and soil resistant. Make lunchtime merry with Mimi!

Earth-Friendly Play

Bring joy to a child’s world with eco-friendly EarthOpoly, which celebrates the planet by letting players accumulate carbon credits and trade them in for clean air. A green twist on the classic game, EarthOpoly’s game board and pieces are made from 100 percent recyclable paper, soy-based ink, recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic and shrink wrap, and elements found in nature. Advance to green!


Eco-conscious Little Humbug dolls send a strong environmental message to children. The books that accompany each of the three dolls (Jasmine the Butterfly Girl, Chloe the Gardener, and Lucy the Bird Keeper) are printed on 100 percent post-consumer waste, old-growth- and chlorine-free paper and tell environmentally conscious nature stories. Along with the pod-shaped chrysalis that each doll arrives in, these little gems are sure to delight and educate any child.

Joy to the Earth

Spread cheer this year by surprising a little one with one of Dr. Seuss’s classic tales. The Lorax (Random House, 1999), printed on recycled paper, educates children about the importance of conserving Mother Earth’s precious resources. Colourfully illustrated and written in Seuss’s witty voice, this book is a must-have for kids who care about the future and the planet.


Deck the Halls with Soy-Based Candles

Help your loved ones relax during the holiday season with calming, mood-enhancing candles. Method’s soy-based scented candles promote healthier indoor air, thanks to reduced soot production. They’re available in beach sage, lavender lemongrass, and vanilla apple, and the empty ceramic containers make great toothbrush holders.

Smart Green Living

Encourage those on your gift-giving list to make more earth-saving solutions every day. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Living (Alpha Books, 2007) defines the essence of green living. The book’s tips on creating a green home interior, saving energy, investing in socially responsible opportunities, and teaching children about green living will educate and inspire.

New Version of an Old Favourite

Shopping for a gardener or plant-lover is made easy with WonderVases. These unbreakable vases come in a variety of colours, can be hand-formed into desired shapes to fit small and large bouquets, and are completely reusable.

No Monkeying Around

A multipurpose carryall bag is perfect for anyone on your list. JP Monkey’s eco-friendly reusable bags are great for grocery shopping or everyday use. Machine washable and made from durable fabric, these attractive totes are the perfect alternative to paper or plastic.

Up On the Stovetop

Help those on your list make healthy, environmentally friendly choices in the kitchen. Made from nontoxic recyclable and biodegradable raw materials, GreenPan’s Thermolon coating is nonstick, chemical-free, and heat resistant up to 842 F (450 C). GreenPan frying pans are available in 8 in (20 cm), 10 in (25 cm), and 12 in (30 cm) sizes.

Jingle Bell Jazz

Putumayo’s A Jazz & Blues Christmas is the perfect addition to any music lover’s collection. With holiday tunes from B.B. King and Ray Charles, listeners can escape the hustle and bustle of Christmas. You’ll feel good knowing that Putumayo World Music contributes to many nonprofit organizations in local and international areas where the music originates.

Beauty & style

Sensible Body-Care Solutions

Solavie’s skin and hair care system is the perfect gift for men or women. Each product is formulated to maintain skin and hair health in any environment and contains mineral-rich volcanic spring water, natural botanicals, and essential oils. Products are sold in 100 percent recyclable packaging, and profits are directed toward Solavie’s Second Nature Foundation, which funds sustainable business projects worldwide.

Scented Sensations

Who doesn’t love a good soak in the tub? Kootenay Soap Company’s gift pack featuring Chai Spice, Emperor’s Bath, Lavender Fields, Thai Ginger, Citrus Sunrise, Sweet Dreams, and Merry Mint soaps, as well as the Oaties & Hemp Coconut, is great for stocking stuffers or added to a bath and beauty gift basket.

A Gift that Keeps on Giving

Me to We: (Responsible Style)’s 100 percent bamboo scarves come in magenta, electric blue, asphalt, and black. While giving an environmentally friendly and stylish accessory, you’ll also be helping children worldwide–50 percent of Me to We’s profits go directly to its charity partner, Free the Children.

Bath Time Bliss

derma e Melon & Ginger Bath & Shower Gel and Ultimate Moisture Hand & Body Lotion will provide its recipients with a refreshing bath and shower experience. Made from natural antioxidants and botanical extracts, the shower gel and body lotion will soothe, cleanse, and moisturize. An added bonus is derma e’s 100 percent recyclable packaging and commitment to using non-GMO, gluten- and paraben-free ingredients.

Silver Bells and Shiny Lips

Aubrey Organics’ Silken Earth Body Shimmer and Natural Lips sheer tints are the perfect gift for the glamorous gal on your list. Made from 100 percent certified-organic natural ingredients, these gorgeous products will highlight and moisturize skin and lips during the holidays and for months to come.

At-Home Apothecary

For the crafty beauty on your list, Organic Body Care Recipes (Storey Publishing, 2007) might be just the ticket to a merry little Christmas. This complete compendium is stocked with an ingredient dictionary, face and body care recipes, DIY shampoos and conditioners, and herbal remedies.

Odds & Ends

Entertainment for all Seasons

For the person on your list who has everything, a gift subscription to alive might be just what is needed. For the month of December only, Canadian subscribers can receive 12 months of health and wellness for the special holiday price of $29.95. Readers can subscribe online at or by calling 1-800-663-6580. This offer expires December 31, 2008.

Paws for Hemp

Fremont Hemp Company’s hemp doggie collars are available in two sizes and adjustable from 4 inches to 12 inches (10 cm to 30 cm) when fully extended. Both sizes feature a plastic buckle closure with rounded metal ring, making it easy to attach a leash and tags. Pet owners can rest easy knowing that Spot’s collar is both earth-friendly and free of harmful chemicals.

Man’s Best Eco-Friend

The environmentally conscious pet owner will find many useful tips on healthy living for dogs of all shapes, sizes, and ages in Eco Dog: Healthy Living for Your Pet (Chronicle Books, 2008). Easy-to-make pet projects, such as braided T-shirt bones and first-aid kits, as well as information on grooming supplies, homemade dog food, and eco-friendly pest control make this an enjoyable and helpful read.



Scent-Sational Aromas

Scent-Sational Aromas

Fragrance options for a cozy home

Leah PayneLeah Payne