Gifts That Make A Difference

My family lives across the country, so I usually have to mail gifts to them during the holidays. Sometimes I make gifts for them and sometimes I shop online. Every year I have to figure out what gifts I can get for my family that are meaningful.

I don’t like to get toys for the children unless they are eco-friendly and educational. It is tough to shop for children and not be the lame relative who gives lame gifts. This year I decided to shop for gifts that donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity.

Here are some charitable online shops:

• The Nature Conservancy:
• Arbor Day Foundation:
• The Rainforest Site:
• The Animal Rescue Site:
• Ecojoia:

Green Gift Ideas:

• Make your gifts. Be creative and have fun. The recipient will feel special to receive a custom made gift.
• Create a “Go Green” gift basket for someone to encourage the use of eco-friendly products. Include items such as: a reusable tote bag, green cleaning products, a CFL or LED light bulb, a stainless steel water bottle, an eco-friendly handbook, cloth napkins, a glass or stainless steel straw, reusable bamboo to-go utensils, and biodegradable kitchen waste bags.
• Shop at local craft fairs for unique handmade goods.
• Shop vintage, antique stores, and flea markets
• Instead of giving a material object, try giving them an experience such as a class, event tickets, or a membership.
• If you are planning to give holiday cards, please consider recycled cards or plantable seed paper cards. Although, the best form of holiday cards are always e-cards.

These are some ideas that I hope you found helpful. Have a wonderful holiday season!


Is Your Easter Candy Ethical?

Chocolate is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but for the children working in slavery conditions in cacao fields across West Africa’s Ivory Coast, the reality behind it is anything but sweet. Check out this great article: The bitter truth behind the chocolate in your Easter basket.

Haitian Spirit Recycled Steel Ornaments

I got these ornaments a couple years ago, and they are very nice quality craftsmanship. If you’re looking for some eco-friendly, handmade, ornaments, then these would add that special touch to your holiday decor.

“Every purchase of a fair-trade item from Haiti generates an extra donation to help Haitian artisans affected by the earthquake.”

“In Haiti, where recycled steel oil drums are a valuable source of metal, the artisans of Croix des Bouquets fashion amazing works of metal art that leave no carbon footprint. 55-gallon drums dumped there have been turned into art supplies by the residents since in the 1950s. They’re cut and purified with straw fires that burn out the residue. Once cleaned, the artisans use hammer and chisel to work them by hand, as the lack of electricity during the day makes power tools impossible. The result is greenest of green arts and the chicest of the eco-chic . . . and a keepsake entirely unique.”