Sunday, December 21, 2008

Green Gifts for Your BFF

With the holidays starting this week, the mad rush to get those last minute presents begins. Making a list and checking it thrice to make sure you have gifts for everyone naughty and nice. Especially those who have loved you all year long regardless of how busy you have been. Those who wait patiently until you come home and then welcome you with loving kisses. Those who don’t care if you have brushed your teeth before they snug you and those who jump to bring you your slippers. Yup, the pup. Your BFF. And here are a few safe, eco-friendly ways to share your joy with your furry best friends this season.

Planet Dog:
Please your pooch with safe, non-toxic chew toys from Planet Dog. Their toys are adorable and festive as well as a great way to save your furniture and ornaments from being nibbled. You can also feel good about supporting this environmentally friendly small company of just 44 employees who are joined at work by their 30 dogs every day. Planet Dog was recently named 2nd Best Employer of its size (under 50 employees) in the country, awarded America's Best Places to Work in 2008 and the founder Alex Fisher recently accepted the 2008 Maine Governor's Award for Business Excellence, which recognized the company's corporate sustainability and community initiatives.

Simply Fido:
This eco-friendly pet toy company makes cotton pet toys like a beautiful cream colored Holiday Moose with red accents and a soft (and removeable) squeaker. Simply Fido’s certified organic cotton pet toys help to provide a safer alternative for your pup to chew. Free from harsh chemicals and harmful pesticides, their fun designs for big and small dogs are sure to please you while they preserve our planet.

And now my friends, I hope you have enjoyed this blog series on Green Holiday Gifts. Please share your own ideas for how you are going green this season. Merry Christmas to you all.

Mary Beth Gonzalez

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Green Stocking Stuffers: From Small Green Companies

Whose eyes don’t light up at the sight of a stuffed stocking on Christmas morning? So this year, why not power that delight with green, eco-friendly gifts that are sure to bring smiles of glee. There are many small green items from small eco-business that need our support this holiday season. I’ll play Santa and suggest my Green stocking stuffer list for all ages:

- Pharmacopia: Lavender Hand Cream (all natural and organic) with yummy shea butter. The 1.7 oz size fits perfectly in your purse, desk, backpack or car so you can re-apply throughout the day.

- To-Go Ware: Organic Bamboo Utensil Set, a fork, knife, spoon and chop sticks wrapped in a holder that ties closed, travels easily, and is a genius way to avoid using plastic utensils when eating on the run.

- Ecolips: Tis the season to protect your pucker…Ecolips provides a wide variety of certified organic lip balm. Try their new Pure & Simple line, a 99% organic lip balm that is completely edible in Grape, Coconut and Kiwi-Strawberry. Plus cool accessories such as an Eco Clip (a carabiner clip), an Eco Leash (a neoprene balm holder), an Eco Key Ring (a rubber overcap with key ring) and an Eco Lanyard (a lip balm necklace).

- Josie Maran: Very glam lip kits in fabulous colors housed in a sleek, recyclable compact with a commitment to using non-toxic ingredients such as paraben. Perfect to layer or wear alone.

- The Solution by Envision Beauty: The perfect all-in-one stocking gift for a harried green mom as it replaces her day cream, night cream, eye cream and anti-aging serum. Her face will instantly radiate with this miracle cream. A moisturizer with antioxidants (Goji, Grapeseed, A├žai, Centella Asiatica) plus anti-aging ingredients (DMAE, Alpha Lipoic Acid, NaPCA, and vital nutrients (Vitamin A B5, C, and E). Free of parabens, ethyl alcohols and harsh synthetics.

- Gourmet organic chocolate bars from Shaman Chocolates: More than just a sweet, certified organic treat these chocolate bars also offer a socially responsible alternative. All profits from the sale help support the Huichol Indians, a tribe living in central western Mexico in the Sierra Madre Mountains, who are said to be the last Indigenous Tribe in North America to have maintained their pre-Columbian traditions.

- Personalized refillable water bottles from Get one for everyone on your list. The Sierra Club reports we are discarding over 30 million plastic bottles a day…totaling over 10 billion a year. Take a step towards protecting our planet and a sip towards safer drinking water for your loved ones.

And finally, be sure to fill those stockings with a dash of luck, a sprinkle of joy, a pinch of giggles, a whisper of hope and a pound of patience as we all face the challenging year ahead.

Mary Beth Gonzalez