Friday, 30 November 2007

More Green Christmas Gift Ideas and Things...


Yes, yes, so your Christmas tree will be GREEN, obviously... (living, in a pot and organically grown, of course) and it will twinkle with low energy LED tree lights, but how else can you make it a cool, eco/ethical and stylish Yuletide? You will find out here! Read on....

PS: If anyone finds a fake Christmas tree (can't believe I just wrote that!) made from recycled plastic - or some other sustainable source - please let me know!!! Likelihood is, most artificial trees will have been flown in from China and give off all sorts of nasty VOC's and that actually, nowadays a British grown tree is what you will find at your local Christmas tree vendors. Bottom line for me: Christmas means nothing without that pine needle smell. As long as your council will pick up the tree and chip it for mulch, you should be doing OK.

Here's a good article in the Guardian giving info on both sides of the decide...and try and make sure you dispose of the tree properly. Oh, the sad sight that it is of so many dead trees lying brown and crispy on the pavement well into January. When is that going to end?

Anyway, as promised I have compiled some of the green festive gift ideas I have come across in the last few weeks.


On the subject of Christmas trees... my green friend, Sarah Baulch, design maven at REVAMPT has a range of very lovely tree decorations that she has made from her recycled vintage fabrics.
I'm particularly proud of them because these very wooden curtain rings were salvaged from a window treatment project by, yes,
Yours Green and T


We all know by now that we should be taking our own bags to the supermarket and these are some of the most practical I found for your forgetful friends...

One Green Earth sell these handy bags that are made of parachute material and pack into their own a little bag that clips to your handbag. Works as a keyring too!

The bags are made by ONYA who also have cool shoulder bags and backpacks. Those are my fave!!


Everyone needs knickers - unless you're Lindsey Lohan, of course - so for your pleasure and green self respect, Sarah Lucy Smith and Rose Cleary-Southwood have a really cool and totally ethical underwear company called GREEN KNICKERS They make organic cotton and bamboo fabric undies for girls and boys.

bought some of their Magic Global Warming Knickers which are made from 100% Fair Trade Organic Cotton and change colour too!
As the knickers wa
rm up with your body heat, the sea overcomes the land to show the effects of Global Warming just so you never that's 'Sexy Time'!!


Helen and Kate at ONE ECO HOME have put together some wonderfully seasonal gift ideas. Love that wine rack and the cute little felt angels can be sent flat packed as a Christmas greeting and then double as a decoration therefore eliminating the need for a paper card.
Can you imagine how many tonnes of Christmas cards get recycled every year?
Oh, my head hurts just thinking about it...


Alice Sheffield is the director of Bare Faced Cheek. My chat with her revealed her passion for beauty and skin care products that are the most ethical and natural that she can find. That means more and more often she is choosing to carry British made products on her website. When she finds an organic or natural product that's home grown she replaces one of her foreign made lines.

Spiezia is a British-made organic line of products that are also certified by the Soil Association. Alice carries a miniature organic facial gift kit that contains a Facial Cleanser, Lip Balm, Daytime Moisturiser, Floral Skin Toner and a 100% Organic Cotton Flannel for £25.00.
Mmmmmm, yes please...

Made from, can you believe it, Portuguese street lamp banners TELA BAGS are the design brainchild of Lupe Castro. I have seen this idea at LACMA in Los Angeles. Like Lupe, they sell these fantasically unique, one of a kind bags made from the large PVC advert banners that hang from street lamps in the city. The banners only live the short life of the ad campaign or exhibition they are advertising and then...what? Here in Europe, Lupe has recycled the weatherproof, hard-wearing printed PVC into stylish, practical and unique carrying items. She has commissions from the Centro Cultural De Belem in Lisbon an Harrods who realise the impact of so much of their PVC going to the landfill and want to recycle their advertising banners into useful, fashionable items.

My favourite bag is the large 'METRO'. Compartmentalised with 3 separate bags that detach from the inside, it can be used for dividing up your recycling, kids toys or for putting in the back of the car to carry files around. It is very versatile...


Chaps are always so hard to buy for, aren't they? But if they are cycling chaps, here is the perfect eco bike light. It's such a simple concept: The PEDALITE is powered by kinetic energy that comes from pedaling so has no need for a battery. They keep flashing even when stationary at traffic lights. The pedals fit almost all bikes designed for people over 9 years old. They are £34.99 a pair.


I'm one for buying books and clothes for children's gifts. The grandmas seem to be able to take care of buying the brightly coloured, tacky plastic things that make obnoxious noises which my 2 year old nephew way prefers to the tactile hand-painted wooden toys his Mum would love him to play with....Oh well!!
If you are so inclined, start your little Eco Fashionistas on the green and ethical track as young as possible by dressing them in NIXIE Children's clothing.
Aren't they cute?

Designer Nicole Frobusch, uses sustainable and recycled fabrics to combine romantic bohemian style with a 70's crafts aesthetic and all garments are made in the UK.

I'm not diamond girl, meself. Yeah, yeah, I know they like last forever and everything, unlike a lot of other things... but they usually come from suspect sources and therefore represent lives of extreme toil and poverty....I think they are highly over-rated and actually I prefer chunky funky designer jewelry. However - jewelers INGLE AND RHODE have amazing designer stuff and also do fabulously contemporary engagement rings and things all made with ethically sourced precious metals and gemstones so they are able to tell their clients exactly where and how each piece of jewelry was created. Now that could take the edge off my if you are thinking of popping the proverbial and ethical question this holiday, you know where to go for your guilt-free BLING!!


A calendar as a Christmas gift can be a bit of a cop out, unless, of course it is a climate change calendar. For the forward thinkers - yes - it's almost 2008 and you have to start planning now, why not give this wonderful Calendar Of Climate Change put together by Diana Korchien. Diana was an archivist and spent a long time going through photographs from all over the world. It struck her that there was a place for these images to show the beauty of the planet we live in and the plight that faces The Earth and her inhabitants due to the changing weather.

A great educational tool and a daily reminder that the actions we take, however small, however good or bad, can effect us all.

Many of these items and other green gift ideas can be bought from my friend Katie's One Green Earth website and have discounts if you buy through her!



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