Holiday shopping (part 2): eco-friendly holiday wish list picks
After reading the first post in the Black Friday series, you hopefully found helpful tips for shopping the sales without getting tricked into buying more than you need. To recap, ask yourself two questions before you purchase: “Do I really want or need the item?” and “Will it still be wonderful to have years from now?” This should stop you from buying a race car M&M dispenser for $5.99 because it comes with a free M&M keychain. Well, unless you plan to keep it forever and ever, who am I to judge? Everyone’s wants and needs are different.
There are a lot of things I want for Christmas myself. I’m lucky that even as an adult, my parents ask me for a wish list each year! Score! This year, I really gave these questions some thought before I created my wish list. I tried to be as eco-conscious as possible and only choose items that I would really use for a long time. Here are some of the items I’m hoping Santa will come through on.
- A houseplant or indoor tree. Can't get any greener than that. I'd like something to decorate my house, and I thought a plant would not only look nice, it would freshen the air inside.
- Clothes, clothes, clothes. If you know me in real life, you know I have a huge wardrobe. No one is perfect, I'll admit my wardrobe is a little excessive for someone aiming to be simple. But at least I buy high-quality items that I can keep and wear year after year (they stay in great shape, too, since I line dry). This year, I'm looking for organic cotton options.
I love these leggings by Gaiam, which are made from 96 percent organic cotton. I started out looking for organic yoga pants but these pull double duty, wear them to the office or to the yoga studio. Double the wear is definitely an eco bonus.
Another item on my wishlist is t-shirts. I thought I'd like to have one for my alma mater, Syracuse University. But I knew somewhere they had to be making organic versions of collegiate shirts. Sure enough, Nike is into the organic game. Their "vault" line of retro collegiate shirts are really cute, though only some designs are made from organic cotton. You can get this 100 percent organic cotton shirt from FansEdge.com.
Remember when you make your wishlist this holiday season to at least check for organic versions of what you have in mind. You might be surprised by the options that are now available.
- Dish towels and cloth napkins. I really have been trying to cut down on the amount of paper products I use in the house. I have some dish towels, but not nearly enough. I also thought it would be nice to start using cloth napkins. I picked out these adorable napkins available on Etsy.com. Etsy offers an amazing array of quality, unique, handmade gifts, and you get to support small crafters rather than big businesses.
- Yoga mat and bag. Last month, I ordered a new yoga mat to replace a cheap one that I used for about 8 years that had lost its stickiness and left me slipping and sliding in yoga class. My friend (thanks, Liza!) suggested the Manduka black mat pro, the Cadillac of yoga mats with a steep price tag. But for $80, you get a lifetime guarantee. Sure there are other eco yoga mats out there, but this one is truly eco because it will last. The company says it will last so long you can pass it down to your kids. I didn't take their word for it, this mat came highly recommended from my yoga teachers, too. I've been testing it out and this mat is thick, which is wonderful on the knees. So for my wishlist, I'm asking for a MatSak bag to fit the mat, which is thicker and heavier than standard size, so I can tote it easily to and from class. Hopefully, I'll be using both for many, many years.
- Baking stone and pizza peel. I've been baking my own bread a few times a week using standard cookie sheets I already had. This has been tricky because the cookie sheets don't bake the bread as evenly. The recipe book I use, Artisan Bread in five minutes a day, suggests using a stone for the best results. Now that I'm experienced and committed to making my own bread, it's time to invest in the right equipment. The book suggests Williams Sonoma for a high-quality stone that works well and lasts. I'm also asking for the sequel to the book (a used copy would be great), Healthy Bread in five minutes a day. These would be great books for anyone who would like an easy, fool-proof method for baking bread.
So, these are my wish list picks this year. I realize it doesn't cover a broad range of gift ideas. Monday, I’ll complete the Black Friday and holiday shopping series by posting some additional eco-friendly items and ideas for all the loved ones on your list. In the meantime, what's on your wish list?
I have to say, I wasn't impressed with the Gaiam organic cotton leggings. They were baggy and not at all stretchy. I washed them to try and tighten them up, but they just lost more of their elasticity. I ordered a small, and I'll probably give them to my mom, who wears a large. I prefer organic, but I had to run out and get a regular pair of leggings by Hue, which fit fabulous.