These waterproof notebooks from Rite in the Rain can be found at Rooster Home & Hardware and REI.
Nov. 29, 2019
Put on your green thinking cap when holiday shopping this year and support sustainability with your dollars!
Start by shopping at locally-owned, small shops that need your business much more than the big guys – plus they will really notice when you purchase their eco-friendly goods.
If you need the convenience of a big box store, show them that you care for Mother Earth by choosing products that reflect those values.
If e-shopping is your thing, try to follow the same mantra. Choose products that are made from earth-friendly materials or ingredients, with minimal or recyclable packaging.
Also, buy high quality items so that they last a long time. Think about what happens when this product is worn out or no longer needed – can it be recycled, composted or passed down to the next generation?
We hope that our list of eco gifts and retailers helps you find just the right goodie for your loved one.
Be sure to check availability of products before you go out. Any pricing listed is subject to change and is at the discretion of the individual merchants.
Perplexed about what to buy the nature lover in your life? Give him a deluxe 500-piece jigsaw puzzle, featuring America's favorite National Parks. The box is almost as beautiful as the puzzle itself with facts, history and park education printed on each panel. Art is rendered in a classic art-deco style of 1930s poster art by Anderson Design of Nashville and made into puzzles by True South Puzzles, also in Nashville. Finished, these make a stunning piece of wall art and measures a full 18-inch-by-24-inch. Collect all National Parks designs for hours of challenging fun! Made in the USA of recyclable board and printed with non-toxic inks. $26 each. Found locally at Patina Green Home and Market, 116 N Tennessee St #102, in Historic McKinney. 972-548-9141.
Does your fella love pickles? Now he can make his own in a snap. With the Pearl and Johnny 10-Minute Pickle Kit, he can go pickle crazy! Each kit is packed with good-for-you ingredients and fresh flavors you won’t find anywhere else on the pickle shelf. Four varieties: Dill-Icious, Sweet Dreams, Fire & Spice, and Jalapeno & Horseradish. Making them is simple. Just chop cucumbers or other veggies, place them in the provided Mason jar and pour over the pickling mixture. Chill and eat! Store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Refills also available.10-Minute Pickling Kit (includes Mason jar, seasoning packet and instructions): $5.99. Refills (4-Pack): $7.99 . Marshall Grain, 3525 William D. Tate Ave., Grapevine, 76051. 817-416-6600
NONTOXIC RUST BUSTER
When Arkansas native David Harris needed a rust remover that was safe and nontoxic, he couldn’t find one so he invented it himself. Evapo-Rust Super Safe Rust Remover is nontoxic, non-hazardous, biodegradable and contains no acids, bases or VOCs, making it safe on skin and eyes. It’s also reusable which means that a bottle of the stuff lasts a good long time. Your guy will have a blast removing rust from gadgets in the garage and all over the house. It’s even safe to use on cookware such as rusty cast iron frying pans. The company has won several awards including one for developing a method of shipping a dehydrated form of their product to third-world countries. Brilliant! 32 oz (recyclable) bottle around 10 bucks at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, True Value, O'Reilly Auto Parts and other stores in the area.
If you haven’t been to Cox Farms Market in awhile, perhaps it’s time for a visit. Not only do they carry a wide assortment of delicious organic food but many of their goodies make great gifts. Coffee lovers will flip over their local brews including several unique blends from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters.
Processed just down the road, these coffees are as local as it gets yet with an international flair. With names like Rosemont Crest Blend with hints of brown sugar, ripe cherry and herbs and Victor Prosper’s Dark Roast flavored with dark chocolate and toasted caramel, they are an elixer for the tastebuds. As OCCR says on their website, they roast coffee that is sustainably and responsibly sourced from small farms in Panama, Honduas, Ethiopia and other countries with whom they have an established relationship. “We want coffees that we can depend on, and likewise, we want our farmers to be able to depend on us.” Find them at Cox Farms Market in Duncanville and in Dallas at Sylvan Thirty. Around $12 for 12 oz.
BUY THE BOOK
If the guys in your life are on green journeys, why not help them along with some books on the topic? Half Price Books is loaded with titles at half price or less. A few favs are Organic Gardening 101, Sustainable Home and How To Be A Vegan In A Meat Eater's World. You’ll have fun perusing the aisles and finding some that will help make an impact. Maybe take home a couple for yourself. Prices vary at Half Price Books stores around the Metroplex but many titles under $10.
GREEN HAIR CARE
While picking up some groceries the other day at Sprouts, we discovered a nifty bamboo comb made by Bass, which has long been known for quality hair care. Upon further exploration, we discovered their bamboo brush as well. The comb sports large teeth that are ideal for a fella’s tresses and yet this handy instrument would fit in a back pocket. The paddle brush is both lightweight and durable and just the right size for a man’s boudoir. The bamboo wood bristles on both help prevent static build up and bamboo bristles are fabled to provide blissfully good head massages. Fortunately, they’re also known for reducing static and redistributing natural oils to condition the hair. Better still, bamboo is the fastest growing plant on Earth and absorbs 30 percent more carbon dioxide compared to others, which will make your guy smile every time he coifs! Comb is around $10 and brush is around $15-20 at Sprouts grocery stores in both Dallas and Fort Worth.
FUN WITH FUNGI
World Market offers several windowsill gardening kits but the one that gets our vote is the Organic Mushroom Grow Kit from Back to the Roots. Easily grow tasty oyster mushrooms in any indoor space. Simply mist with water and the kit does the rest, producing up to a half-pound crop of nutritious shrooms in just 10 days. Plus up to two crops can be harvested from a single box. A great gift for gardeners and foodies, it's also a perfect science experiment for families with curious kids. Launched by two young entrepreneurs, Nikhil & Alejandro in 2009 to create kits that would grow gourmet mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds, the company has received many awards including Champions of Change from former President Obama. The company supports a give-back elementary educational program. Just share a pic with the hashtag #GrowOneGiveOne and they will donate a kit to the classroom of your choice. 100-percent organic and non-GMO and proudly made in Michigan. $19.99 at World Market stores in Fort Worth and Big D.
Another nifty gift from World Market! Don’t let your man try to use this wrench to fix broken pipes. Instead, serve it up with some dipping sauces and let him munch to his heart’s content. Made in Poland by Manufaktura Czekolady Chocolate, the only bean-to-bar chocolate producer in the country. Crafted in small batches for a natural and authentic taste from high-quality cacao beans with an intense burst of flavor. 60 percent dark chocolate semisweet treat. Dusted with cocoa powder to imitate an old, rusty wrench. Vegan but made in a mixed kitchen so it may contain traces of milk, soy or nuts. Other tool styles available. $12.99 at World Market stores around the metro area.
Honey House Naturals has long been known for their beeswax-based women’s skin care. Bee Manly is their Men’s line which includes a Lotion Bar, Beard Balm, Beard Elixir and Foot Bar in scents like Smoky Cedar and Tea Tree Spice. Each is a natural wonder that will leave your man feeling soft and hydrated.
Bee Manly Hands Men’s Bee Bar contains a unique blend of natural oils and emollients to moisturize and relieve dry, hard-working hands. Bee Manly Beard Balm is infused with Argan, Shea and Jojoba to tame rough bristles and add luster to his beard. Bee Manly Beard Elixir combines the most beneficial natural oils to keep beard healthy and shiny while moisturizing and soothing his skin underneath. Lastly, the Bee Manly Foot Bar will soothe rough, cracked, tired feet and is enriched with Organic Argan Oil, Beeswax and Coconut Oil plus Deoplex (a natural antibacterial odor eliminator. In a convenient twist up tube. $12 each at stores around town including Rooster Home & Hardware, 10233 East Northwest Hwy. Suite 409, Dallas 75238, 214-343-1971. Order online at HoneyHouseNaturals.com.
Does your sweetie love to journal or doodle? Don’t let their precious creations get mushy! Choose Rite in the Rain paper products that are coated with a near-magical film that is waterproof yet writes and draws just like uncoated paper. In fact, you can use a standard pen or pencil and it won’t wash off. The company also makes a special pen that will write even in the rain, hence their name.
For over 100 years, they’ve been producing their notebooks and sketchpads that started as a solution for loggers so that their field notes wouldn’t be ruined on the trail. In spite of Rite in the Rain's durability, it’s as recyclable as standard office paper, which is untrue of other brands of synthetic or poly coated papers. Starting at around 5 bucks at Rooster Home & Hardware, 10233 East Northwest Hwy. Suite 409, Dallas, 75238. 214-343-1971. Also available at REI in Fort Worth, Dallas and surrounding cities.
If you had a chance to read our article back in the summer about water filters, you might want to pick one up as a gift for your man or the whole family. If your guy likes to hike or camp, check out the Life Straw 22 oz. Filtering Bottle with two-stage filtration. It has a built-in hollow-fiber membrane and activated carbon straw/filter so he can have clean and delicious-tasting water on the go. $39.95 at REI. If you’d rather filter the water coming into your kitchen, pick up the Aquasana Max Flow under counter 3-stage system (around $175) or the Brondell H20+ Circle Reverse Osmosis Under-Counter Water Filter System (around $350). Each received high marks from our reviewers and elsewhere online. Both larger units available at Lowes and Home Depot and other retailers.
Finally someone has done it right when it comes to portable phone chargers. Nimble makes theirs from a combination of plants (corn, hemp, coffee beans) and recycled water bottles. Your fella will love the look and texture like a comfy pair of his favorite jeans. Plus they are smarter than most chargers on the market. Nimble’s 5-day portable can charge a standard phone 80 percent in just 30 minutes and it holds enough amperage (13,000 mAh) for four more days of charging. Perfect for camping or overseas travel. Nimble’s wireless stand charger has an extra standard USB port as well as a mini-C USB port (for cameras and many bluetooth ear/headphones) so you can charge multiple devices at one time. Magnetic holder keeps cords from getting lost. But Nimble is more than just products. They are trying to change the way that consumers and manufacturers think about our devices. According to Nimble’s co-founder, Ross Howe, Nimble will recycle responsibly one pound of e-waste for every product sold. They even pay the shipping. Find out more at GoNimble.com.
If your fella, dad or brother is a plant eater, consider gifting him a fashionable, limited-edition ugly Christmas sweater. The designs were created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Tofurky Roast, with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting the conservation nonprofit WildAid. In addition to protecting endangered species and their critical habitats, WildAid encourages lifestyle habits that fight climate change, including eating less meat, a significant focus of Tofurky’s purpose. These sweaters will spark conversation, make a point and give back with their hilarious tongue-in-cheek motifs. Choose from two designs:
Say Yum – Over a wintry scene, this sweater nods to the growing popularity and availability of tasty plant-based foods alongside embroidered forks and knives.
High Five – A Tofurky sausage high-fives a hot dog bun on the front of this sweater, while the back nods to the approaching 2020 election with best wishes for a merry and politically air-tight holiday.
“For Tofurky, nothing captures the holiday spirit quite like a festive party with family and friends, tasty food and funny holiday sweaters,” said Jaime Athos, president and CEO of Tofurky. Sweaters available online for $34.99 each starting Dec. 3, in tandem with Giving Tuesday.
Discover the ancient beauty secrets of olive oil to strengthen and moisturize his hair and skin. Houston-based CHI Olive Organics is designed to bring holistic philosophies of health and beauty together with the power of cold-pressed, certified organic extra virgin olive oil and botanical ingredients – calendula, chamomile, comfrey root, green tea, cucumber and passion fruit. Promotes wellness through the proper balance of nutrients that the hair and skin need. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants. This gift set includes three full size products - CHI Olive Organics Hair and Body Shampoo (11.5 fl. oz.); CHI Olive Organics Hair and Body Conditioner, (11.5 fl. oz.) and CHI Olive Oil Hair & Body Oil (2 fl. oz.) Recyclable bottles and biodegradable packaging with soy ink. USA made. $36 at Chi.com.
You’ve heard of the spork but how about a knork? It’s a unique and patented, ergonomic, fork but the Knork’s sharper edge lets you cut like a knife. Not too sharp, it’s great for pizza, veggies and salads. Knork’s recent addition, the Eco line, features fully compostable (and many times reusable) Astrik plant-based Knorks that can withstand the microwave and dishwasher (200 washes), yet break down in an industrial compost facility in less than 2 years. Astrik emits one-fifth of the greenhouse gases of traditional plastics in manufacturing. A great alternative to disposables and a thoughtful gift for anyone who takes their lunch to work or school! Made from sugarcane and bamboo offcuts from furniture factories, Astrik Knork utensils and are also nifty and lightweight additions to any picnic, campout, lunch box, or even for use at home. 8-Piece Eco Astrik set (4 knorks + 4 spoons) $17.99. Includes plant-based carry case for on-the-go. Visit KNORK.net or buy online at Amazon.
Last year, we featured Badger’s Sore Muscle Rub that softens his skin as it gently soothes and relaxes tired, sore muscles. This year, treat your sweetie to Badger’s Sore Joint Rub that has more than double the Cayenne extract of the Muscle Rub to give extra warmth and circulatory support. Maybe throw in an IOU for a private massage! Powerful CO2 extracts in Sore Joint Rub, like arnica Montana with cayenne and black pepper, will soothe his tired joints and muscles while stimulating circulation. A tingling pick-me-up for after work or workout. The Badger company is know for its green initiatives. In 2018, they were honored as “Best For the World” and “Best for the Environment” by B Corporation. Badger Sore Joint Rub is only $9.99 at TheChoosyChick.com.
Tired of throwing away coffee filters or wondering what chemicals are used to bleach them? Get a Coffee Sock for your buddy! Made in Austin from certified organic cotton, the Coffee Sock lasts about ONE year and replaces approximately 500 paper filters. Simply brew your coffee, compost your grounds, rinse the Coffee Sock and hang to dry. Stop the waste! The Coffee Sock can even be composted when it’s at the end of its life.
Our editor, Julie Thibodeaux, said her hubby bought the Coffee Sock cold brew kit at Whole Foods and loves it: “Karl has tried other ice coffee makers and home methods and says this iced coffee maker is the best! Simple and charming!” Also, in our tests of the product, we found that the water runs through much faster than paper filters, which tend to get bogged down, so your coffee brews faster. Choose a Coffee Sock for just about any hot or cold coffee maker or drip filter holder, even commercial sizes, starting at $13. Gift packs start under $30. Works for tea too. Free shipping in the continental US. CoffeeSock.com.
Brooklyn Brew Shop thinks making beer should be easy and with their kits, it is! Don’t spend hundreds of dollars for fancy equipment. BBS’s beer kits in a box are under $50 and offer flavors such as Chocolate Maple Porter, New England IPA and Bruxelles Blonde just to name a few. The equipment in the Beer Making Kits is completely reusable. All you need for your next batch is a refill mix and packet of sanitizer. Hard Cider and Wine kits also available. All kits start around $45 at BrooklynBrewShop.com.
Texan by Nature is a non-profit that was founded by Laura Bush to unite business and conservation leaders who believe our state’s prosperity is dependent on the conservation of our natural resources. This Texan by Nature shirt is the softest, eco-friendly tee you can wear all year long - and a great gift too! The Game Day Collection is offered in Rust or Maroon and features Texan by Nature's official logo. The Bella+Canvas fabric is made by a company that operates under eco-friendly processes through the use of water reducing dye machines, motion sensor and natural lighting, electric car charging stations for employees, and recycling practices that create virtually zero waste. Read more about Bella+Canvas' commitment to conservation here. Printed exclusively with water-based fabric inks, rather than the industry standard plastisol and solvent inks, from Under Pressure. These water-based inks are better for the environment because their use and disposal does not result in the release of toxic chlorine-based chemicals. Shirts $25 each at TexanByNature.org.
Stay up to date on everything green in North Texas, including the latest news and events! Sign up for the weekly Green Source DFW Newsletter! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Also check out our new podcast The Texas Green Report, available on your favorite podcast app.