Eco-shopping expert Andrea Ridout shares her tips for shopping this holiday season. Above, Super Cocoa Powder from RDCL Superfoods makes a great stocking stuffer. Courtesy of RDCL Superfoods.
Dec. 1, 2023
Looking for some gifts and stocking stuffer ideas that are guaranteed to earn approval from Mother Earth and your loved ones? If so, our own Andrea Ridout has mapped out some of this year’s hottest and greenest gifts that will please everyone on Santa’s list!
Farmer’s Defense protective sleeves protect arms from the sun, thorns and allergens.
Gardeners are used to getting sunburned and scratched up when they work outdoors — but no more!
Farmer’s Defense protective sleeves are made from thin but tough Repreve recycled materials that keep arms safe from harmful UV rays (UPF 50+ protection), thorns and allergens in the garden.
Plus they look really cool — with patterns from sweet flowers to biker dude! Coordinating hats and gloves are also available, all in compostable packaging.
Group them together for a useful and appreciated holiday gift for gardeners of all ages. They even have kids’ sizes.
Farmer’s Defense is about more than products. The company supports various causes such as saving the bees, defeating breast cancer, garden social rehabilitation programs, special needs farm programs, etc.
Around $25 per pair on FarmersDefense.com or at quality gardening retailers and hardware stores.
Did you know that approximately 25 percent of waste in landfills is paper, much of which is discarded notepads?
The reMarkable 2 is a sketch pad, note pad, ebook reader, organizer and date keeper all in one.
I was having lunch with a business friend recently when he whipped out an amazing “notepad” to help us do some sketching.
Called the reMarkable 2, this was unlike anything that I had ever seen. In an instant, my friend loaded a pdf of a recent project, sketched some changes directly onto it, converted his hand-written notes into typed text and then emailed it to both of us. Wow!
The reMarkable 2 is an electronic tablet that will make the old yellow pad a thing of the past. You can import a wide range of files directly onto the tablet, write on it by hand with a true “paper” feel, type with its optional keyboard and so much more.
It’s also an ebook reader, organizer and date keeper and less than one-quarter-inch thick!
Hey, Santa needs one of these to know who’s naughty or nice!
It holds two weeks battery life with a quick recharge in just four hours. Starting at $299 online and at electronics stores in DFW. Visit reMarkable.com and learn more about the company’s sustainability efforts, not the least of which is eliminating millions of notepads that end up in landfills every year.
Harry and David offers organic fruit boxes and baskets starting at $50.
My daughter lives out of state so it’s hard to know what she needs, come holiday time. Sometimes I choose the wrong thing and she ends up returning it. Or worse it never gets used. I’m sure you’ve got a few of those on your gift list.
Last year, I started a new tradition by sending fresh organic fruit to her and her partner. They loved it and even said “Those pears were the most delicious we’ve ever eaten!” Score!
Several companies offer organic fruit by mail but Harry and David’s seem particularly nice and the prices are pretty reasonable for what you get.
Check out this selection, filled with organic pears, apples, oranges and even a grapefruit. The beautiful wire and hyacinth basket can be used for years to come and is a nice memory of your thoughtful gift!
Gift boxes start around $50. HarryandDavid.com.
Looking for gifts for the healthy snackers in your life? Confetti Snacks are a new grouping of veggie and mushroom chips that ditch the deep fryer in favor of the oven.
Confetti Snacks are made from imperfect vegetables.
Made by upcycling “ugly" vegetables, they are baked using a low heat method that traps the nutrients and beautiful colors of the carrots, radishes, purple sweet potatoes and mushrooms so they are healthy, vibrant and delicious.
Each variety of Confetti Snacks is infused with authentic spices and flavors such as Green Curry, Tandoori Curry, Teriyaki BBQ and Summer Truffle. Confetti Mushroom flavors include Green Curry, Tandoori Curry and Black Truffle.
Create a fun and colorful holiday basket by adding some homemade vegan dip (here’s 30 recipes from which to choose).
Check out ConfettiSnacks.com and learn about their initiatives to donate a portion of their nutrient dense snacks to help end hunger and malnutrition in the poorest parts of the world.
Most hot cocoa brands are loaded with ingredients that you sure don’t want in your body like dipotassium phosphate and diglycerides. Yuck!
Super Cocoa is made with all plant-based ingredients, including some healthy boosters.
This yummy drink is a nutritious, vitamin-packed sensation with “superpowers” from all plant-based ingredients, sweetened with organic stevia and zero added sugar.
Super Cocoa powder can be mixed into hot or cold water (think hot cocoa and chocolate milk) or thrown in the blender with your favorite milk option for a delicious smoothie for adults or kids. Its rich chocolate-y taste (with two kinds of premium cacao) is front and center. But it also contains “stealth” ingredients like pea protein, ancient grains and seeds and greens to make it healthy without tasting like it.
$29.99 for 12 individual packets that would make great stocking stuffers too! RDCLSuperfoods.com
Eco-friendly wine is a thing. Who knew? Many stores around town know that consumers don’t want wine that is laced with chemicals and that is not grown sustainably. Here are three options to consider from three states:
One of my favorite Texas wineries is The Red Caboose in Meridian.
Owner Gary McKibben wears two hats. He is a successful architect by day and runs the winery in his “spare” time.
With help from Texas A&M, McKibben has infused Red Caboose with sustainable technology, such as geothermal energy, solar panels and organic growing methods.
Now McKibben and his team are making more than wine. They’ve got a new line of spirits including vodka, gin, brandy and a bourbon whiskey that Gary says is “killer.”
Grab a bottle or two for the mixed drink lovers in your gift circle. Find them at Specs. You can also order their wines online and get free shipping on $100 or more orders at RedCabooseWinery.com.
The folks at Duck Pond Winery want to leave the planet in better shape than they found it. Their vision is to produce quality wines that express Oregon's purest, most natural form, just as mother nature intended.
Known especially for their Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, Duck Pond is also a favorite of master sommelier Brett Zimmerman, aka “the Sustainable Sommelier.”
In 2020, the vineyard produced the first ever Natural Path Production Wines, certified by the Clean Label Project. The products are free of harmful glyphosate and neonicotinoid pesticides. Visit them at DuckPondCellars.com and find locally at Costco, H-E-B and fine wine stores.
Have you ever noticed that wine brands are not required to put ingredients on their label?
Lifevine, an incredible line of zero sugar amazing California wines, wants you to know what’s in theirs.
Lifevine wine is free of harmful toxins and pesticides and is one of the first vineyards to list both serving facts and ingredients on the bottle.
Varietals include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and more.
Lifevine is lab tested for purity, certified pesticide free and committed to label transparency. And it tastes amazing! Find them at H-E-B, Walmart and fine wine stores in the area. Learn more at LifevineWines.com.
The high-end vegan restaurant Maiden Fine Plants and Spirits is located adjacent to Spiral Diner's flagship restaurant in Fort Worth.
Spiral Diner’s new luxury spinoff, Maiden Fine Plants and Spirits, is vegan fare at its finest. Chef Amy McNutt has been a game-changer in the vegan scene for two decades but Maiden takes her gastronomic talents to the next level. Choose from four-course or eight-course meals as well as teatime and even cocktail hour.
Options include an eight-course tasting menu for $150 per person and an abbreviated four-course menu for $90 per diner. In addition, Tea Time with vegan treats and tea is $55 per adult and $35 per child. Maiden.
COOKING WITH PLANTS
My fun and funky vegan friend Janae Byrd Massonnat is always recommending books for me to become more steeped in a plant-based regime. We enjoyed a cup o’ joe the other day and thumbed through these titles, each one or all that would make a great gift.
When former bacon addict, Ann Hodgman, became a vegan she committed to creating food that was so delicious that she and her hubby would never miss their old lifestyle. Her Vegan Food For The Rest Of Us – Recipes Even You Will Love fits the bill!
No recipe would make the cut unless her husband liked it enough to beg for seconds. Vegan Food for the Rest of Us is packed with over 100 Hodgman-family-tested recipes along with a generous helping of humor thrown in as well.
John Lewis of Miami was so disturbed when he saw how the conventional American diet was utterly failing his African-American community that he decided to do something about it.
As he describes, “heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure,and chronic pain are killing Black people faster than any gun.”
Badass Vegan is Lewis’ manifesto. As a six-foot-six black man, with the build of a guy who played Division I college basketball, he’s not what you typically think of as a vegan. He uses that to his advantage to teach folks that being vegan can be a healthy and strong lifestyle.
Complete with 75 recipes for badass food, from Jack U Up Street Tacos to Cucumber Watermelon Smoothies and Kimchi Nori Maki Rolls, Badass Vegan helps readers lower their risk for disease while finding a whole new way to eat and to live!
Starting at $18.99 for Kindle or $16 for hardcover on Amazon.
MAIN STREET VEGAN
Renowned author, Victoria Moran, has penned 13 books, including Main Street Vegan, The Love-Powered Diet, and The Good Karma Diet. She also hosts the Main Street Vegan podcast and is director of the Main Street Vegan Academy in New York that trains vegan educators and coaches.
Now Moran and co-author, JL Fields, have teamed up to bring you The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook, with the input and recipes of over 100 vegan coaches, chefs, entrepreneurs, and others who espouse a plant-based mantra.
Both seasoned veg-heads and newbies will relish such recipes as Pepperoni Pizza Puffs, Avocado-Cucumber Soup, Cranberry-Kale Pilaf and Crisp Mocha Peanut Butter Bars. Sprinkled with wisdom from The Main Street Vegan Academy, your gift recipient will be an expert in no time! $11.99 for the paperback, $7.99 on Kindle.
The Lomi countertop composter turns biodegradable kitchen waste into compost.
We told you last spring about the Lomi countertop composter — just about the coolest gadget that any environmental aficionado would love for a gift.
Over the last few months it’s become a true fixture around our condo because the homeowner’s association does not allow outdoor composters.
We simply load the Lomi with our biodegradable kitchen waste every few days, switch it on and wait for the magic to happen. Each cycle takes about four hours to convert food waste into soft, nutrient-filled compost at a cost of about 25 cents in electricity per load.
We add it to our houseplants and garden and feel really good about returning “fruits” of the earth to the earth. We also haven’t needed to buy potting soil all year. The Lomi is normally around $499 but their website is offering some deep discounts for the holidays on their website Lomi.com.
PHONE YOUR FRIENDS
Pela makes compostable phone and iPod cases from plant-based materials.
Flax shive and a plant-based biopolymer create the base for the cases, which can be turned back into soil in the Lomi composter at the end of their lives. Check them out here, starting around $60, with special buy-one-get-one-free offers.
If you’re like me, you love using a water filter to avoid drinking bottled water but it’s heartbreaking to throw away the non-recyclable filters at the end of their lives.
Phox invented refillable cartridges for Brita pitchers.
Millions of filter cartridges go into landfills every year.
Phox is a new water filtration system that solves that problem. Based in my dad’s old hometown of Glasgow, Scotland, the company invented the first refillable cartridge for Brita pitchers ($14) plus they make their own beautiful glass filtering pitcher ($32).
Using Phox is easy: simply install the filter cartridge with your choice of either “Cleaning” or “Alkaline” filter medium, both which remove lead, copper, nickel, chlorine, bad taste and smell as well as reducing limescale. Their Alkaline filter pack adds magnesium and an alkaline pH. Each filter refill lasts 40 gallons or 30 days – and then just empty and refill with a new filter medium pack. No plastic waste! PhoxWater.com.
We’re so careful what we put into our bodies — but how about what we put onto them? MyCHELLE’s Refining Sugar Cleanser creates a foaming lather that naturally exfoliates skin to remove dead cells without any of the nasty stuff like parabens, petroleum, phthalates, silicones, sulfates, ureas, artificial fragrances or colors.
It’s boosted with peptides and plant extracts to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to leave your skin feeling smoother, softer and hydrated.
Did we mention that it smells like sugar cookies? The adorable packets make a delightful stocking stuffer or gift basket starter. $19.99 at MyCHELLE.com.
What’s the must-have stocking stuffer for 2023? Vegan deodorant, of course! It’s also a subtle way of letting your loved ones know that perhaps they are a bit ripe.
Crystal's Magnesium Enriched Deodorant Sticks offer 24-hour odor protection without the downsides of aluminum or drying irritants like baking soda.
The magic ingredient is magnesium that works without harmful chemicals – and no sticky white marks or smears on your clothes. With scents like Lavender+Rosemary and Coconut+Vanilla, crystal is also the first and only natural deodorant brand to receive the prestigious Clean Label Project Purity Award for every product in the company’s line.
They also have a partnership with Susan G. Komen to help support breast cancer research. About $20 for two on Amazon or in the self-care department at Target, CVS and Walgreens.
CBD oil is derived from marijuana but does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient that produces a high.
For the CBD-lover in your life, or just someone who needs a break, gift them Susan’s Own Full Spectrum CBD Bath Bombs.
Choose Lavender scent for restful calming or Rose scent for an uplifting, energizing bath. This soothing duo bathes the user in lush floral scents to create a unique aromatherapy experience — plus they’re flecked with biodegradable glitter and real rose and lavender flakes.
But they don’t just smell good and look pretty — they contain 100 mg of fast-absorbing full-spectrum CBD to melt away the stress and strain of the day and soothe tired and achy muscles. $16 each.
Whether it is for the workout buffs, the aging father-in-law or your friend with chronic muscle aches, Susan’s Own Full Spectrum CBD Muscle Balm is the gift that keeps on giving.
Simply rub the retractable stick onto the surface of any muscle, joint, or area where you’re experiencing pain and the 4,000mg Full Spectrum CBD will immediately go to work, relieving and relaxing without leaving behind a greasy mess.
The balm is designed to be stronger and penetrate deeper than other balms on the market. Pair it up with the bath bombs and you’ll have a wonderful gift for the hippie in your life. About $75. Susansown.com.
Explore the amazing nature around Dallas-Fort Worth with Amy Martin’s Wild DFW. The guide to local natural spaces makes a great gift for both experienced hikers and newbies.
Purchase on the Dallas-based indy site Pretty Things and Cool Stuff and proceeds after costs benefit Green Source DFW.
Or buy directly from Amy at one of her talks or walks, which are ongoing.
PEACE ON EARTH
Perhaps this is the year that when you’re done buying gifts, you’d like to help others too. There are many wonderful nonprofits that can put your funds to good use.
One of those is the International Rescue Committee which helps folks all over the planet. As the IRC says on their website, “Around the world, a record number of families are being forced from their homes. They are fleeing war, hunger and the devastation of earthquakes and floods. There isn’t time to pack. Everything is left behind. Now, as temperatures plunge, refugees need warm clothes and blankets. They need food and water. They need to know they are safe.” You can help by donating here.
Considering other charities? Check out Charity Navigator, a watchdog organization that rates nonprofits based on several criteria such as how much of each dollar actually goes to help people. Visit CharityNavigator.org for more info.
2023 GREEN GIFT GUIDE SERIES
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