We’re putting together a spectacular list of great Chelsea Green gift goodies that will surely inspire your friends and family to join you in 2009 in launching a community garden, or transitioning your home off fossil fuels, or finally beginning to compost your kitchen scraps. But, while we’re putting the final bows and decorations on that lovely list, I thought I’d whet your appetite with this gem from our friends at the Huffington Post.
But if the library and used books aren’t doing it for you, or you’re just set on giving a new book, try a green book. Chelsea Green, a founding member of the Green Press Initiative, has been printing on recycled paper since 1985. They’ve got some intriguing new titles out including: The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience, by Rob Hopkins and Open Spaces Sacred Places: Stories of How Nature Heals and Unifies, by by Tom Stoner and Carolyn Rapp. I can also recommend Sandor Ellix Katz’s modern classic, Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods.
An excerpt from HuffPost’s Green Gift Guide: Eco-Friendly Ideas For the Holidays
Homemade Goods: Everyone know it’s the thought that counts, and what could be more thoughtful than a gift you made yourself. Nothing says “happy holidays” quite like a woolly hand-knitted scarf a tin of home-baked cookies. Here are a few other directions you might want to go:
1. DIY Recycled Paper Notebooks
Recycled paper notebooks make great gifts because not only are they good-looking - especially if you wind up using wrapping paper scraps and the like - but they are unquestionably useful. Consider making some that small enough for your friends and family members to carry with them - the better to jot down their ideas and New Year’s resolutions. Meghan Mcclain and Jill Thomas of Design Sponge explain their fairly simple procedure, which begins with collecting scraps.
2.Organic Bath Salts
Martha Stewart proposes giving the gift of bath salts, which you can proffer in a recycled jar. A big glass pickle jar might work well. Apparently, Americans spends $300 million annually on conventional women’s bath gift sets. This gift is green of course because it will introduce your friends and family to the virtues of organic bath products with recycled packaging. No need to spook up the bath with additives and coloring when simply salt and a drop or two of essential oil will do the trick.
Start with about 4 cups of sea salt or kosher salt. Mix in several drops of an oil such as peppermint or tea tree, available at your local natural food’s store) or dried fragrant plants, such as lavender or eucalyptus. Voila: Bath salts.
3. House Plants
Kate Pruitti over at Design Sponge was frustrated with the “depressing lack of variety for hanging planters out there” and decided to make her own from old ceramic planters she found lying around her house. Click here for the full post and instructions.
I have opened up my collection of old knick-knacks to a world of possibilities with a wonderful gizmo: the multi-purpose drill bit for use on ceramic, porcelain, glass, tile, etc. I decided to make a custom hanging pot by drilling holes in a pretty pot.
This neat gift idea would enable your loved ones to bring a bit of green into their homes by suspending plants from their ceilings. You may want to include a plant. Not only do they look great but they can drastically improve a space’s air quality. Treehugger’s Bonnie Alter suggests a few particularly purifying - and handsome - specimen: the Rubber Plant, the Ficus Benjamina (weeping fig), english ivy, or boston ferns. When in doubt, consider the spider plant, which I like to think of as the carnation of houseplants: very cheap, and underrated. It grows remarkably quickly, too.
To get more ideas for low-impact gift giving, read the whole guide.