This year's eco gift guide is focused on sustainability as it always is, but with a twist. This year, we've chosen products that are not only good for the planet, but are also good for you. 2020 has been a rough one. Besides being in the middle of a climate crisis, there is this global pandemic, a struggling economy, and the deeply rooted racial injustice in this country to name a few. The impact is there and it's very real. It's time to heal. The upcoming year of 2021 should be filled with plastic-free self-care environmental goodness. With a focus on caring for, preventing, and healing the self and our planet, we have searched for the perfect gifts this holiday season. These are our top eco picks for this year's sustainable self-care-inspired gifts:
1.) Eco Bath Products: Do you like to hide in your bathtub at the end of a long day? If you're like me, you need that time to melt away whatever Zoom meeting stress you might have endured. We had a very challenging time finding plastic-free shampoo and conditioner until discovering Ksoni. Ksoni makes shampoo (and other bath products) in a can that don't have any yucky chemicals! Using aluminum instead of plastic, allows the product to be infinitely recyclable, which we love. And with mood-boosting essential oils such as bergamot and frankincense and the anti-inflammatory properties of jojoba oil, the Jivati scent helps to relieve mental tension and provides the environment needed for a relaxing bath experience. And while you're at it, add a little of these Essential Bath Flowers from Wilderness Maven and your bath is sure to be full of eco self-care goodness.
2.) Natural Cosmetics: I don't know about you, but my face is literally one of the only things that other non-family members see now. I often find myself wearing a nice shirt, sweatpants, and a little bit of makeup during virtual meetings. Cosmetics also happen to be a personal necessity after those long nights of binging on Netflix and having kids who don't sleep. If makeup is your thing, Clean Faced Cosmetics is a must this holiday season. I know that makeup is ALWAYS on the top of my list for stocking stuffers, but this year it feels even more important because, well, 2020. Clean-Faced Cosmetics are vegan, cruelty free, organic when possible, and packaged with zero-waste. They even offer refills so you can be even more sustainable!
3.) Eco Necklace: Who doesn't love jewelry? It can be tricky to find jewelry that is sourced responsibly while also being fashionable, but L.Greenwalt Jewelry has managed to do both. I'm in love with this company (and this gorgeous sterling silver Rainbow necklace). All of their metals are either ethically mined or recycled and they donate a portion of their procedes to good causes such as The Sentencing Project, The Bail Project, and The Ocean Conservancy. Their sustainability doesn't stop at the products used; they use all eco-friendly, biodegradable, or plastic-free packaging as well.
4.) Small Batch Eco Candles: We'd like to think that we are 'experts' in this area since we sell our own eco soy candles. Takes one to know one, right? Well, we are BIG FANS of Simple Alchemy. Their Spiced Orange Woodwick Candle is the perfect cozy winter scent. The wood wick crackles as it burns lending to massive holiday hooga vibes. Also, this candle from Exalted Alchemy is the perfect travel size and will brighten any space with bergamot, balsam, and currant. This candle was handpoured on the taurus full moon on Halloween of 2020. Last but not least, this handpoured US grown soy candle handmade by yours truly, Big + Spicy, is a bestseller during this time of year. Other popular plant based candles can be found here.
5.) Natural Candy: Candy is one of our all-time favorite stocking stuffers (second only to useful things such as deodorant and makeup). You may be wondering how candy is considered a form of self-care. Well, it may not be for you, but candy makes ME feel pretty darn happy inside. Besides having a sweet tooth, we do choose to stay away from artificial dyes and flavors and there aren't always a lof of exciting candies that fit that category. But then we found Amborella Organics seed-bearing lollipops. The entire concept blows our minds...in fact I'm still a little confused about where the seeds are hiding. So you may be wondering what a seed-bearing lollipop actually is. It's an organic candy with edible herbs and flowers that weave throughout. After devouring, you can plant the biodegradable stick in soil horizontally, cover with a layer of top soil, water daily, and grow an herb or flower. The are simply beautiful AND taste good, too. These will surely be filling our stockings this year with flavors such as Sage and Marshmallow, everyone is sure to be pleased. They even have an immunity-boosting lollipop that is sure to be a hit during COVID Christmas this year. Also, who doesn't love gum? Did you know how much junk is in most of the gum on the shelves? Gum from Glee is free from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives, is Aspartame-free, is Non-GMO Project Verified, and is made with chicle, a tree sap harvested sustainably to help conserve the rainforest.
6.) Natural Chili Oils: Spicy things=that warm-all-over-feel. Chili Oils from Hot Mama Salsa are among our favorites. We first discovered them at the Portland Farmer's Market and fell instantly in love (if you're local, please please please try the salsa verde). We add them to everything - salad dressings, pasta, chiliquiles, and tacos to name a few. Supporting local farms, this woman-owned business is a Pacific NW staple. The chili oils last FOREVER and come packaged in glass (plastic-free-yay!). Best part, they are delicious, complex, and well-balanced.
7.) An Everything T-Shirt: What you need this year is a high quality shirt like from Almost Human Mercantile. It's what I call an "everything shirt" because it goes with everything, you can wear it more than once before washing it, and pair it with a nice pair of jeans or jacket and it looks fresh. These shirts are super soft and durable made out of Supima cotton. Like all cotton, Supima cotton is sustainable, renewable and biodegradable, but is twice as strong. And these shirts are 100% ethically sourced, made in the USA, and fair trade. And...(if that isn't enough), you'd be supporting a diversely-owned business with your purchase!
8.) Eco Doll: Hey, babies need self-care time, too! When babies and toddlers get time to play on their own with natural and creative toys, mamas and dadas get a little "me time" as well. This is essential especially when we're mostly all stuck at home trying to clean, work, and live at home during this pandemic. These handmade dolls by Ikibondo are simply enchanting and whimsical.
9.) An Apothecary Subscription: This is the most unique box idea I've heard in awhile. The Wilderness Maven is doing "A Year Around the Sun Apothecary Subscription". What better time than this year to give the gift of self-care that keeps on giving. I received an eco subscription box one year and it remains to be one of my favorite gifts of all time. With each season, the giver brings new joy to the receiver. New suscriptions with The Wilderness Maven recieve 20% off the first month using the code "BOXOFJOY". We love The Wildnerness Maven so much for many reasons - all the botanicals used are grown on their very own land or partnering farms or foraged from wild places around the Pacific Northwest. All of their products are free of pesticides and sprays. Best of all, they proudly donate 10% of sales back to local organizations who work to keep our land healthy and alive. This is a year-full of environment and self care - you couldn't ask for anything more in the most perfect gift of 2020.
10.) Funky Earrings: These small batch earrings by Wit and Pepper are my new favorite indulgence. Whimsical with a midcentury flair, these clay creations will make a statement with any outfit. They come in so many fun colors and designs that you have one for each mood. And speaking of mood, these earrings will literally make you happy so they can be looked at as a form of self-care. So, buy them for yourself (and don't feel guilty) or buy them for someone else to bring a smile to their face.
11.) Wellness Products: Exalted Alchemy makes intentional wellness products for your mind, body, and soul. Interestingly enough, to be exalted is to be in a state of extreme happiness and total bliss. These products will make you feel just that when you burn, smother, and dab them on. As a long-time sufferer of headaches who also despises medications, I am in love with the Headache Ease roller for this time of year. And because it's 2020, self-care includes hand sanitizer....but how hard is it to find one that is plastic-free? Very. However, our friends over at Simple Alchemy have risen to the challenge and created this eco-conscious hand sanitizer.
12.) Micro Batch CHOCOLATE!: Foxglove Chocolate is one of our all-time favorite chocolate companies and for good reasons. Made with ethically-sourced cocoa beans in Oregon, Foxglove Chocolate is gorgeous, tasty, and seasonally-inspired. With flavors like Cornbread Herb and Fig and Olio, anyone on your holiday gift list is sure to be satisfied. These chocolate bars are seasonally-inspired and the ingredients are locally-sourced which allow for much creativity and sustainability. They also have micro batch chocolate subscriptions (hint: on my wish list this year) in three months all the way up to 12 months.
13.) Green Up Box: Delivered six times per year, these plastic-free boxes of eco goodness are so thoughtfully and intentionally-curated. This would make a great gift for anyone trying to reduce their footprint (or maybe it will inspire this step?).
14.) Lip Therapy: Who knew that our lips also needed conditioners? My lips would tell you differently about this time of year. Lip therapy should definitely be a part of your self-care routine. The lip conditioners from Blue Heron Botanicals are organically and sustainably wildcrafted, naturally protect your lips from the sun, and utilize superior quality medicinal herbs, essential oils and carrier oils selected for their unique healing qualities. These lip conditioners are packaged in plastic-free 100% recycled and compostable containers which is amazing! They are also cruelty free and use solar-powered and renewable energy. And furthermore, as if there needed to be more to sell us on their product, for every purchase made, one sea turtle is saved. Use code BHB20 for 20% off all orders.
15.) Eco Body Products: I've always been a fan of Schmidt's Naturals deodorant because it is natural and really works. However, in my search to replace the plastic (albeit recyclable) container with a more sustainable option, I might have just found it in Simple Alchemy's Citrus Grove Natural Deodorant. We've also had a tough time finding plastic-free lotion, but Simple Alchemy also makes this! The Matcha Lavender Solid Lotion scent is to die for and works splendidly! When you sign up for their newsletter, you get 10% off any order at simplealchemy.co so there's really no excuse not to switch over now. Another favorite and a must-have at this time of year is body butter. This one by Earth Goddess has CBD in it which is ESSENTIAL for the 2020 pandemic holiday season. There are so many benefits to using CBD, even topically, but most importantly it can alleviate skin conditions, pain, and inflammation (hint: stress and inflammation are linked).
16.) Eco Skin Care: I made the switch to all natural and/or organic facial care products over seven years ago and haven't looked back since. I'm constantly on the search for the most nourishing ingredients free of nasty chemicals. This all purpose moisturizer by Clean Faced Cosmetics has only six ingredients, smells nice, and leaves my skin feeling amazing. And I'm in love with The Wilderness Maven's Evening Repair Beauty Oil, which is a much needed relief for your skin at night. This oil will replenish moisture, reduce redness and inflammation, improve completion and skin tone, help reverse sun damage and help in skin repair. And did I mention that it has magnesium in it? We've been using Magnesium topically in order to improve sleep, relax muscles, and reduce anxiety.
16.) Winter Soltice Gift Set: This gift set is a collaboration between Wooly Beast Natuals and Dark Exact and focuses on transformation, cleansing, and renewal, inspired by the cycle of nature. It's the perfect gift this season because it encompasses everything that we should be doing right now, in this moment. Winter is the season of rest and restoration for the natural world, a time of shedding in preparation for the new growth of Spring. This set will assist in your ability to harness this cyclical energy for your own symbolic reconfiguration. And who doesn't need a little reconfiguration right about now?