Wouldn't it be nice to stay away from the mall and the big-box stores this holiday season? To support some smaller companies, and be able to choose more natural, earth-friendly and unique gifts for your loved ones?
Green Christmas is a 3-day focus on some of the less conventional stores and products available, to get you started in your search for the perfect gifts to bless those around you! Starting today and going until Friday (skipping Thanksgiving on Thursday), I will be highlighting 2 new stores each day!
The impetus for this event came as I began working hard to tackle our list of gift recipients. As a busy mom with 3 young children, shopping in the malls or other hectic and busy stores does not enthuse me in the last (rather, it makes me want to run screaming in the other direction). Online shopping has become my preferred method of Christmas gift-buying these last couple of years.
The challenge is that there are just SO many websites and shops out there, that it can be difficult to narrow them down and begin to make decisions about what to buy. I wanted to offer some options to get you inspired and perhaps take some of the hard work out of your shopping this year.
Just to be upfront with you, some of these companies have paid a nominal fee to be included in this Christmas round-up, and a few are just ones that I wanted to include because I like them. All have been carefully selected as the types of stores that I would be willing to buy from, and products that I think are worth taking a closer look at.
I've raved before about how much I love these lotion bars! They are one of the only things that really works for my dry, cracked skin and I buy them even when I'm not reviewing them for the blog. I got my mom to try them last time she visited me (who also has really dry skin on her hands) and she was also impressed with how soothing it felt going on.
One of the best things about these bars is the simplicity of ingredients: coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax. It's about as pure and natural as you can get.
Though I love their Beesilk bar, I've been trying out the Au Chocolat variety and I have to say that I've been won over! The only difference in these bars is that the shea butter has been replaced with cocoa butter, giving the bar a light scent of cocoa and a slightly softer feel to it. I often rub some on at the same time as I use my Peppermint Lip Balm, and I seriously smell just like Christmas when I use the two of them together. Heavenly.
For Gift Giving: Renee has put together 2 different packages. The 3-in-1 includes a full size bar (2 oz.), a pocket size bar (0.75 oz.) and a lip balm, and the 2-in-1 includes just the pocket size and lip balm. Both come in a natural muslin tote bag, and you can choose from the original Beesilk, or the Au Chocolat package with peppermint balm instead.
Want to try making lotions and lip balms like these to give as homemade gifts? Check out MadeOn's DIY pages for tutorials and videos that show you how to make hard lotion bars, lip balms and facial moisturizer!
Who Would Love to Get This: The tote bags make perfect stocking stuffers for anyone with dry skin (male or female), but especially moms, sisters, and girl friends. Also ideal for teachers or co-workers.
Price Range: Gift sets range from $8.75-$18.50, and individual lotion bars run from $5.75-$10.50, with lip balms at $1.95 a piece.
I stumbled upon ReFabrica at an eco-fair I visited last spring, and appreciated their story. They realized that although many manufacturers are seeking to be green in so many ways, unused fabric was one of the materials that was not being recycled or reused in any major way. As their story says:
'The ReGiftable Bag' was born. A reusable gift bag made from high quality reclaimed upholstery fabrics. Beautiful. Elegant. ReGiftable.
All ReFabrica products are locally made (in Vancouver, BC) out of entirely reclaimed materials, into sturdy and elegant bags that can be re-gifted over and over and over. Though I am one who carefully saves each and every gift bag (tissue paper and all) to reuse, I know well how easily they can be crunched or ripped and end up unusable. Did you know that studies estimate that as much as $2 billion (or more) worth of gift wrapping and packaging ends up in landfills each year?
For Gift Giving: ReFabrica bags come in 4 convenient sizes to fit most types of gifts-- small, medium, tall and large. You can also purchase a variety pack consisting of 1 of each type to cover a range of gift possibilities.
Who Would Love to Get This: Anyone who likes to receive gifts. So, pretty much everyone!
Price Range: Bags sell for $9.99, $13.99, $15.99 and $19.99. If you want to go for the variety pack, the total cost is $49.99 (about a $10 savings on buying them individually).