Pamper your partner with these eco-friendly gift ideas

December 18, 2019 by  
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Getting your significant other a holiday gift can be a daunting task, but if you go green, you’ll win every time. Here are Inhabitat’s recommendations for eco-conscious gifts that will show your partner and the planet plenty of love this holiday season. Repast Supply Co.’s wooden kitchenware and dining furniture Repast Supply Co. is a woodworking company that plants 10 trees for every piece of furniture it builds. Its furniture includes credenzas, dining tables, side tables, seating and benches. The Repast Supply kitchenware product line includes wooden rolling pins, ravioli boxes, bigolaros, polenta boards, cutting boards and wine totes. As an added bonus, it has recipes on its website for dishes like gluten-free ravioli with port-poached pear filling or ricotta-goat cheese ravioli with radishes for the refined palate. Any of these items are a great set-up for many romantic dinners to come. Related: Eco-friendly subscription boxes to gift this holiday season JOCO reusable, glass coffee cups JOCO has been a strong advocate for the “Refuse all plastic, stop disposable waste” message. The company has thereby created reusable coffee cups “designed for a lifetime of use,” thanks to being 100 percent plastic-free and certified non-toxic. Moreover, these reusable cups are “made by artists, not machines,” for they have been “artisan-blown.” Besides the coffee cups, JOCO also offers bottles, glassware and accessories. Accessories include silicone thermal sleeves and splash-safe lids that are 100 percent BPA-free. Recycled glass artworks Upcycling glass is a good way to minimize waste and create eco-art for all to enjoy. For example, Kitras Art Glass makes hand-blown ornaments from recycled glass. Refresh Glass , meanwhile, has rescued over 1.5 million bottles and continues to upcycle them into gifts, like self-watering planters, carafe and glass sets and personalized glass sets. EvrBottle similarly gives bottles new life as tumblers, vases, lamps, jars and candle holders. Bureo sunglasses and skateboards All of Bureo’s products are made from recycled fishing nets . Its top-sellers include skateboards and sunglasses, and it also has the first Jenga game ( called Jenga Ocean ) made from 100 percent recycled fishing nets. Bureo’s gift sets include insulated canteens, flying discs, mugs and surf fins, all made from recycled fishing nets as well. ReFleece ReFleece sources reclaimed textiles from the outdoor industry and makes felt from recycled bottles. The company makes all of its products in the U.S., too. ReFleece merchandise to gift this holiday season includes zippered pocket pouches, slim wallets, e-reader cases, iPad sleeves and wine totes. Personal care products from The Humble Co. Vegan , cruelty-free and certified organic, The Humble Co. has many eco-friendly and socially responsible products on offer. The Humble Brush is described as “the world’s most-sold bamboo toothbrush with a handle made from 100 percent biodegradable, sustainably grown bamboo.” The toothbrushes can be accessorized with a bamboo storage case or a bamboo stand to hold the Humble Brush. The Humble Co. also has natural toothpastes, including tablets, and non-toxic mouthwash that would all make for great stocking-stuffers. Because bamboo is The Humble Co.’s material of choice, it also sells bamboo cotton swabs and reusable, natural bamboo straws. Sleep masks and bedding from SOL Organics For a good night’s rest, consider organic cotton eye masks. Optimal health depends on getting enough sleep, and that can be helped with a sleep mask that both fits comfortably and blocks out the light. Plus, with organic cotton as the material, your partner will sleep better knowing it is eco-friendly. SOL Organics ‘ sleep mask is a fair-trade eye mask that is made of 100 percent organic cotton and has the GOTS certification. SOL Organics’ product inventory also includes sheets, bedding bundles, duvets, downs, and even robes and towels. Birdhouse succulent planter For those who love birds, plants, gardens or all of the above, then Shop Succulents’ living succulent birdhouse kit planter is sure to be a well-loved gift. Made from natural wood and supplied with succulents to plant atop for a green roof , this birdhouse will certainly make your partner smile. Cork yoga mats Yoloha cork yoga mats are comfortable, biodegradeable and recyclable. They also have a great non-slip grip, and cork is naturally antibacterial. With a Yoloha cork yoga mat, your partner can better their personal health and wellness and that of the planet, too. Images via Shutterstock, Repast Supply , JOCO , Jana , Bureo , ReFleece , The Humble Co. and Yoloha Yoga

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Pamper your partner with these eco-friendly gift ideas

DIY: How to make an enchanting terrarium necklace to keep or give as a gift

December 17, 2019 by  
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Highlight life, nature, plants and the planet all in a tiny, encapsulated terrarium. Even better, turn it into a necklace for a unique piece of jewelry that is sure to be a conversation-starter. Since natural gifts are always en vogue, consider making extras for co-workers and family. This fast and easy nature craft is also fun to make with kids. Supplies: 1 glass vial with a cork — you can select the size of your choice, but don’t make it too bulky or so tiny that it is difficult to fill. Make sure it has a hook at the top for the chain, or get a small eye-hook to screw into the cork . 1 necklace chain — keep preferred length in mind Sand or fine gravel Soil Tiny succulents Tweezers Clothespin (optional) Instructions: 1. Create support Depending on your vial, it might need support. You can use a clothespin if your vial is unable to stand up straight. Simply open the clothespin, lower the vial into place and release the clothespin around the vial. Because the bottle is small and light, the clothespin will keep it from tipping over while you work. Related: How to make your own green terrarium to keep or give away for the holidays 2. Layer Once things are secure, begin layering materials into the vial. You can do this using a toothpick, tweezers or a skewer. You can also partially roll a small piece of paper to create a tube to pour materials in. Start with your sand or fine gravel . Depending on the size of your vial or miniature glass bottle, it might take ¼ teaspoon or so. This will help with air flow and drainage. Next, add soil; any enriched soil will work. Don’t worry about these materials collecting on the sides of the glass at this point. You can clean it up to make it pretty in a later step. 3. Add creativity Part of the fun of this process is being creative with your art. Play with different living plants to create the look you want. Moss can be your centerpiece, or you can add small pieces of succulents as a focal point. Just make sure your vessel offers enough space for any greenery you add. If you choose to add succulents, select baby shoots from the base of the plant or even those that have fallen off the plant. Then, allow the stem to dry out for several days before planting it in the terrarium . This keeps it from bringing too much moisture into the terrarium. Although the vessel is small, it still needs to remain balanced for the plant to survive, meaning it shouldn’t be too wet or too dry. If you find your terrarium misting up on the sides, release the cork to let some of the moisture out. 4. Attach chain Now, attach your necklace chain to your hook. Depending on the materials you selected, this can be done by simply sliding the chain through the eye of the hook or by using a small circle to attach the eye-hook to the chain using jewelry pliers or tweezers to pinch it closed. Make sure the chain is securely attached. Test your necklace for your desired length. 5. Cork it Add a drop of water to your terrarium. If this doesn’t clean up any debris that may have collected on the sides during layering, use a damp cotton swab to wipe the sides. Use tweezers to rearrange items as desired. Look at your terrarium from all angles to ensure things are just the way you want them. Then, insert your cork into the vial, and make sure it is firmly in place. 6. Care Your plant can survive in your terrarium for a long time with proper care. Add a tiny amount of water to your terrarium every few days as needed, and be sure to avoid leaving it in direct sunlight, which can dry out your plants. If it does dry out or die, you can easily replace the living plant with another without needing to replace the other materials. Speaking of materials, you will likely have enough to make several terrarium necklaces . Consider introducing the idea to a science classroom, a senior center or as a follow-up for a field trip. Images via Inhabitat

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A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for your significant other

December 18, 2018 by  
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Oftentimes, choosing a gift for a significant other is the most difficult task of the holiday season. But finding a gift that is good for the planet? That’s a no-brainer. Shower the person you love with gifts (and experiences) that are good for the planet, and they are bound to be impressed. Plus, gifting your lover is a prime opportunity to find a present you both can enjoy together! LUSH skincare From a lack of packaging to natural, sustainable ingredients, there’s nothing hotter than a gift from LUSH . Pamper your lover with an array of bath bombs, body lotions, body sprays and more. There are also plenty of gift sets to choose from for a perfectly curated present. Romantic getaway It’s no secret that we love Glamping Hub , as seen here and here . Book a dreamy trip with your loved ones to one of 350,000 available accommodations, or let them choose with a gift card . These vacations are designed to immerse you in nature in unique stays like treehouses, tents, tiny homes and more — any of which are guaranteed to keep you close together in cozy quarters. Spa time Everyone could use a little relaxation, especially after a hectic holiday season. Book a couple’s massage at a local spa, or make it a fun, DIY night at home by surprising your significant other with hot stones, massage oils, organic lotions and homemade face masks. Fancy plants Not to be confused with fancy pants, take time to select a beautiful plant (bonus if it is from a local grower!) and a stunning, handcrafted pot to accompany it. You don’t have to spend a ton of money, although it will be a welcome surprise to gift your loved one a plant that they normally wouldn’t spend the money on for themselves. Vegan handbags Let a chic new handbag carry your lover into the New Year and beyond! Made from vegan leather, these bags are sleek and sturdy, ready to hold all the essentials. The minimalist design matches a wide variety of outfits, and each bag is made ethically. Images via Stock Snap , Glamping Hub , Gundula Vogel , Kara Eads , Kestan and Shutterstock

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A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for your significant other

A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for pets

December 13, 2018 by  
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Our pets are our best friends … our family. That’s why it is important to spoil your animals with eco-friendly gifts that will make them and the planet happy. From chew toys made from sustainable hemp and wool to collars made of recycled plastic, here our some of our favorite holiday gifts for pets. Chew toys Whether your dog likes to snuggle with its chew toys or is a tough chewer who rips everything to shreds, these toys will make Fido the happiest pup on the planet. Each option is handmade in the U.S. from sustainable hemp canvas and eco-felt wool. They are durable enough to withstand extra-tough dogs, and they can also hold up to a washing machine. Pet beds Whether you have cats, dogs or both, all your furry friends will love the Snuggle Bed , a cozy sleeping space that can transform into many bed types to suit your pet’s preferences. This particular bed is OEKO-TEX certified; the company’s pet beds are also made from 100 percent recycled materials . Related: A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for family Cat trees Cats love climbing, scratching and — above all else — resting in baskets. Let your cat do all three with this cat tree , which features a carpeted base, a dangling ball for play, a scratch post and a basket-like sphere made from  banana leaf material . Best of all, this tree will fit right in with your home’s beautiful furniture. Aquariums If you keep fish as pets, make their home the best is can be with an eco-friendly aquarium. This specific tank uses fish waste to fertilize herbs growing atop the tank; the plants in turn clean the water for the fish . Related: How to make your own eco-friendly aquarium accessories Collars and leashes Adorn your lovable pets in nature-inspired collars and leashes made from recycled plastic bottles. For added style, this version mimics the “distinctive look and feel of a classic polo shirt,” making your pet cooler and classier than you. Images via  Rhaúl V. Alva , Honest Pet Products , Pet Play , Wayfair , Back to the Roots  and Lupine Pet

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9 Valentines Day gifts that last longer than a bouquet of flowers or box of chocolates

February 9, 2017 by  
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If you are feeling like you are in a Valentine’s Day gifts idea rut, we’ve got some good, green suggestions for you. While some are simply more eco-friendly and sustainable versions of traditional Valentine’s presents, we’ve also rounded up a few other unexpected ideas, gifts that benefit others. Whether helping to fund solar energy projects in Chad, empowering women, or employing artisans around the world, these presents are made to last, and that is good for everyone. 1. Succulent garden Long-lasting and harder for brown thumbs to kill, succulent plants make a lovely gift for homeowners and Lula’s Garden takes in-home and easy gardening to the next level with its Valentine’s Day collection . The SoCal-sourced succulents come in their own planter gift box and are pre-planted, eliminating packaging waste. Cali residents have even more options for a selection. 2. Lingerie with an eco ethos Lingerie isn’t exactly a novel Valentine’s Day gift idea, but these aren’t your average bra and underwear offerings. Naja’s gorgeous lingerie is made using digital and sublimation printing, drastically reducing the amount of water used in the manufacturing process. They also include fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles and are experimenting with other eco-friendly fabrics and technologies. The majority of Naja’s garment factory employees are single moms or female heads of households; in addition to flexible work policies, above-market wages, and healthcare benefits, the children of every Naja garment worker receives books, school supplies, uniforms, and school meals paid by Naja. Naja is serious about empowering women, but the brand is happy to toe the line between playful and sophisticated with cheeky knickers printed with adorable animals as well as elegant nude lingerie options for a variety of skin shades. 3. Artisan gift box Subscription gift boxes have exploded in recent years, and the monthly gifts from Globe In bring a socially conscious and artistic bent to the trend. Each themed “box” comes in a handwoven palm leaf basket filled with a variety of goodies. The Cozy Box, for example, includes a fair trade scarf from Thailand, a hand-painted Tunisian mug, and fair trade cocoa powder from Ghana . Whether you buy a one-off box or a monthly subscription, your gift is guaranteed to be a hit and to help artisans and makers around the world. 4. Hand-poured candles that help provide solar energy Starling Project candles come in four fragrances ranging from sultry Juniper + Saffron to comforting Vanilla + Hemlock. Soy-based and hand-poured in Brooklyn, the candles come in handmade glass containers and last up to 60 hours. Starling candles help bring light to homes across the world: the company has donated over $100,000 to UNICEF solar energy projects in Chad. 5. Sustainable and sophisticated jewelry Philadelphia-based jewelry brand Bario Neal is known for creating classic and cutting edge pieces that use ethically-sourced and recycled materials and for using low-impact environmentally conscious practices (which you can read about here ). Whether you go the custom route or grab a pair of modern diamond studs , the jewelry wizards at this proudly feminist company will create a piece that is traceable and responsible. 6. The gift of education The quickest way to make a $58 gift last a whole year? Make a donation to the International Rescue Committee and sponsor a girl’s education for a school year . The IRC works around the globe to help people whose lives are affected by conflict and crisis and to improve communities through education, economic wellbeing, and health efforts. In 2015, the IRC helped educate more than 13,000 girls in Afghanistan alone! 7. Hand-crafted home goods made from reclaimed and repurposed materials The husband and wife team that formed Peg and Awl have a gift for creating  practical and durable heirlooms for both the home and people. Their ever-expanding line of handmade goods includes roomy waxed canvas weekender bags with vintage zippers ,  macabre recycled metal rings , and a tree swing . Every piece is crafted in an old casket factory, and many are reclaimed from materials that are over 100-years-old. Image via Tamar Nahir Yanai’s Etsy page 8. A crafting kit Give the gift of creativity…and perhaps a little peace and quiet. An embroidery kit is a perfect, easy entrée into the world of crafting ; it’s also a balm for the soul during turbulent times. Whether you choose a kit with a wildflower theme, a mandala design, or something unexpected , getting your love’s hands moving in another way besides working their thumbs to a frenzy on their device is rejuvenating and restorative, not to mention fun. If you are gifting this to a mom or dad with young ones, be sure to include a “coupon” to watch his or her little ones so that crafting time is blissfully uninterrupted. 9. Recycled glass barware Elevate your after-dinner drinks with recycled glassware from Bambeco . Pick your poison and sip it thoughtfully, perhaps from the five beer flight  which includes a reclaimed wine barrel stave holder as well as five glasses made from recycled wine coolers.  Or knock back a cold one in a recycled   lager glass crafted in a factory that uses recycled cooking and engine oil to fuel the furnace and reuses gray water and collected rainwater in the production process. Lead image via Lula’s Garden

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9 Valentines Day gifts that last longer than a bouquet of flowers or box of chocolates

The best indoor gardens to gift this year

December 6, 2016 by  
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It may be difficult to imagine gardening in the dead of winter, but thanks to modern technology it’s more possible than ever before. With holiday shopping in full swing, our eyes have been peeled for the brightest innovations in home agriculture. From full-on self-watering vegetable gardens , to mushrooms that grow from a log and a bonsai version of the redwoods , we were thoroughly impressed. Here are some of the finest indoor gardens to give your green-thumbed (and even black-thumbed) loved ones this year. Veritable Smart Garden – $142 Even those with the blackest of thumbs can grow a full vegetable garden from the comfort of their own home. The Veritable garden runs on a fully functioning autonomous system that provides water, light and nutrients to itself. It’s the perfect gift for wannabe gardeners with no outdoor space. Plantini Mini Plant House – $38 This stunning metal structure contains everything you need to grow magnificent violas housed in a luxurious sanctuary. The Plantini is a timeless and easily-assembled flat-packed plant house. Artisan Moss Preserved Green Wall – $45 to $650 These gorgeously preserved moss “plant paintings” require no light or watering at all. Handcrafted with 100 percent sustainably harvested moss, green plants and branches, these pieces are carefully preserved with non-toxic food-grade methods and pigments. As long as they aren’t exposed to too much sunlight, they will serve as beautifully verdant wall art for decades. IKEA Greenhouse – $30 Good design and affordability are baked into  IKEA’s PS 2014 Greenhouse . The lightweight hot house can be attached to a wall or rested on a tabletop. Fill it with herbs or flowers and it will instantly brighten any room. Its compact, one-door design allows for greens to flourish on a wall or next to a window, even in winter. Swiss designer Nicolas Cortolezzis conceptualized the piece for IKEA as a take on the “traditional Swiss chalet” and a “symbol of simplicity and harmony with nature, values that seem more important than ever.” Oyster Mushroom Log – $30 No need to forage for mushrooms when you have this. Anyone can enjoy freshly picked oyster mushrooms all-year-round with this clever kit. Watch these mushrooms sprout right out a beautiful, rustic log every two months. Bonsai Redwood Forest – $75 Invite one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders indoors. The Bonsai Dawn Redwood Forest kit comes with everything the real place contains — redwood tree and moss seeds, soil, river stones, as well as bonsai scissors, a mini rake, a growing box, and step-by-step directions. Succulent Wall Planter – $110 Succulents are a divine gift, since they are bright, sculptural and also quite easy to maintain. This fantastic DIY kit beautifully showcases living succulents nested within a rustic wooden frame. It can be displayed as verdant wall art or as a chic centerpiece. Edible Flowers Seed Kit – $45 This flowering garden doubles as decor and cooking ingredients. The kit includes four varieties of edible flower seeds that, once planted, sprout from stunning glass vials nested in wooden blocks. + Inhabitat’s 2016 Green Holiday Gift Guide + Inspiring Gifts for the Green Thumb

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3 Easy, last-minute DIY gifts for nature lovers

December 16, 2015 by  
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There are only a few short weeks standing between now and the New Year, which means it’s crunch time for holiday gift giving . And if you’re anything like us, you probably have a few people on your shopping list who share your appreciation for all things natural. So why not consider making them a special gift this year? Hit the jump to see three easy projects you can do yourself that are bound to make your friends or family members feel extra special this year. Read the rest of 3 Easy, last-minute DIY gifts for nature lovers

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DIY gift: make adorable felt drink “koozies” for all your friends

December 14, 2015 by  
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Green Parisian school combines sophistication of stainless steel with the warmth of wood

December 14, 2015 by  
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Green Parisian school combines sophistication of stainless steel with the warmth of wood

Is the Paris climate accord really a “major leap for mankind”?

December 14, 2015 by  
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World leaders are calling the Paris climate agreement a “turning point” in the fight against the effects of climate change. The deal, which is the result of years of meetings and negotiations between leaders from nearly 200 countries, indeed marks a landmark shift in global climate change policies. After two weeks of intense compromise, the final draft of the accord solidifies universal goals in a number of areas including curbing greenhouse gas emissions, setting long term goals for clean energy, ramping up climate commitments, and even a clause to help financially support developing nations that are suffering from the worst effects of global warming. In this follow-up to  our preliminary coverage  of the final deal, we’ll look more closely at the terms of the agreement and what the deal will mean for the world in the coming years. Read the rest of Is the Paris climate accord really a “major leap for mankind”?

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