Helping Hand

ecochick gift guide: Gifts that REALLY change the world

Helping HandGifts, gifts, gifts! It’s the holiday season and right now, we’re up to our ears in gift guides – guides for her, for him, for kids, for adults, for everyone. Are you looking to give something a little different – something that gets away from the Culture Of Stuff, and in to the culture of Helping? In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, why not do something that will speak to your recipient’s soul? Use your gift-giving funds towards one of the incredibly worthy causes below in honour of your loved one. Then give them the unforgettable gift of an hour of your time over a cup of coffee too. Warm caffeine and changing the world: Can’t beat that mix. Check out the ecochick picks for your giving dollars below.

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Bobo Wrap: The luxury alternative to wrapping paper

Sometimes, something comes into my inbox and I literally get so excited I jump out of my chair. This was one of those emails.

Are you the kind of person who finds wrapping gifts a tedious chore? You can never get them to look luxurious and gorgeous and pampery. No matter how valiant the effort, you end up with something that looks like a 5 year old was let loose on it. And you know – never mind the eco-hostility of most wrapping papers, which are made from non-sustainable paper, used once then thrown away. Bah!

So this. THIS. Made me weep for joy and immediately pull out my credit card. Check out Bobo Wrap. Bobo Wrap is a gorgeous, far superior alternative to boring old wrapping paper. Available in a wide range of colours and sizes, Bobo Wrap is designed to be easily used and re-used on a variety of gifts large and small. No more searching for scissors and scotch tape; no more destroying the pretty wrapping creation by ripping it apart. Simply take the appropriate Bobo Wrap, tie it artfully on your gift (it’s beyond ridiculously easy) and voila – done. Ranging in price from $14 to $36 USD, you are certain to find an option perfect for every gift – and the best part is, the more you give, the more likely you will be to get one back.

Bobo Wraps are available on their website – they’re also available in Canada at Paper Things in Toronto, The Papery in Toronto and Gem Entrepot – Quebec. Check them out!

Giveaway day-after-Tuesday: Burt’s Bees Radiance Healthy Glow Kit!

And the lucky recipient of the Burt’s Bees kit is Deanna who said I’d like to get my mom the Body Nectar Softening Set, she’d love it! email me at talk at ecochick dot ca as soon as you can so I can dispatch your goodies in the mail!

Yeah, ecochick hasn’t been on the ball lately. Mea culpa, readers. I’ve been so up to there that I’m actually considering bringing on another writer (I can’t pay, but I can share goodies!) More on that in another post. In the meantime, hey! Yesterday was Tuesday! And that means something good….

A month or so ago, ecochick featured a Burt’s Bees School Survival Kit filled with Burt’s Awesomeness. And hey, guess what? I have another awesome Burt’s Bees kit to give away – this time a Radiance Healthy Glow Kit containing

I’m telling you, every time I list one of these I wonder.. why am I giving this away again?

Burt’s Bees products will make perfect stocking stuffers for everyone on your list. So tell me, beautiful readers: What would you like to give someone else this year from the Burt’s Bees collection? Tell me in the comments by Wednesday, December 3 and you just might be getting this little beauty in the mail. Don’t forget to leave me an email address and good luck!

PositiviTee: Wear your Heart on your T-Shirt

An ecochick prediction: When you find these t-shirts, you will buy one for everyone on your Christmas list. Then when they get them, they will beg you to tell them where you found them. They’re that good.

PositiviTee makes gorgeous, 100% organic cotton tees which seize upon the power of communication between perfect strangers. Each tee sends a message with its artwork, artwork that represents something important that you can do to help another human being, another living creature, or help the planet.

What’s really amazing is that a portion of the selling price from each t-shirt goes to charity, depending on the specific cause the tee supports. For example, the Save Chimps tee gives to the Jane Goodall Institute. The Micro-loans for Women tee gives to the Grameen Foundation. And on and on it goes.

Even if you don’t need any t-shirts, the website is worth a browse simply to learn about the issues and causes that PositiviTees supports. Mind you, once you start browsing, you might buy anyway. Enjoy!

Giveaway Tuesday: Green Christmas – How to have a Joyous, EcoFriendly Holiday Season!

And from Random.org.. the winner is Lauren M. who said…

“I hate giving my nieces more shiny, brand new “stuff” that is pretty meaningless. So I’ve decided to put together a dress-up box for them. I’ve been collecting second hand costumes, masks, hats, wigs, anything that could be good for playing “dress up”. I’ll find a basket or box at a second hand store or on Freecycle. Hopefully they will like it… but it could just be another weird gift from the crazy aunt!”

Love it, Lauren! Please email me at talk at ecochick dot ca so that I can send your book!

Soon, very soon, the Hallowe’en decorations will be down and the Christmas decorations will be going up (if they aren’t up already). And oh, the woe: While Christmas is magical and wonderful for everyone, it’s not so happy for the planet. christmas is notoriously eco-hostile: From the use of wrapping paper that usually isn’t recycled, to the overconsumption that’s one of the hallmarks of Christmas, it’s so tough to get through the holidays with your Green conscience intact. What’s an ecochick to do?

Here’s step 1 to your green cred salvation: A great book called Green Christmas: How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season, by Jennifer Basye Sander, Peter Sander and Anne Basye. The stocking-stuffer sized book has fantastic ideas for green gift-giving, holiday card alternatives, ecofriendly holiday decorations and more. Inside, you’ll learn how to:

  • Choose which is better – a real tree or a fake tree?
  • Learn easy ways to turn your Christmas into true Family time, rather than Shopping time;
  • Great ideas for eco-friendly celebrations;
  • Ideas for green gift giving

And much, much more. This book is little but it packs a huge wallop of ideas!

Interested in a copy? ecochick has one to give away! Simply post in the comments below by Wednesday, November 5 and tell me what you’re doing to make your Christmases greener. The giveaway will be drawn by Random.Org and posted here after the 5th, so be sure to check back and see if you’re getting a copy of Green Christmas.

Don’t like your odds? Then you can purchase a copy of Green Christmas at Amazon.ca or at Chapters. Enjoy and good luck!

ecochick Gift Guide: Gourmet Market Totes from Eco-handbags.ca

Gourmet Market Tote-Blue in the FaceI know, Thanksgiving’s barely gone, it’s not Hallowe’en yet, and trust me: When I see Christmas decorations in the stores when the leaves are still green, I lose it too. And yet, it’s inevitable: Christmas is coming. You can make this year really easy on yourself, though, and rely on ecochick’s new Gift Guide feature to start ordering stuff for Chrissy Pressies. Get it done early and won’t you look like a smart sister come December 24!

Now, I know you already use reusable bags at the farmers’ market or grocery store or liquor store or wherever, but does your Mom/Sister/Best Friend/Gramma/etc? If not, then this gorgeous set of three Gourmet Market Totes made by T Bag & Co will get them going in gorgeous style. Made with funky, fashionable and sturdy 100% cotton, these bags have webbed handles, an interior elastic band to hold bottles upright (so smart!) and hold up to 3 times more than your average plastic bag. Imagine fitting your entire grocery load into these three hip bags!

The set costs $38 CAD and is available from Eco-Handbags.ca.