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Green Is the New Black – 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

The spirit of giving is here and it's time to support small businesses with companies who care about our planet (and about us!) and also give back to the community. This holiday season can be a time to also focus on minimizing the use of indestructible plastic waste that comes with all the decorations, packaging, greeting cards, gift wrap (which is not recyclable!), and more. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday period than any other time of year. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week!

Here are a few of my favorites (including a shameless plug for my products, but a bit of a story behind them too!) I hope you enjoy this list!

Equitably-sourced spices can be found at Burlap & Barrel. As a Public Benefit Corporation, they partner directly with smallholder farmers to source spices that have never been available in the US before, and help improve the livelihoods of their partner farmers. This Floyd Cardoz Masalas spice set was created with Chef Cardoz's wife and business partner, Barkha Cardoz, as a memorial to her husband's love for the cuisines of India and his passion for sharing them with the world. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Cookies for Kids' Cancer, a non-profit that he supported.

Founders Rachel and Jeff at bambu create beautiful kitchen and food utensils from renewable resources. Certified organic, an extra level of care goes into the safety of their products, keeping them free harmful chemicals that come from lacquers, dyes, heavy metals, petroleum, BPA & phthalates, and formaldehyde. Check out their practical Gift Guide for the foodies and travelers in your life. Bambu is a member of 1% for the Planet and also works with organizations that are dedicated to restoring and protecting the environment.

This Merlot + Fig Cube Soap Cube is from Terra-Tory Skincare, whose mission is to create hypoallergenic skincare for everyone to enjoy. by using fresh superfoods to craft wholesome, safe, natural & effective skincare products, free from artificial & harmful toxins; 100% natural, made with only ingredients you can pronounce, (and eat), safe for you and the environment to harness the power + simplicity of nature to nourish, cleanse, soothe and protect your skin. Pre-order now.

BLK + GRN is a Black-owned, all-natural, carefully curated marketplace by Black artisans. Their products support natural lifestyles and high-quality, toxic-free brands that share in the mission of health, wellness and community cultivation. We love these Frères Branchiaux soy scented candles made by three brothers: Collin, Ryan, and Austin. 10% of all their proceeds are donated to DC homeless shelters.

"People, plants, and planet are more important than profit." This has been the philosophy of Mountain Rose Herbs for 33 years. Teas, essential oils and more make this a one-stop (fair trade, non-GMO, organic, zero-waste) apothecary. They also educate about use of herbs with a Herbal Radio podcast. Their loose-leaf teas can be purchased in bulk. MRH works directly with 50+ local and national nonprofit organizations through charitable giving, event sponsorships, matching gifts, conservation work, and plant-related projects.

This small community shop not only makes its own soap and shampoo bars, dish soap, glass cleaner, room fragrance and more, they are a resource for durable, reusable, and beautiful cleaning products and home goods. The best part of this neighborhood gem is that they provide meaningful paid work opportunities to people with serious mental illness and profits sustain this employment program.

This year I took the time during lockdown to create a shop of food-inspired products with masks, tea towels and more. Every step of the way has been important: from sourcing local production to finding plastic-free packaging for all shipments to ensuring that 10% of all sales benefit various non-profit organizations in order to promote awareness and to give back to the community and those in need. The fabrics I use are ethically-sourced, organic cotton sateen printed with eco-friendly, non-toxic pigments meeting Oeko-Tex 100 requirements (low impact too, as no water is used during the printing process) and cotton broadcloth, a fabric that has been tested for carcinogenic dye stuffs, formaldehydes, lead, skin-friendly ph factor and has the 'Confidence in Textiles' certification. This Green Friday through Giving Tuesday I'm offering a shopwide 10%-25% discount with the code: GIVEGREEN to support One Tree Planted where every dollar plants a tree! 🌳

Package Free Shop and Wild Minimalist are also amazing resources for all kinds of sustainable and package free gifts. Happy Holidays!

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