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Archives for November 2017

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide

Need gift ideas for the people on your list? These eco-friendly gift ideas that are perfect for everyone on your list!

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

Christmas can mean a lot of waste but choosing eco-friendly Christmas gifts can help reduce the waste and help the people on our list continue to make a positive impact.


Eco-friendly gifts don’t need to be boring or smell like patchouli, there is a wide range of eco-friendly gifts now and they are anything but boring. Eco-friendly also doesn’t have to mean expensive, this list features a ton of items under $25.

These gifts are online but don’t forget to also shop locally to support your local community. Use these ideas when you can’t find what you want locally.

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide

These gifts are great for everyone on your list and all budgets. Don’t forget to wrap your gifts in eco-friendly wrapping paper.

Stocking Stuffers

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

  1. Theo Holiday Organic Chocolate Bars
  2. Liquid Lip Trio
  3. Organic Farm Buddies Plush Toy
  4. Eco-Dough
  5. Upcycled Charm Bracelet
  6. Christmas Tree to Be
  7. S’Well Insulated Bottle
  8. Peppermint Bath Bombs
  9. NibMor Organic Drinking Chocolate
  10. Felt Penguin Ornament

Under $25

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

  1. Toy Food and Beverage Set
  2. Recycled Wine Bottle Platter
  3. Salsa Grow Kit
  4. Camping Play Set
  5. World of Tea Collection
  6. Death Wish Coffee
  7. Multicolor Glass Tumbler Set
  8. Ceramic Travel Cup Gift Set
  9. Sari Lunch Bag
  10. Donut Baby Rattle

Under $50

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

  1. Plant Therapy Essential Oil Gift Set
  2. NatureBox
  3. GlassDharma Straw Set
  4. Crepe Myrtle Bonsai Tree
  5. Alex and Ani Snowflake Bracelet
  6. Bodum French Press
  7. Organic Cotton Robe
  8. Toy Kitchen and Tableware Set
  9. Recycled Glass Rainbow Wind Chime
  10. Brew-in-Mug

Over $50

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

  1. Instant Pot
  2. Play Parking Garage
  3. Wine Tasting Flight
  4. Thrive Market Membership
  5. Blue Apron Sub Subscription
  6. Dollhouse
  7. Phyto-Pigments Makeup Gift Set
  8. All-Clad Cookware Set
  9. Sea Glass Necklace
  10. Kombucha Kit

Looking for homemade gift ideas? Check out these great 20+ Homemade Christmas Gifts.

10 Tips for Reducing Waste During Christmas

Christmas is a fun and wonderful time but it can also come with a lot of waste. These easy steps can help reduce Christmas waste. 

Reduce Christmas Waste, How to Reduce Christmas Waste, Eco-friendly Christmas

From the extra energy expended to keep the Christmas lights on to stacks of Christmas cards, the holidays inevitably generate a lot of waste.


It is estimated that from Thanksgiving to Christmas, an additional 1 million tons of waste fill our landfills each week.  However, being mindful that our Earth is one of the greatest gifts doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fun or the holiday spirit. This Christmas, try to keep these 10 simple waste reduction tips in mind as you are wrapping presents and trimming the tree.

10 Tips for Reducing Christmas Waste

Reduce Christmas Waste, How to Reduce Christmas Waste, Eco-friendly Christmas

1. Use less ribbon or no ribbon at all when wrapping presents. If every household in the US alone used 2 ft. less ribbon this year, we could save approximately 43,470 miles of ribbon waste – more than enough to tie a bow around Earth’s 24,901-mile circumference.

2. Use wrapping paper that is recyclable, or made from recycled products, or think of innovative ways to wrap presents. For example, you can purchase wrapping paper that is made from recycled paper. You can use also fabric or cloth bags to wrap presents.

3. Recycle your live Christmas tree. Or better yet, purchase a potted tree and plant it after the holidays. Here is a link for various contacts in the metro area for recycling your tree after the holidays. You can also purchase an artificial tree and reuse it year after year.

4. Make sure you are using LED Christmas lights. Try to limit the time the lights are actually are at night by putting them on timers.

5. Send a few less Christmas Cards – or better yet, make them an e card. According to Hallmark, approximately 1.5 billion cards are sent out each year.  That’s enough to fill a football field 5 stories high. Here are some great, free, online e card resources: 123Greetings, Care2, and American Greetings. If you do send Christmas cards, use paper made of recycled material. Here are a few interesting resources for recyclable wrapping paper: Boomin, Botanical Paperworks, and Greenfield Paper. These companies produce paper with flower, herb, and vegetable seeds. Once used, it can be planted to grow! Make sure you recycle the cards you do receive or reuse them for a craft project.

6. Buy rechargeable batteries with your gifts. Even consider purchasing a battery charger with your gift. Approximately 40 percent of all battery sales happen during the holidays.

7. Don’t throw away leftover food and compost scraps if you can. If you can’t compost, check out this website to see if you can actually use your food scraps in a recipe.

8. Recycle, recycle, recycle.

9. Be creative in your gift giving and avoid potential waste. For example, consider giving the gift of an experience or event – a concert or lessons for a new hobby. Consider giving a charitable donation in someone’s name.

10.Donate Christmas gifts you received that you don’t want – don’t just throw them away.

Following these tips will mean a less wasteful but just as wonderful of Christmas.

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Homemade Christmas Gift Guide

Looking for some great homemade Christmas gift ideas? People will love these gifts and they are all eco-friendly. 

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Christmas is a magical time but sometimes the magic is lost when we are stressed about our budgets and finding gifts. Homemade gifts come from the heart and can save us money. It’s also a great way to reduce waste this holiday season.


There are so many great homemade gift ideas out there, you are sure to find some you would like to make and give this year. All of these ideas can use eco-friendly materials, many can even use upcycled supplies.

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Additional Information: 25+ More Homemade Christmas Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Additional Information: 8 Reasons to Shop Locally for the Holidays

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Additional Information: A More Meaningful Holiday Season

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

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Lead Exposure and Christmas Photos

Christmas photos of kids, pets, and families wrapped in lights are cute but they may not be safe.

Could your Christmas photos be dangerous? Lead and Christmas lights, lead poisoning, lead exposure

This time of the year you will see photos of kids, pets, and couples wrapped in Christmas lights. Sure these photos are cute but are there hidden dangers?


One big danger is the fact that most Christmas lights contain lead. According to one CNN analysis, four common brands of Christmas lights contained lead levels that are considered to be dangerous to children. And many experts say no level is safe.

“There is no level at which lead exposure is safe,” Dr. Trasande said. “Even at one microgram/deciliter — the lowest level in a person’s blood stream that we can detect — that level has been associated with cognitive impairment in children.”- read more

A quick search on Pinterest and you will find hundreds of photos of babies wrapped in lights, some with the lights in their mouths. This is very concerning given the amount of surface lead found in Christmas lights. Also in many of the photos, the lights are plugged in, adding an extra danger to the situation.

Protect Yourself from Lead Christmas Lights

  • Don’t let children handle the lights.
  • Wash your hands after handling lights.
  • Wear gloves while handling lights.
  • Choose Made in the USA lights when possible, generally, they have lower levels of lead than imported brands.
  • Buy lead-free lights.
  • Vacuum often with a HEPA filter vacuum and/or wet mop.
  • Dust often with a wet rag.
  • And of course, skip the photos with people and animals wrapped in Christmas lights.

Artificial Christmas trees often contain lead as well, so use the same caution with the tree. Also look for trees that use PE tips, it reduces the amount of PVC and lead.

Be sure to share this post to help prevent lead exposure this holiday season.

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8 Reasons to Shop Locally for the Holidays

Christmas will be here soon. While buying gifts give back to your community by shopping locally. 

8 Reasons to Shop Locally This Holiday Season, Buy Local, Small Business Saturday

The holidays are fast approaching. There is so much to do, including gifts to buy. This holiday season you can help support your community by shopping locally. Here are eight reasons why it’s important to shop locally.

Reasons to Shop Locally for the Holidays

  • Create Jobs – “If every American spent $64 on something made in America, we could create 200,000 jobs right now.” [source]
  • Keep Money Local – Sales taxes help fund vital services in our communities. Also, local businesses are also more likely to spend money locally, keeping more money in the community.
  • Creates a Diverse Community –  Shopping locally encourages people to businesses that are unique and an alternative to chain stores.
  • Better for the Environment – Many locally owned businesses also offer local products which require far less transportation.
  • Better Customer Service – Local businesses owners are passionate about their businesses and connected to the community. This often contributes to better and more personal customer service.
  • Helps Your Community Grow – Keeping tax dollars in your community and creating demand will help encourage new businesses and help your city grow.
  • More Support for Nonprofits – Studies show that nonprofits receive 250 percent more support from small businesses than larger businesses.
  • Connect with your Community – Shopping locally helps you connect with people in your community and learn about more things going on around you.

Encourage your friends and family to shop locally this year by sharing this post and this graphic.

shop local

Consider supporting Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday this year as well. It’s a great way to save money while supporting local businesses. It also gives you more time with family for Thanksgiving before going out shopping.

Be sure to also follow us on Facebook to learn about great local shops and gift ideas. 

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Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is a delicious treat. It also makes a wonderful gift. 

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread, Great Christmas Gift

I have always loved to bake during the holidays. It is comforting when my kitchen is heavy with lingering scents of freshly made loaves of bread and pies. While I love traditional flavors like pumpkin, I also enjoy bringing unique dishes to the holiday parties. Ever been in the situation where there are 15 pumpkin pies at the office party?


Since going gluten-free last year (per doctor’s orders) it has been harder for me to enjoy baking.  However, this year its a bit easier. After some practice, I am able to approach the holidays armed with some of my favorite recipes modified to be full of gluten-free deliciousness. Here is one of my favorites.

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread, Great Christmas Gift

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free flour baking blend (I often use Pamela’s or Bob Mills)
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • ¾ cup organic milk (can substitute a milk alternative if preferred)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest

Lemon glaze:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice or concentrate from the bottle
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tbsp. organic, unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled)
  1. Grease and flour one 9 x 5 loaf pan with organic vegetable shortening and gluten-free flour. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine gluten-free flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and poppy seeds. Stir until mixed well.
  3. In another bowl, beat together the milk, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Beat until thoroughly combined.
  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and beat by hand or with a hand mixer for a full minute until no lumps remain.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
  6. Lemon glaze: Mix together all glaze ingredients and brush over warm bread from the oven.
  7. Cool loaf about 20 minutes before eating.

Looking for more holiday desserts? Try these 45+ Homemade Christmas Desserts

 

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