14 Merry Gifts for Home and Hearth
Green ways to give practical-yet-delightful presents
It’s notoriously difficult to shop for the eco-conscious, with their understandable allergy to consumerism and mass production. Typically, your best bet is to gift them pragmatic goods that’ll further streamline their lean, green lifestyles. That’s why Sierra scoped out holiday gifts for the home that are as eco-sustainable—or at least as functional—as they are beautiful and/or awesome.
The EPA estimates that 10 million tons of clothes and linens end up in U.S. landfills each year. Enter Coyuchi, also known as the “Netflix of organic bedding and towels.” The company is on a mission to get Americans to rethink how we shop, use, and toss our towels and bedding, and the gift of a Coyuchi for Life subscription (6-month, 12-month, and 24-month packages range in price from $108 to $252) provides loved ones with a steady stream of quality towels and high-thread-count sheets. Customers return used linens to be recycled and upcycled and are replenished with fresh linens. This winter, Coyuchi added its organic cloud-brushed flannel sheets (pictured) to the subscription options.
Encourage the campers, picnickers, and other adventure eaters in your life to go reusable this holiday. Eco Soul’s Bamboo Camper Set ($25) comes with a plate, bowl, cup, three-piece cutlery set, and mesh carrying bag. The best part is each dishwasher-safe and BPA-free set is made from corn, starch, bamboo, and rice husks. The set comes in a variety of colors and should never populate a landfill—buried in the ground, the items all biodegrade.
In the market for a beautifully unique gift made from sustainable resources? The Navajo master weavers of Nizhoni Ranch Gallery use plants, stones, and upright hand looms to craft a wide range of traditional and contemporary rugs (starting at $225), using methods passed down through generations. Each rug takes two to three months to weave, and many designs bear cultural significance.
Who wouldn’t love a stylish, solar-powered mason jar lamp that stores energy during the day and releases it as light, come nightfall? The handmade Sonnenglass ($30) contains four solar-powered LEDs, charged by solar cells in its lid. It’s ideal for garden lighting, table centerpieces, barbecues, al fresco dining, and classing up a campsite. Hanging from a tree, the Sonnenglass is particularly mesmerizing.
Give the closest thing to an everlasting holiday glow—a subscription for artisanal candles! Vellabox offers a range of uniquely packaged gifts (boxes range in price from $10 to $30 per month) featuring curated batches of hand-poured, all-natural, and nontoxic scented candles, along with other soothing surprises (think soaks, chapsticks, and candy).
Your organic-supping friends probably love farm-to-table dining. But do they know about the farm-to-face movement? For personal-care products so clean they’re edible, check out Gaffer&Child, an L.A.-based skin- and hair-care line that sources only food-grade ingredients. By replacing synthetic ingredients like plastic exfoliating beads with broccoli and swapping preservatives for lavender, Gaffer&Child—the brainchild of a former produce industry executive—lives up to its vegan standard. Products range from $26 to $34, but for gifting purposes, we recommend the Signature Set ($120.70), which includes facial scrub, shaving butter, cleanser, and hydrating serum. All products are organic, fair-trade, and truly smell good enough to eat.
Hemp is an incredibly renewable crop that requires little water and no pesticides. Made from 100-percent, U.S.-grown hemp fibers, the Canvas Hemp Blanket ($96) from Jungmaven will envelop your loved ones in lightweight-yet-heat-trapping comfort. This sublimely soft, machine-washable blanket comes in a range of cozy earth tones.
Winter’s requisite indoor time can take a toll on outdoorsy types. But the woodsy scent of the all-natural and biodegradable Cedarwood Reflection bar soap ($12) from Brossily Bath and Body can make a bathtub pretty darn forestlike. This palm-oil-free, vegan bar boasts a transporting blend of patchouli and cedarwood essential oils. Plus, the Sierra-based manufacturer donates leftover soap scraps to Clean the World, an organization that distributes soap to families that might not otherwise have access.
The fair-trade artisans at 12 Small Things have transformed recycled men’s dress shirts into the Betty Apron ($45). This one-size-fits-all gift for the conscientious chefs in your life was sewn by members of a women’s cooperative that provides income for families in the plateaus of Haiti.
Help the adventure-loving and beer-swilling folks in your life minimize the hassle of heavy, hard-sided coolers this year. The Cooloir 24 ($140) from Mountainsmith is one tough cookie among soft-sided coolers. It delivers 72 hours of cold storage for, you guessed it, 24 cans. The Cooloir also includes a bottle opener and has a removable interior cooler for easy cleaning.
Know of someone who could benefit from a zen outlook in 2018? Give them the experience of a calming, meditative tea ritual, plus the wellness bona fides of nutrient-dense organic green tea. Your friends can whip up frothy, lump-free, and antioxidant-rich green tea with the Pumeli Matcha Set ($67). It features a ceramic matcha whisk stand, a stainless-steel sifter, stone-ground matcha sourced from organic Japanese tea gardens, a Wabi-Sabi Japanese bowl, a bamboo Chashaku (to measure out matcha), and a hand-carved bamboo whisk.
Invented by a Michigander, ski enthusiast, and working mother of two, the Green Glove Dryer ($20) is a device sporting six protruding nozzles on which to hang wet gloves, mittens, hats, shoes, reusable bags, and more. The dryer was designed to be placed over a floor heat register or attached to a wall heat register—this allows warm air to flow up through its nozzles, and dry gear from the inside out. That’s right—the Green Glove Dryer requires no additional energy or tools. At 12" by 4" and one pound, it’s portable and packable and comes in a recycled travel bag. Depending on how wet they are, gloves and mittens typically dry within an hour.
These days, OtterBox is best known for making durable smartphone cases, but back in the '90s, the Colorado brand actually launched with a single drybox. This year, OtterBox is getting back to its roots with a line of rugged, vacuum-sealed, stainless-steel growlers. Elevation Tumblers ($50 to $90) come in 10-, 20-, and 64-ounce sizes. They’re resistant to sweat and fully lined in copper, which keeps campside cocktails cold and soups and coffee piping hot. Customizable lids help users transform these growlers from shaker to French press to sealed canteen to tea-infuser. The Elevation Tumbler makes for a pragmatic and versatile gift for adventurers, picnickers, and kitchen wizards.
A stylish, hand-crafted coffee table that takes some bite out of climate change? SapphirePine transforms California trees that have fallen victim to invasive beetles and droughts and would otherwise burn or decay in the forest—releasing planet-frying carbon—into beautiful, contemporary furniture. The Oakland-based company sources its wood from private landowners seeking to remove dead trees. Thanks to a natural process through which beetles have imbued the its grain with cool hues, the wood boasts blue and green patterns (hence the name, SapphirePine). The result is striking, sturdy furniture with an industrial edge. These coffee tables ($750 for a 24" by 36" coffee table; $850 for 24" by 48") will lend loved ones’ living and work spaces warmth, style, and a good story.