Photo via Sactivist
Welcome to TreeHugger's 2008 Holiday Gift Guide, "Give Green to Save Green," your blueprint for the season's best earth-friendly gifts. Don't expect any electric roadsters or solar-powered robots, though; this year, we're all about real stuff for real people--affordable, eco-conscious presents that will delight your giftees while helping them go green and save money, too. With more than 100 gift ideas across 12 categories, we've got everyone on your list covered, from the Green Geek to the Fashion Buff. We're leading off here with gifts for the Foodie, but you can check in at the Give Green to Save Green main page to browse all sections as they roll out over the next several days.
Foodies are the easiest people to please on any holiday gift list. Who else would be happy with a block of cheese, a bag of local walnuts, or an envelope with a few seeds in it? Here's the key to giving the perfect present: green foodies like to feel connected to their food. If they know the farmer that grew it, if they can cook it for friends and family in their own kitchen, or if it came from their own backyard, they'll be content. And while imported foods from abroad were once de rigueur, today's emphasis on locally-grown food means the goodies that get the biggest smiles are the ones that also save you a bundle on shipping. (You're welcome.)
Photo via Larry's Beans
Larry's "Rockin' Holiday Blend"You've probably seen previous coverage of Larry's activities on TH, including a feature in the Valentines Gift Guide, details on the biodegradable packaging, and his waste-veggie oil powered deliveries. But that doesn't mean you should overlook Larry's Rockin' Holiday Blend, which only comes out during the holiday season—much to the dismay of its large cult following, which begs the company to carry it all year. Larry describes the fair trade and organic blend as "full, velvety smooth, with swirling dark spices." (The package also claims that "Elves dig it"—but we can't vouch directly for that.) Now doesn't that sound better (and cheaper!) than your daily $3 latte? (Larry's Beans, $12.49/lb.)
Photo via La Vida Verde
La Chamba Black Clay Cookware from ColombiaYou could spend years searching for earth-friendly cookware, or you could save yourself a lot of time and follow our lead: switch to hand-crafted La Chamba pots, made with black clay from Colombia. These energy efficient pieces, including frying pans, plates, bowls, and casserole dishes, are stylish enough to go from cooking to serving (bonus: fewer dishes to wash) and are imported by Fair Trade Federation members. (La Vida Verde, $15-$100.)
Photo via FarmFolk/CityFolk Society
Sustainable Food Organization Membership
Long before anyone had heard of the 100 Mile Diet or Michael Pollan, hundreds of local non-profit organizations across the continent (and the world) were making it their business to build sustainable food systems. Vancouver's FarmFolk/CityFolk Society (which employs this writer) sells $30 memberships ($15 student/senior) that include a quarterly newsletter, voting rights so you can influence how the organization runs, discounts at events like the harvest celebration Feast of Fields, and access to a community of like-minded people who want to make the world better through food. Check out the Eat Well Guide to search for organizations in the U.S. or the extensive Canadian Food Localization Directory at Deconstructing Dinner for Canada to find local resources.