Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'm dreaming of a green Christmas...

I tried to make my Christmas gift giving as green as possible this year. Both with clothing and in general. I tried to find gifts that were either recycled, handmade, or alive. Yes alive. Here are a few highlights, and since it's after Christmas I can share them with you!

Green Gift # 1
An actual green gift... my sister has been wanting an orange tree for years, and I have tried and failed to find one for her, until this year! 

Through this website: http://lemoncitrustree.com/ I bought her a reasonably priced 2-3 year old clementine tree! It is hearty enough to live indoors in Boston in the winter, and as long as you give it some TLC, it should give you clementines in return for many years!  

Green Gift #2
A handmade screen printed shirt made by Ferdinand, a local artist/shop in Portland ME. I found it at Magpie in Davis (which is a fantastic store for local handmade gifts). 

The artist behind Ferdinand pretty much makes everything in the world, you can find more of her things for sale on her Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ferdinandhome

I just couldn't resist getting the squirrel playing the snare drum for my sis! Plus I like that it's printed on American Apparel T-shirts (yay for made in the USA).

Green Gift #3
OK this one is a bit kooky. It's a picture frame made out of recycled elephant poo! 
Yup. They sanitized it, turned it into a paper-like substance that doesn't smell like poo, and its quite cute. I got it for my cousin and her family. I found it at www.uncommongoods.com and chose the zebra variation. 
Nothing says let's remember the good times like recycled poo!

Green Gift #4
Homemade booze! Well sort of...

This year I decided to infuse vodka to give as gifts to my friends. My friend from Portland OR gave me the idea, and it was actually really easy and fun. 

I made two different kinds: an herbal infusion with rosemary and lavender and a hot pepper infusion. Basically you just throw the ingredients in with the vodka for a few days, taste it now and then, and when you think it's ready you filter the ingredients out of the vodka. I put them in cute little (reusable) containers since they were gifts.

The rosemary lavender is really nice in a cocktail with St. Germain and tonic, and the hot pepper is actually delicious on its own but great in Bloody Mary's.

Green Gift Giving Recap:
Overall I would say that it was pretty difficult to stick to green gifts. First of all, buying presents for friends and family is hard enough before adding restrictions. I also scoured Esty to try to find more handmade goods, but to be honest I found it incredibly difficult to find good products. The search engine gives too many hits, and it's overwhelming. More than "green" I tried most of all to buy things from local stores instead of big chains. I think I did pretty well in the grand scheme of things!

Happy New Year everyone!