A New Language - Sustainable Holiday Gifts

Made by People with a mindful Purpose, who consider the Planet and create a Profit.

Let's step outside of the mall or the domain of the major on line retailers. Prepare a warm drink, settle into a comfortable space and check out my list of earth friendly and sustainable gift ideas. Each one is unique, sure to please, and something you will feel good about giving to those you love. The bonus is knowing the minimal impact of these products on the earth, the reuse of a material destined for a landfill; and the people, creatures, and communities that will benefit from your purchase and support.
~ Thank you!


Wishing all a joyful and peaceful holiday season.


Evergreens in snow

Austin Lloyd www.austinlloyd.com
Austin Lloyd is a U.S. based business with Lehigh Valley roots. The founder of this "get a box" of age appropriate toys for young children grew up in the "Valley". The toys are hand selected for each box, and are made of organic and/or non-toxic materials by companies who value sustainability. Austin Lloyd has a unique way of recycling the toys purchased from them that children have outgrown. Visit their website. Please note: any toys ordered now will be delivered in mid-January; a nice, after the busy holiday, surprise.

Emma's Friends emmasfriends.com
Emma's Friends
is a local company based in Tamaqua, PA. The business began as a gift idea for the therapists and teachers that worked with Emma, a child born with disabilities. Emma's mom made the soaps and lotions and before long the staff, who received them as gifts, were asking if they could buy the items to give to their family and friends. A business was born. Emma's Friends are people with disabilities who work at the company helping to package and label the products. Visit their website or store in Tamaqua. To learn about how their products are made and about the people who make them, click on this link. pcntv.com/?s=Emma%27s+Friends&x=0&y=0

Sword and Plough www.swordandplough.com/pages/about-us Sword and Plough was begun by the daughters of a military dad. Emily served in the U.S. Army and, with her sister, Betsy, began Sword and Plough. The sisters recycle and repurpose military materials into bags and other useful items. The items are made by veteran owned and operated manufacturers. 10% of their profits are given back to help veterans. A win-win.

Zady zady.com Zady is challenging us all to stop buying and throwing away poorly constructed clothing by offering ethically fashioned clothing made in the U.S. I discovered Zady while reading an article in The Wall Street Journal about the owner's quest to have a sweater made entirely from wool produced, carded, dyed, spun, and knitted in the U.S. Read their story here. www.wsj.com/articles/made-in-america-from-sheep-to-shelf-zadys-feel-good-sweater-1416847912. I was struck by a comment made by Maxine Bedat, one of Zady's owners, who said, "I live in a world (N.Y.C.) where people can wear a sweater and not know wool comes from a sheep." Locally, the dyeing of the wool was done by a small, family owned business in Philadelphia, and was spun into yarn by Kraemer Textiles in Nazareth, PA. Zady is part of the slow fashion movement.

Maple tree sponsor signMonroe County Conservation District www.mcconservation.org If you love maple syrup, have others on your list who do, and want to buy local and support
an organization committed to conservation, then "Sponsor a Maple Tree". Each year
the Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center, which is part of the MCCD, taps the
maple trees in the Meesing Sugarbush located in Monroe County, PA. Go to their
website, click on the 2015 Maple Tree Sponsorship link, which takes you to the
information and sponsorship form. Your gift recipient will be invited to their Maple
Sugaring Day and receive a pint of maple syrup plus one of the maple trees will have a tag with their name on as a sponsor. I received a sponsorship as a gift, and thoroughly enjoyed my day at the Sugarbush and the maple syrup.

Books for Children:

Olivia's Birds - Saving the Gulf by Olivia Bouler; Available through the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art  www.nedsmithcenter.org/product-category/books/ During a visit to the Ned Smith Center, I found out about 11 year old Olivia Bouler's quest to save the Gulf birds, after the 2010 oil rig explosion and spill heavily impacted the birds and aquatic life in the Gulf of Mexico. With her artistic talents, unique understanding of birds, her love of them and the Gulf along with a good dose of determination; she has raised over $200,000 for her Save The Gulf campaign. Olivia's story is compelling. She invites and encourages kids and adults to make a difference. The book features her bird drawings, too. If you order her book through the Ned Smith Center, you will help them in their quest to educate about nature, art, and conservation. (2015 is the five year anniversary of the Gulf oil spill.)

The Carpenter's Gift - A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree by David Rubel www.habitat.org/lc/stories_multimedia/thecarpentersgift/order.aspx The Carpenter's Gift written by David Rubel, in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, is a children's book that tells a story about the famous tree we all seem to know about. But what you may not know is since 2007, after the tree is taken down it is milled into lumber that Habitat for Humanity uses to build a simple home with a family in need. Trees from well managed forests offer a sustainable product that is often used and reused in many ways. They shelter humans, birds, and animals. In the case of this famous tree, it will provide shelter for a family and others to come.