SustainAbility: Holiday gifts

With Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday season isn’t far away. This year when you look for gifts for friends and family, keep sustainability in mind.

Here are some ideas.

I am on a kick to encourage durable rather than disposable goods, so some of my favorite gift purchases are from To-Go Ware. Reusable bamboo utensil sets and stainless food carriers are perfect for people on the go.

Our local Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage carries these products or you can order from

You can encourage less dependence on plastic by giving glass food storage containers with reusable lids. It’s amazing how this one shift can reduce the amount of plastic wrap used.

I came across a nifty new product that lets you clean without toxic chemicals. The Activeion Pro is a hand-held sprayer which, through the wonders of modern science, turns tap water into a multipurpose powerful cleaning agent.

This unit creates activated water charged with superoxygenated nanobubbles and can replace many of your current cleaning products. To learn more, go to or order locally from Sanitary Supply Corp. by calling 800-893-0488.

While on the subject of science, Steve Spangler’s Top 25 Holiday Gift Ideas for kids included some choices that promote sustainability.

There’s a Fuel Cell Car, a Wind Power Kit and a Power House Kit where kids learn how to tap into alternative energy by following the story line of being trapped on an island. The Solar Physics Workshop was developed by Greenpeace. Check these out at http://www.steve

Toys for the Fun of It, 519 Main St., does not carry those exact kits but does offer a line of green science kits for under $20 and some solar kits for under $25.

Owner Karin Allen said the store carries lots of durable toys from “classic to cutting edge,” including the Ecotronic line of toys that use kid power instead of batteries.

A number of toys made from recycled products are available such as the Sprig Discover Rig made in Fort Collins.

You can’t go wrong with giving Fair Trade gifts or buying from locally owned stores. Also, Green America has put together a Green Gift Guide you can access at

For those people on your list who just don’t need any more stuff, you can make an honorary donation to a variety of local and international organizations through the Alternative Christmas Fair.

The deadline for shopping is Dec. 15, so visit or call 243-0136. This can be the year your gifts can take on special meaning.


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