Pheeew. Black Friday, the most chaotic shopping day of the year, has passed and thankfully with no fatalities. Now that Cyber Monday is upon us, why not spend a few minutes perusing these gifts sure to make your online shopping spree more Mother Nature-friendly? All are under $100, appropriate for any Chrismakwanzika celebration or non-denominational office/neighborhood holiday party, and cover all rooms of the house, from home office to bathroom to kid’s playroom. And for non home-specific green gift ideas, be sure to check out MNN's official holiday gift guide.
Now get shoppin’…
Recycling Play Truck @ MoMA Store ($24)
Train the little ones early with this nontoxic recycling play truck for kids ages 3 and up that's made entirely from recycled milk jugs. Designed by Brian Gulassa and Robert von Goeben and made in the USA, the truck is the equivalent of Hot Wheels for pint-sized recyclers-in-training.
Sky Planter @ A+R Store (Sm, $35; Lg, $75)
Designed by Patrick Morris and Boskke, this unusual planter is a great gift for those who have graduated from horizontal and vertical gardening and are ready to move on to upside-down gardening. A locking disc holds the plant and soil in place and a unique reservoir system keeps the plant hydrated without making an unholy mess.
Target Reusable Tote Bag GiftCard @ Target ($25 - $1,000)
In a hurry? Don't know what to buy for your uber-picky sister who has everything? Target carries tons of useful home goods, making a gift card a great idea if you want the recipient to do their own picking and choosing. Added eco-bonus: the gift card comes with a reusable tote bag that they can haul their purchases home in.
Artenica Transglass Champagne Dish @ GreenerGrassDesign ($50)
Designed by Todd Bontje and Emma Woffenden for Artecnica's Design With Conscience collection, the stunning Transglass Champagne Dish is handmade from recycled champagne bottles in Guatemala. Perfect for storing jewelry and small household odd n' ends.
SkinnySkinny Origami Box with 8 Organic Soaps @ SkinnySkinny ($14)
Although organic bath and beauty company SkinnySkinny just opened its first brick and mortar store in Brooklyn, you can still order a full range of eco-friendly soaps, bath salts, body oils, and more online. There's lots of green goodies to choose from but a good intro to owner Clara Williams' work is this sampler of eight guest-size organic soaps packaged in a charming, recycled content box.
BookBoxes - various titles and sizes @ SecretStorageBooks.com ($17 - $75)
Have a book-loving friend or love one who really has something to hide? Check out the wide range of BookBoxes — clever "secret" storage units — from The Book Box Company. Available in various sizes and genres, BookBoxes are real, hollowed-out books that have been purchased from charities and recycling operations. The company is a small, family run and eco-conscious operation out of Vancouver Island, Canada.
Flip & Tumble Produce Bags @ Branch Home ($11/set of 5)
Want to ween someone off plastic bags this holiday season? Give 'em Flip & Tumble's Produce Bags, a set of five polyester mesh, produce-sized bags with drawstrings that can be used for various tasks around the house in addition to transporting fruits and veggies. Designed in California and responsibly made in China.
Revisions Design Studio Little Sprout Wheat Grass Kit @ Supermarket ($36.95)
A hip, design-y update on Chia Pets, the Little Sprout Wheat Grass Kit comes with a slightly unnerving, handmade porcelain baby head/pot, a package of wheat grass seeds, and growing directions. Wheat Grass looks great as decoration, is 100 percent edible, and kitties love to munch on it. Or, if you prefer, grow other air-purifying plants in the pot or use it as a vase for a flower arrangement. Soil not included.
Eco House Book by Terence Conran @ The Conran Shop ($45)
Part of celebrated British designer, retailer, restauranteur, and author Terence Conran's House Book series, this gorgeously produced guide covers green interior design and decorating, eco-friendly home improvements, eco-friendly building and architecture, and much more. A beautiful, informative addition to the coffee tables of sustainable design aficionados.
DiffractionFiber 'Tastes Like Bacon' pillow @ Etsy ($32)
This quirky, plush throw pillow is handmade from Eco-Felt (100 percent recycled plastic bottles) and may not go over well as a gift to vegetarians or anyone with an aversion to pork products. For everyone else, especially foodies who spend equal amounts of time in the kitchen and on the couch, it's sure to be a hit.
Green Depot Natural Solutions Cleaning Kit @ Green Depot ($34.95)
From New York City's Green Depot, an eco-friendly Home Depot of sorts, comes this handy dandy natural cleaning kit perfect for those with a bleach dependancy. It includes microfiber cleaning clothes, a natural sea sponge, and all the ingredients — baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide — needed to make nontoxic, homemade cleaning solutions. Comes complete with an instructional manual.
Ideaco Modern in Wilderness 2 Polar Bear and Penguin Figurines @ MollaSpace ($46.00/each)
The vulnerable polar bear and the endangered yellow-eyed penguin are the latest editions (following the rhino and the hippo) to the Modern in Wilderness series of small polystone statues that raise awareness of threatened species, partially benefit the Japan Committee of IUCN (World Conservation Union), and make an excellent gifted decor item. Both are available in white, yellow or blue.
Grain Design Ty D.I.Y. Edition shower curtain @ Grain Design ($33)
A great gift idea for artistic kids and grownups who love spending time in the loo, the Ty D.I.Y. Edition is made in the U.S. from durable, breathable, washable and recyclable HDPE instead of off-gassing, mildew-prone, non-washable, and impossible-to-recycle vinyl. What's more, this shower curtain/blank canvas comes with a permanent marker so that whomever you gift it to can create their own designs. Grain Design is a member of 1% For the Planet.
Mü Microfiber Modern Print Cleaning Cloths @ ReusableBags.com ($8.95)
Available in several splashy, stylish prints, Mü's 16" x 24" microfiber towels are an excellent gift idea for the paper towel happy (3,000 tons of paper towels are landfilled daily in the U.S.) domestic diva in your life. The towels are super absorbent, trap bacteria, fast-drying, and ideal for use in any room of the house.
MIO Organixe Magazine File @ MIO ($6.00/2)
Part of MIO's new and affordable Organixe line of desktop storage solutions, these magazine files made from 60 percent recycled and recyclable kraft board feature simple, stylish designs (available in green and grey or orange or grey) that are printed with water- and vegetable-based inks. Designed as part of a sustainable manufacturing protocol, the Organixe magazine files are responsibly made in Columbia.
Maple Burl Vertical Frame, 3" x 5" @ ABC Home ($65)
Beautiful and one-of-a-kind, these handmade frames from ABC Home are crafted from salvaged wood collected after storms in the Pacific Northwest's Cascade Mountain range. Burl wood is a type of potentially harmful tree growth that stems from environmental stress so its responsible removal and reuse enables a tree to live a longer, healthier life.
Ceramic Water Tower Humidifier @ Blue Ribbon General Store ($48)
This German import is a fun, green alternative to plug-in electric humidifiers. Simply add water into the ceramic humidifier with a cool coyote water tower design and affix it to a panel or ribbed radiator. It will keep an apartment from drying out during the winter months and will save the lucky gal or guy you give it to a few bucks on electric bills, to boot.