Saaret Yoseph is a writer and Assistant Editor at TheRoot.com. She manages and blogs for \"Their Eyes Were Watching …\"
Pamper one of the hard-working women (or men) in your life with a gift that sends stress packing. A gift certificate from SpaFinder will let the lucky recipient indulge in a much-deserved massage at any one of the 5,000 spas that are part of the SpaFinder network. Even better, there are plenty of eco-conscious spas to choose from in cities far and wide. Since the gift certificates aren’t for specific services, he or she can pick a favorite treatment, from a hot-stone massage to an eco-friendly mani/pedi. ($50-$1,000)
CAPTIONS BY MEERA BOWMAN-JOHNSON
What's up with organic wine? For one, it's thankfully pesticide-free. They also have considerably less sulfites, which have been implicated as allergens for some. With all of the new labels on the market, there are quite a few great tasting organic wines to choose from, allowing even your bourgiest friends to save the planet as they sip. Giving the gift of membership to the Organic Wine Company's wine club lets the wine lover on your list enjoy the best in organic labels on a regular basis. For only $50 per month, the tasting will arrive at their front door.
Not to be confused with pleather, vegan leather is decidedly fly. Boost her style quotient with the Sade purse from Matt & Nat, a purveyor of luxury eco-friendly handbags and accessories. Lined with recycled microsuede, the cool clutch comes in red, black and brown vegan leather. Deceptively roomy, Sade offers plenty of interior pockets to discourage her keys from defacing the screen of her iPhone. It works equally as well for an evening out for cocktails as it does for dressing down. Who says one can't be eco-conscious and stylish at the same time? ($135)
Get green in front of the flat screen. Curl up with your honey to take in an eco-love story like March of the Penguins in Blu-ray narrated by Morgan Freeman on Sony's BDP-S350 Blu-ray Disc Player. Complete with Ethernet port and compatibility with multiple disc formats, the eco-friendly player is greener than that which came before it. Consuming 21 percent less energy than Sony's last S300 model, its compact size means that less CO2 emissions are being used during the shipping process. OK, player.
Let her play house to her heart's content in a fun and trendy dollhouse made of fully recyclable material. It's 100 percent biodegradable, and My Green Dollhouse ($64) is a hip alternative to the plastic abodes that have lined toy-store aisles for the past several decades. Soft yet durable-and delightfully illustrated with whimsical interiors- My Green Dollhouse is sure to provide hours of fun for any princess on your list. Easy to assemble and transport, it can be easily wiped clean and is protected by an environmentally friendly, non-toxic fire retardant. A perfect pair with a four-inch tall family of African-American wooden dolls to call it home. ($24)
Crafted of remnants of recycled circuit boards, this clever business card case has instant tech-appeal. Holding 10-15 cards (depending on the paper thickness), it's small enough to comfortably fit in any pocket or bag. The trendsetting professional in your life will instantly let everyone know that they plan to take it to the next level. ($19.99)
The only thing more amazing than how fast toddlers grow is how fast they outgrow their shoes. And in a lifetime, that's a lot of rubber soles in landfills. Keep his little feet comfy in a shoe made of environmentally sound materials, like these from Simple (whose motto is "Shoes for a healthy planet"). Constructed of faux suede, organic cotton fleece and natural rubber, they ensure that little feet stay safe while preventing excessive waste. Like the ubiquitous crocs, they're washable, but eco-friendly. And so much cuter. ($38)
Delight the naturally coiffured on your list with hair and body products from Oyin Handmade ($17.50). Named after the Yoruba word for "honey" — one of nature's most versatile beauty products — the good people (and ridiculously cute married couple) at Oyin Handmade infuse their products with all kinds of yummy ingredients for hair and body like shea butter, sea vegetables, aloe vera and herbal infusions. Even better, their shampoos are free of harmful surfactants. With a delightful Web site full of goodies that are sure to please, it's quite likely that the lucky recipient will soon join the gleeful chorus of customers who sing their praises online.
This is the one soap that won't sit in your favorite great aunt's bathroom for the next 10 years. After 60 years going strong, Dr. Bronner presents colorful new packaging and time-tested products that remain free of harsh chemicals. The fair-trade organic body soaps are fully bio-degradable and veggie-based, with an organic formula that uses coconut oil, olive oil and hemp. Your favorite great aunt (or cousin, or neighbor) will also love the organic hand soaps and delightful tins of emollients to combat the drying effects of winter.
Embrace the true reason for the season by reminding others how important it is to give back. Four years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is still in need of assistance, and Renew Orleans is committed to helping the Big Easy rebuild. By purchasing apparel at the Ropeadope Store (Renew New Orleans unisex T-shirts, $30), you, too, can give a gift that keeps on giving. Top it off with a gift in their name to Global Green, a site that promises that your donation ($1 and up) will not only help rebuild a greener New Orleans, but a healthier planet, too.