LOWER YOUR PAWPRINT
The four-legged friends in your life deserve gifts that are colorful, durable and eco-friendly, too! Planet Dog’s Orbee-Tuff toys come in a variety of holiday styles like the Mint ($10.95)—made with mint oil and designed to look like a peppermint candy—and the Bulb ($10.95)—shaped like a Christmas tree light—as well as non-holiday toys like the incredibly durable, glow-in-the-dark, bouncy Glow for Good ball ($9.95). They’re about the most resilient dog toys we’ve found, and they’re recyclable, nontoxic and made in the U.S. And a small portion of every Planet Dog purchase goes to the Planet Dog Foundation, supporting canine services across the country. —Rebecca Webster
CONTACT: Planet Dog.
Chances are you have at least one chocoholic on your holiday gift list. Why not give her chocolate with a purpose? TerraPass, Bloomsberry & Co. and Whole Foods Markets have created Climate Change Chocolate, a chocolate bar encouraging buyers to lower their carbon footprints. Wrappers offer 15 tips for living greener and the chocolate as a whole offsets 133 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. Endangered Species Chocolate offers an array of organic bars, confections like Dark Chocolate Covered Hazlenut Toffee ($24.99) and even boxed chocolate "towers" ($49.99), which include Chocolate-Covered Almonds and Caramel Pecan Patties. Ten percent of their net profits support species and habitats. Equal Exchange sells organic chocolate bars ($4.25) in specialty flavors like Dark Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt made from fair trade cocoa, supporting small-scale farmers and families. —R.W.
Mad Gab"s all-natural lip balms will leave your chapped lips moisturized, glowing and tasting good, too. Their Dolphin (berry), Bear (vanilla) and Moose (sugar cookie, candy cane, hot cocoa and cranberry) Smooch lip balms are made from olive oil, beeswax, Vitamin E and natural flavors, and come in cheery recycled tins just right for slipping in coat pockets or stuffing in stockings. Other easy gift ideas include lip shimmers ($5), lotions and travel soy candles in tins ($10). —Shannon Gombos
CONTACT: Mad Gab"s.
Pot luck-style gatherings are back. But how best to transport your precious casserole or famous lasagna from here to there? Vonny has just the trick: the Casserole Carrier ($45). Roomy enough for a 9×13 dish, and with an outer pocket for utensils, the carrier (made of laminated canvas) comes in four vintage California-inspired styles. Not only will the tote keep your dishes warm and intact, and prevent the need for disposable dishware, it also serves as a great gift for any cooks in your life. —R.W.
BOOM BOOM POW
TerraCycle makes mini Speakers ($13.99) and Boomboxes ($18.99) from upcycled M&M"s, Skittles and Starburst candy wrappers. Upcycling means using materials that would otherwise go to waste—in this case, excess packaging. Light, portable and super-colorful, the speakers and boomboxes are a natural complement to any iPod or MP3-player gifts this Christmas. They’re also battery-free, drawing power from your device to boom your sweet sounds—and packed and shipped flat to reduce pollution. —Brita Belli
The traditional snowshoe design hasn’t changed much—but the materials have (like aluminum in the place of wood). Colorado-based Crescent Moon Snowshoe Company makes snowshoes with easy-to-use, adjustable bindings, a lightweight, durable platform and a three-claw crampon system. If you’re into expeditions, the oversized Silver Series 17 ($189) can handle you and all your gear, up to 300 pounds, or if you’re into snow running, check out the Gold Series 12 ($229) with a lightweight race binding. The company’s eco commitments include recycled aluminum for the shoes, recycled boxes for packaging, a no-PVC policy and a "Take Me Back" program for easy disassembling and recycling. —R.W.
CONTACT: Crescent Moon Snowshoes.