Saturday, December 25, 2010

A green Christmas wish list

MANILA, Philippines - Forget having a white Christmas, and you don’t have to be blue either. Christmas season is the best time to start going green.

Here are a few green Christmas gift ideas for last minute shoppers!

Sun jar, soy candle, and patchwork furniture

This week, on Mornings@ANC's "Going Green" segment, Diana Jacinto of Heima Storebrought two of the shop’s eco-best sellers: the sun jar and the soy wax candle.

Awarded the UK Eco-Friendly Gift of the Year in 2007, the sun jar is a solar powered lamp that uses sunlight to charge up. It has sensors to detect low light or darkness, which then triggers the lamp to light up.

The sun jar has 2 variants: single colored and multi-colored. Each sun jar costs P999.

The soy candle is another green gift idea. Because it is made of soy wax instead of the usual paraffin, the soy candle is softer and lasts 50% longer than the normal candle. This candle does not use petroleum.

The soy candle comes in many flavors: banana, nut bread, berry crumble and lemongrass.

Another Heima best seller is their line of “patchwork” furniture pieces. Using old, scrap and run-over cloths that are usually thrown out, simple furniture pieces get a sweet makeover.

Dy Jacinto of Heima said this is the store’s way of not only saving the environment, but saving “old products”.

Heima is a furniture store that carries lifestyle items like scents, candles, sun jars and lomo cameras. The store also sells artworks and pillows. The store collaborates with indie artists for artworks and events.

Organic soaps, food, and clothing

Bea Misa said the Ritual shop is a “solution” to environmental problems and climate change, that goes hand in hand with culture, food, traveling and local biodiversity.

The shop carries eco items used in everyday routines, such as organic soaps, organic and local food items and eco clothing and accessories.

The shop’s best seller is the lemongrass liquid soap. This special soap is a refined version of soaps used in farms and piggeries. It is a combination of different vegetable enzymes that are fermented over time. These enzymes kill and prevent the buildup of bad bacteria, while being 100% safe for the environment.

Another eco item is the stainless food container that comes in a hang bag printed by local artist Andre Salud. This abaca food bag costs P650.

Family baskets are also available. These are whole kits in twig baskets that could jump start your green year! Customers can choose 6 varieties of different organic local food produce for the gift basket. Some of the food items include organic muscovado sugar, sea salt, coffee and wild honey.

The shop, however, has one imported item from San Francisco, the 100% recycled paper that also uses 100% vegetable ink for the print.

Rob Crisostomo said aside from promoting and distributing organic and green products, the Ritual shop aims to eliminate plastic altogether.

The shop is proud to be a plastic-free general store that sells items in small quantities. Customers are also encouraged to bring their own jars and bags for the purchased items.

Christmas is not just a time to give gifts to friends and loved ones. Maybe it’s time to start thinking of little ways we can give back.... this time, to Mother Earth.

“We don’t need to do super big things all the time, but by simply consuming things that make connections with nature every day,” said Misa.

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