I had an interesting realization last month when I joined my sisters-in-laws on their annual pilgrimage to the mall for some Black Friday consumerism. We all left the mall pretty much empty-handed, and I realized that I just don’t really shop at malls and chain stores anymore, particularly for gifts. Instead, I am trolling the cute indie boutiques for the perfect, unique gift, and searching online for interesting options from fun online retailers. Luckily, when it comes to foodies on my list, there are plenty of options, so shopping’s a breeze. Here are some places to look online for some wonderful cooking-related gifts that have an environmentally friendly focus.
I’m particularly partial to crocheted rag place mats that remind me of a rug that Laura Ingalls might’ve had on her kitchen floor. They’re made of recycled fabric, which only adds to their charm. Meanwhile, another crafter repurposes vintage embroidered tea towels to turn into tea cozies. Also cool is a serving platter made from a recycled wine bottle.
This site, devoted to promoting the benefits of seasonal and local eating, has a few products that help further their cause, including regional food wheels to determine when certain fruits and vegetables are in season, blank seasonal recipe cards and letterpress note cards.
This eco-friendly online retailer has kits designed to help you go green, easier. The Green Your Kitchen set, for instance, includes bamboo utensils and bowl, natural all-purpose cleanser, an herb seed kit, a copy of In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, a cotton string grocery bag and more.
Who doesn’t love a gift basket? I used to think this type of gift was impersonal, the type of thing my dad’s business clients would send at the holidays. But these days, I love getting baskets for the chance to try foods I wouldn’t ordinarily buy for myself, as well as for the fun of having delicious snacking fodder at the ready. At It’s Only Natural Gifts, you can even build your own organic gift baskets to make them all the more personal. Or opt for one of their predesigned baskets. I particularly like how many of the gifts are packaged in a reusable canvas tote.
Gaiam carries a wide variety of fair trade and organic products, including jewelry, gift items and more. They help skilled artisans in developing countries sell their work at a fair price, which helps them pay for food, education, healthcare, housing and more. And this year, I discovered that you can even buy products online. I particularly like their many gift suggestions, such asA Double Tree of Life Wall Sculpture, a Teak Bath Seat and Buddha Hand.
Still searching for other environmentally responsible gift ideas?
is a comparison shopping site for a wide range of green online retailers.
What unusual online retailers have you found for great eco-friendly foodie gifts this year?