Living green has its benefits—a healthier Earth, lower energy bills, and consequently more moolah in your pocket being a few of them. But, if you’re not sure where to start, it can be an intimidating transition. This year, help your friends and family commit to more than separating their paper and plastics with an eco-conscious gift that gives plenty back to the home (and environment).
From chic compost bins and water-efficient showerheads to sustainably made bedding and lunch sacks, here are our picks for giftable home items that make it easy to embrace an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
There’s no doubt that composting benefits the Earth and our landfills tremendously, but it’s not always the most attractive (or odour-friendly) process. That’s where Chef’n’s sleek EcoCrock compost bin ($67) comes in: it can hide more than three litres of food scraps while sitting pretty on your kitchen counter. Infinitely more functional than the standard green box, the ceramic bin contains a removable plastic bucket for easy emptying and cleaning; an adorable vented lid; and a natural, stench-busting charcoal filter that keeps kitchens smelling fresh. Available at Ming Wo Cookware (various locations).
Cut and Dry
Just because laundry is a necessary evil doesn’t mean outrageous energy bills have to be. Nellie’s All-Natural Quick Change Dryerballs ($17 for two) are designed to reduce lint and wrinkles, soften clothes, and produce more absorbent towels—all while reducing drying times by up to 25 percent. A surprisingly handy (and retro-cool) stocking stuffer, the recyclable balls are toxin-free and come in fun colours that can be easily spotted in the machine. A scent-stick-compatible model ($20 for two) is also available, and can be loaded with Nellie’s essential-oil-infused fragrances. Available at London Drugs (various locations).
Eco-conscious chefs will find a multitude of uses for ProTeak’s Teakhaus cutting boards. Each piece is produced in a sustainable process that begins at teak plantations in Mexico that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, where ProTeak strives to benefit both its employees and surrounding communities through its work. Check out the end-grain butcher block (on sale for $50), which can endure even the toughest of kitchen carvings—though with its smooth hand grips and striking combination of natural teak patterns, you’ll want to show it off on the dinner table as well. Available at GreenWorks Building Supply (79 West 3rd Avenue).
Help prevent single-use plastics from polluting the Earth, while saving your Nice list sizable dollars in the long run, with GoGo Bags’ reusable sandwich sacks. Handmade from cotton by a local mother-daughter duo, each of GoGo’s bags is machine-washable and decorated with playful prints, like groovy peace signs, vintage stamps, and neon-hued bicycles. Give a snack set ($17), which includes one snack bag and a larger sandwich bag, or prep the recipient for the workweek with a set of five sacks (from $34). Available at Delish General Store (108–1535 Johnston Street).
Who knew water conservation could be as easy as switching your showerhead? Moen’s water-efficient Attract hand shower ($65) is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with its WaterSense label, meaning it uses almost two litres less water per minute than the average showerhead without compromising performance. This reduces demand on water heaters, saving you both energy and cash. Combine that feat with a user-friendly design, six adjustable spray settings, and a stylish chrome finish, and showers become a lot more guilt-free—and luxurious. Available at Home Depot (various locations).
Montreal-based designer Genevieve Lorange demonstrates that bedding can not only look good but do good, too. Her vibrant Bigarade textiles are handcrafted from natural fabrics, like cotton, linen, and silk, which are sourced from old warehouses across Quebec. We love her throw pillows (from $65), many of them adorned with romantic florals that are taken from Lorange’s grandmother’s collection of hand-embroidered handkerchiefs. Any fabric scraps that are left over from the cushions’ construction are transformed into surprise trinkets, such as pouches and scrunchies, which you can expect to find packaged with your order. Available through Bigarade’s online shop (bigarade.io/ ).