It is always a good feeling when the recipient of your gift is happy upon opening it. What’s better? Doing something good for the planet and the people on it at the same time.

There are almost too many great holiday gift ideas to count available at local shops that are not only useful, attractive and fun, but eco- and socially-conscious, too. Take a peek at the following selection—you’re almost guaranteed to find something for those on your list who care about our environment. 

At Shadow Emporium, 43 Main Street: 

Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Ideas

Candle by the Hour

1. Candle by the Hour is a 100 percent eco-friendly beeswax coil candle with a cotton wick, which can burn 20 minutes per every inch you pull through the clip. Once the flame reaches the clip, it will put itself out. The coiled design is based on stories of “courting candles” in the 1600s. It is said protective parents would light such a candle to mark how long a suitor could spend with their daughter. You set the time, and it will actually go out by itself. Copper stands and hurricane lamps that hold the candles are also available for sale at the store as well as refills. 

At Soul Emporium, 35 Main Street:

Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Ideas

ChicoBag

2. ChicoBag, which makes tote bags and other items from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. The bag, available in three designs with a 25-pound carrying capacity, stuffs into a built-in pouch for convenient storage and is machine washable. Plus, it replaces 1,040 single-use bags throughout its life, and the company has saved an estimated 22.6 billion single-use items from entering the waste stream. 

Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Ideas

Honeybee Beeswax Wraps

3. Honeybee Beeswax Wraps are reusable food wraps that are a waste-free and non-toxic eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap. By using a beeswax food wrap you are helping to reduce the 8 million tons of plastic that enters our oceans each year. The company gives back to the community by employing locals and buying locally-sourced ingredients and recycles its by-product fabric waste. It also helps a number of schools and community projects each year by fundraising their green activities. Plus, they come in a ton of fun patterns and colors. 

Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Ideas

Grace and Miss Mouse Soaps

4. Grace and Miss Mouse Soaps, made in Vermont, are cold-process bar soaps made in small batches with sustainable ingredients including palm oil and locally-grown herbs. Each moisturizing bar is hand cut and produces lots of lather that is kind to the skin, in different scents (like black raspberry, vanilla and basil lime) that are meant to be subtle and never overpowering.

At Hannah Grimes Marketplace, 42 Main Street:

5. Among the locally produced goods at the marketplace, all from within 150 miles of the store, is eco-kids dough, something fun for the whole family to play with together. A family-based business based out of Portland, Maine, eco-kids started with eco play dough, a non-toxic product made with flour, vitamin E and essential oils: making it a safe option (it stays pliable for hours of play) for building, molding and sculpting anything your children can imagine. It comes in three primary colors with instructions on how to mix them to create purple, orange and green. 

Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Ideas

Jewelry by Tricia's Treasures

6. Jewelry by Tricia’s Treasures is a collection of upcycled one-of-a-kind pieces the artist, Tricia Heed of Keene, creates using river and beach stones, pottery shards and sea glass she collects on beach trips in various places, along the East Coast and in Europe. She also adds charms, trinkets and beads she purchases and takes from her own jewelry and hangs each creation from an adjustable leather cord. Some of the pieces she wraps with wire.

At the Monadnock Food Co-op,

34 Cypress Street:

7. Knitted goods from Andes Gifts, which sells hats, gloves, and scarves that are handmade incorporating local fibers such as alpaca by Peruvian and Bolivian artisans in the Andes Mountains using traditional knitting techniques. The company’s mission is to provide sustainable employment opportunities and form long-term business relationships with these artisans, empowering Andean women through dignified work that allows them to earn a dependable income without having to leave their local village for larger cities. The artisans receive consistent knitting projects throughout the year and set their own work schedules, allowing them to participate in local customs and spend quality time with family. Many of these artisans in the knitting cooperative teach their children and grandchildren the traditional knitting techniques that have been passed down through generations of Andean women for centuries.

8. Body care products by Badger, which has headquarters in Gilsum. Badger uses organic, biodynamic, regenerative and fair-trade ingredients for its products, which blend the finest organic plant extracts, exotic oils, beeswax, and minerals to make safe and effective products for soothing, healing and protecting the skin. The company manufactures products for sun care, muscle and joint care, sleep care, hair care and so many more in unscented, vegan and gluten-free options. 

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