Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reuse and Rejoice: Eco-chic Gift Ideas that Give Back

(ARA) – The holidays are a time of celebration, where goodwill is spread and gifts are exchanged with loved ones. As more people go green and give back in all aspects of their lives, it’s no surprise that great gifts now embrace this concept. This year, give something different that is sure to make everyone smile.

Here are some easy and affordable eco-chic gift ideas:

1) Gifts that help

The holidays are all about the feeling of giving back, and what better way to show you care than to give a gift that was made under fair practices? Naturally inspired bath and body products that don’t test on animals and contain ingredients that were obtained through fair Community Trade practices are great gift ideas that the recipient is sure to enjoy and feel good about.

The Body Shop is a company that practices all of these ideals. Ingredients are not tested on animals and they just celebrated 21 years of Community Trade relationships, where small community farmers and businesses in some of the poorest areas across the world have access to a fair wage earned in fair work conditions. Their pioneering program has benefitted over 25,000 people in more than 20 countries. Here are some feel-good gifts from The Body Shop that will delight the senses during this magical time of year:

* The brand new Warm Amber scent range features natural Community Trade ingredients including cocoa and shea butter from Ghana, honey from Zambia, and sesame oil from Nicaragua. Also, the Cranberry body range offers a festive and fruity scent that is classic to the holiday season, and Vanilla Spice is a delicious range with notes of orange, cinnamon and ginger. All of these fabulous scent ranges are infused into a variety of products such as bath crystals, body shimmers and lip balms. Who wouldn’t want to find them in their stocking?

* The limited edition Sparkle Seduction collection is inspired from this winter’s key look: natural glamour with an edgy twist. Products feature Community Trade marula oil from a women’s co-op in Namibia, an ingredient that moisturizes and conditions skin. You can look and feel your best whether at the office during the day or out on the town celebrating the season.

* Men’s Bath and Body: Your favorite guy is sure to appreciate a gift featuring products made specifically for him. The Maca Root range for men energizes skin and conditions while protecting against irritation caused by daily shaving.

2) Reuse, rejoice, recycle.

Whether you are looking for the perfect package to give your perfect gift, or want to reuse what you’ve been given, don’t put bags and bows in the trash, reuse it! Here are some smart holiday ideas:

* Recycle packaging containers -- bath containers are often high quality and can be used again after you have enjoyed them. The Body Shop creates packaging with the intention for creative reuse. For example, your body butter containers are perfect to house your favorite jewelry in.

* Gift wrap -- use old posters, colorful bags, holiday sections of the paper, old holiday cards or even colorful clothing that you don’t wear any longer. Remember to save gifted ribbons and bows for future use.

* Promote reuse -- shop antique stores for unique gifts you’ll not likely find anywhere else. Retro items can be a great hit, and bring back memories of the past.

3) Homemade gift items.

Creating your own gift is somewhat of a lost art. Not only is a homemade gift one-of-a-kind, it also can be highly personalized and is likely to be remembered much longer after the tree comes down. Here are some ideas:

* Foods: From sweets to sauces, creating a favorite food for a loved one is an easy way to send holiday love.

* Holiday Decor: There’s a reason the homemade holiday ornament you gave your mother is still hung up 20 years later, it’s a gift that means something.

* Crafts: Consider creating something clever, personal and useful. For example, clean out your used The Body Shop bath containers and decorate with collage, beads and other items to make a personalized storage container.

Not very crafty? Just create a homemade card to go along with your purchased gift. Write out a nice note to the recipient telling them your appreciation for them in your life, especially during the holidays.

This year, get into the true spirit of the season and give a gift that gives back with an eco-friendly flare. Sign up for our Free ezine Beauty Remarks for all the up-to-the-minute discounts and deals on your favorite products.

No comments: