We're generally not big shoppers (we can't remember the last time we went into a mall!), but we absolutely love buying presents for the holidays, especially gifts that we feel will contribute to more health and happiness, not just for the person receiving it, but for the passionate entrepreneur who created it. With the exception of the two kitchen appliances on this list, everything we mention supports an independent business owner (and in most cases, you can read the story behind their business on their website). For us this is key - that we are supporting innovators and change-makers. Furthermore, buying gifts with a story behind them helps create "emotional durability" (a term shared with us by our colleague Sarah). When an item has a feel-good story, emotion, or memory behind it we tend to hold on to it longer and take better care of it - all good things from an energetic, environmental and gift-giving perspective :)
Farm Curious Fermentation Kit. Making homemade fermented food is super simple with this kit that attaches to any wide-mouthed mason jar. Amy has been fermenting up a storm as part of her new Auto-Immune Paleo diet, so she owns a couple of these kits and usually has three or four sauerkrauts on the go at any given time. Her daughter Mattea loves the sour taste, so it is a great way to get food-based probiotics into children!
Yoga Tune-Up Balls. These are our new obsession. Similar to tennis balls, but with a different density, these balls come doubled up in a mesh bag and can be used for giving yourself a massage - either against a wall or by lying on the ground. You can purchase a book or DVDs to go with them which will teach you how to release fascia and tension on every muscle of your body. Much cheaper than a massage (a set of balls run about $13 US), and can be done every day while taking a stretch break from work.
Create Your Shining Year. Leonie Dawson is an artist and wildly successful business coach which means her planners are gorgeous and effective. We've been using them for years to get clear on our goals. In fact, we love them so much we're now ambassadors (you can read more about our ambassador relationships here). The workbooks are available in hard copy which is our preference, but you can also get a digital copy which is great if you've got a friend who lives overseas or if you're looking for a last-minute gift. Bonus: set up a time to fill the planners out with your friend so you're also gifting quality time together.
Haramaki. Amy has been obsessed with her Haramaki since she got one last winter. A Haramaki is a Japanese belly warmer (or "organ warmer" to be more precise). As we enter into the cold winter months, this is a perfect gift and a unique alternative to socks. We like this organic cotton version from Montreal, but you can also purchase them on Amazon.
Resilience Earrings. This jewelry looks like something you might find at the One-of-a-Kind Craft Show, but in addition to being beautiful it also supports a great cause. Made by Survivors sells products created by women who have escaped slavery and sex trafficking. The story of the couple who founded the organization is incredibly inspiring. You can read the summary of their story here, or perhaps consider pairing the jewelry with a copy of the published book by their founder - This is no ordinary joy: How the courage of survivors transformed my life.
Ecosex Gift Certificate. We've always been reluctant to offer specific gift recommendations when it comes to sex toys because so much of it comes down to personal preference. Unless you know exactly what kind of intensity level/size/material the person you are gifting enjoys, shopping for someone else can be a gamble. And toys aren't exactly something you can exchange ;) That's why we're excited that our new ecosex website offers the chance to purchase gift certificates so that folks can choose for themselves. So many of us have a hard time prioritizing our own pleasure, so giving the gift of "guilt-free" shopping can feel extra indulgent.
Minimal Sole Shoes. Since reading Whole Body Barefoot (on our 2015 Reading List below), Amy has been obsessed with minimalist footwear. Thick soles, and heels in particular, have a detrimental effect on the health of our feet and our posture. There are some awesome eco-friendly, fair-trade vendors who are making minimalist shoes that support the earth, and your connection to it! Check out Vivo Barefoot, Sole Rebels (a super-cool fair trade company that uses recycled rubber for their soles) or even these amazing handmade shoes (pictured here) that are on Amy's personal wish list.
Blendtec. Before we got our Blendtecs we didn't understand what all the fuss was about. Isn't a blender just a blender? Now we're total converts (in fact, we've seriously discussed packing it in our luggage because we miss it when we travel!) Not only has it upped our smoothie game by allowing us to include ingredients we never would have used before, but it's also made our hummus deliciously creamy and inspired us to make our own almond milk. While it's not cheap, the fact we use our Blendtecs at least once a day (and sometimes up to three times ) means the actual cost-per-use is pretty low which is more than we can say for a lot of the kitchen gadgets in our house that are collecting dust ;)
ViraOne. Speaking of smoothies, we've been experimenting a lot with adding different superfoods to our morning blend. This year we met the folks behind ViraOne and we've become totally hooked on their "Good Stuff" - a gluten-free, raw, vegan mix that includes ingredients like hemp seed protein, organic chaga mushrooms, maca, spirulina, and raw organic cacao. Since Kim still can't get on board with Vega powder (anyone else find it tastes like chalk!?) she's happy she's found a way to make her smoothies nutritious and delicious.
Venus Mats. Ever since Lunapads stopped making their "Luna Blankets" we've been on the hunt for another reusable (pretty!) way to protect sheets during menstruation. Most of the options on the market are made from materials that don't really fit in with our eco philosophy or they feel very utilitarian rather than sexy. That's why we were excited to discover Venus Matters - a company dedicated to eco, ethical practices. All their products are manufactured in the US and they're guaranteed waterproof for 400 washes (which happens to be about the number of times a woman has her cycle in a lifetime).
Cotton Toilet Paper. Okay, admittedly, this makes a rather strange gift. But we asked for it for Christmas, so hey - maybe you will too? We figure after being die-hard diva cup fans, and now taking a shine to the new 2lip portable bidet (check out our blog post about how versatile and cool this product is), we figure this is the next step in reducing our bathroom waste and also being kinder to our body. Plus, it supports a female entrepreneur.
Blue Avocado Reusable Ziplock Bags. Last year in our gift guide we raved about Abeego - a reusable beeswax-based replacement for saran wrap. This year our favourite new eco food storage solution are these (re)zip bags by Blue Avocado. Guaranteed to be useful for pretty much anybody and great for the environment.
Ice Cream Maker. For some reason we had it in our head that ice cream makers are super expensive. But after Amy started on her AutoImmune Paleo diet and couldn't eat most of the ingredients in store-bought ice cream, she looked into ice cream makers and discovered you can get them for as little $40! She got one and has been hooked on ice cream making ever since. Many of them come with great recipes for frozen yoghurt, ice cream and gelatos. Amy's particular obsession is the olive oil ice cream from The Paleo Approach Cookbook.
Merino Wool Pyjamas. If you read our holiday list last year, you'll know that we have a family tradition of giving each other pyjamas on Christmas Eve. This year, our mother is splurging on custom-made, ecosexy pyjamas from one of our favourite Etsy designers, Sandmaiden Sleepwear. We're happy to be supporting an independent designer, but also to be choosing more renewable fabrics (which we are extra conscientious about since our podcast with eco-style expert Sarah Peel this year).
Looking for more holiday gift ideas? Check out our 2014 guide which includes unique products like salty kisses toothpaste, poetic pits deodorant, mushroom tea (no, not those kinds of mushrooms!), and lots more.
A Red Tent Sisters' gift list wouldn't be complete without some book suggestions! Click the guide below to download the Sisters' 2015 Reading Guide.
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Kim & Amy Sedgwick love to discuss sex, periods, and all the other things we’re not supposed to talk about. The co-founders of Red Tent Sisters and ecosex.ca, they’ve been featured in every major Canadian news outlet and have become a trusted resource for women seeking natural (effective!) birth control, a more joyful sex life, and an empowered journey to motherhood.