last week, I posted on fair trade/sustainable/organic gifts for all ages. today, I’m featuring some items with heart, soul & responsibility that are actually cool too (!) & will make this a memorable holiday (they don’t have to know it was last minute! 🙂 & I’m thinking new years is a time of these sorts of luxury items…but today, grab your overnight gift & be a hero!

  1. Brilliant Earth Jewelry

this brand of gemstone jewelry is “beyond conflict free”, meaning it’s responsibly-sourced to help fuel economic change & growth in developing countries, often mined for their resources with only a tiny fraction of profits going to local individuals & businesses. diamonds, colored gemstones & vintage jewelry (oh my!) to cater to every style, like this elegant sapphire pendant & unique art deco ring. since the ethics of Brilliant Earth shine as bright as their jewels, you can feel good as well as gorgeous while wearing them! get on it men & women 🙂

artdecoring   sapphirependant

  1. Breville espresso maker

a trip to the coffee shop can be a comforting part of the daily routine…but sometimes, a day in the home office doesn’t have to be interrupted by the hassle & paper waste…not to mention the questionable ethics & sourcing of Starbucks & other chains (& hey, your daily routine could use a change up too!). with this espresso maker, you can make café-quality java in your own home using your own fair trade organic beans…& what better way to maximize on the antioxidant health benefits of pure, unsweetened coffee?


  1. Vitality sauna system

the toasty warmth of a sauna is the ultimate winter treat (& toxin releaser!) when living in a cold climate like New England, like I do (blah)! with its low emf emissions, reasonable water / electricity usage (less than the average shower can you believe) & wood sourcing from sustainable forests, this home sauna offers luxury without wastefulness. plus, regular sauna use has health benefits similar to exercise (this woke me up immediately…not that we should skip the gym & bask like a lizard all day, oh noooooo! but boosting the impact of our workouts with a 20 minute session sounds good – or hey, they OCCASSIONAL okay…sauna instead of the daily pounding J might be ok every once in a while! :)—or…slip inside for a few minutes to warm up your muscles for a yoga class, or your workout itself!


  1. Eco Spa Vacation

what better way to unwind from holiday stress than a week at a full service resort? this list features green spas from around the world. some locations are no surprise, like the Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley, California and La Clairière Bio Hotel in Alsace, France, but there’s green gorgeous luxury to be had in less expected climates, too, from Alaska’s Chena Hot Springs Resort (run on geothermal energy, featuring the stunning Aurora Ice Museum) to the Lied Lodge (conservation land & Arbor Day education center plus a full-scale luxury spa) in Nebraska. they’re all Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, so the hardest part is choosing which gorgeous locale to check out first! I’m just trying to figure out what year I might be able to get away….hmmmmm…..

  1. Tesla model S

let’s face it, there’s nothing cooler than a new car. This is luxury at its finest…the ultimate dream gift & the Tesla’s a dream for the planet, too—way ahead of the curve, the first totally electric sports car, & can travel on one battery like, 2-3 hours, which means zero fossil fuel emissions…& did I mention it can do the ol’ zero to sixty in about seconds?! I’m waiting for the convertible, but yea, Tesla is way cool! (& they do have a totally plexi roof model).


I’ve gotta say, though, if I had to choose just one thing from this list…that vacation is looking pretty good (hey, it’s only been a few years since I took one! 🙂 I’m going to go fantasize with that list now).

so, hurry hurry! oh, &…what’s on your wish list to Santa this year?




‘tis the season for stressing out about finding the perfect presents for people I know. but this year I’ve decided that rather than trying to keep up with the latest fashion trends or gadget craze—that slicing & dicing thing you saw on the home shopping network & bought for EVERYONE you know last year…how’s that working out for people? ;)—I’m going look for unique items that help out the environment or give back to great causes.

so in the spirit of a green Christmas (but I still hope it snows!), here’s a fun gift idea or two for every generation …

for babies:


this sweet gift tote has an assortment of organic animal plushies & wooden toys in a cotton canvas bag. I kind of want that owl for myself, though…

for preschoolers:


kids will love playing farmer’s market with this adorable toy fruit & veggie cart. one pound of bananas, please—do you accept Monopoly money?

for older kids:


do you know a child who is begging for a pony that’s not quite in the budget? indulge a young animal-lover on a smaller scale with this self-cleaning fish tank that also grows edible plants like wheatgrass & basil.

for teens:

help your fave adolescent peace out & protect what’s no doubt their prized possession with this bamboo cellphone case.


for college students:

anyone would become a campus style icon sporting this elephant laptop case, made from 100% recycled cement bags.


decomposition books made from recycled paper are a great way to motivate note-taking & they’ve got cover options ranging from whimsical to lovely.


for adults:

beautiful bamboo coasters with a whale design support Seafood Watch, an organization dedicated to sustainable fishing.


what’s a prettier winter sight than a flock of twittering cardinals & chickadees in the snow? let your feathered friends dine in style with this natural cedar pagoda bird feeder.


if you’re looking for a quick host/hostess gift, Endangered Species Chocolate donates 10% of its profits to conservation causes, & they’ve got a variety of yummy fruit/nut blends.


…& don’t forget the pets in your life!

most cats are pretty well entertained by wrapping paper alone, but these sushi roll catnip toys by Whimsily Ever After are too cute to pass up.


or if you’ve got a tail-wagger in the house, an organic Betty Woof hemp tug-of-war toy.


what are your most inspired green gift ideas this holiday season?




in case you haven’t noticed, I’m generally attracted to big topics: perseverance, self-esteem, self-fulfilling prophecies, dominating big brother grocery store chains…:)

well today is another weighty theme—specifically, change… it’s like, the scariest thing! for instance, when it comes to my hair, OMG, the standard line is “don’t you dare touch me with those things”—meaning of course…scissors. I think of myself as someone who wants to grow & evolve, sure…but subconsciously I face change like a sullen teenager. any unwanted disruption is like totally uncool man (or whatever they are saying these days).


suki_hairblogsuki_short_hairbut despite the very real risks of an unflattering cut (see the crew cut here i tried out that was actually in it’s “growing out” phase) I know how revitalizing & refreshing to both image & imagination a new look can be.

even a simple blowout can make you feel like the world is a better place for a few days. yes, I said a few…cause you actually needn’t wash your hair every day. it’s actually healthy to take a little time off from the lather-rinse-repeat routine & let your natural oils do their work. in the little town I live in, they aren’t advertised (no blowout bars here!) but I love the idea of a fresh wash & blowout & hey, I’ve spent $20 in far worse ways! thank goodness my stylist does them!

anyway, point is, hair as we know, is super emotional—a bad cut, color or process can seem like the worse mistake of your life. but, when your hair is rockin’ you feel amazing, &, a new ‘do is a time-honored way to mark life’s transitions, from a bad breakup (not the best time there…) to a great promotion (better!).

Working on a new hairstyle.but, before you crop six inches or dye your hair to match your favorite nail polish though, consider these tips:

don’t fight what nature gave you. if your hair is wavy or curly, find a stylist who can make the most of what you’ve got. if you have board-straight hair, resist the urge to process the heck out of it. whatever hair you have, if you get a great cut, or merely a healthy “dusting” & ask for help selecting the correct styling aids, it’s possible to air dry without using energy-draining appliances.

curly-girl-smilecolor can be healthy. hair that is colored can still be strong & eco-chic. the right color can bring out the best in your natural skin tone & make your whole face glow. most conventional salon hair dyes are sadly, loaded with ammonia, peroxide, PPDs, coal tar, lead, toluene & resorcinol. truth is, for hair dye to work it needs some real chemistry, so you won’t find any that are free of all synthetics. but there are some better choices, such as EcoColors or Aveda Salons, which use primarily plant-based formulas & get rid of some of the traditional toxins—finding salons that use them is worthwhile for the health of your hair & the environment.

hair_colorupdate, don’t overhaul.  consider that subtle change can be incredibly effective at keeping your look fresh. braid it, explore a new updo, add bangs, get a few low-lights or highlights & experiment with accessories ( has thousands of upcycled & vintage options that look great).hair_accessoryfor further inspiration, I’ve found Pinterest to be a great place to check out hairstyles, tools & hair accessories like ribbons, beautiful pins, barrettes, clip-in (yes, even clip-in) hair that feels even better than natural hair at times that make you look like your hair grew three times the volume that day 🙂 – amazing & fun!

I’d love to see your daring dream cut (or your worst salon nightmare!), so share away—you’ve seen my infamous crew cut now, & let’s face it, 2 decades of change over time that I just suck it up & never google search myself so I pretend like it doesn’t exist! so, you know, it’s only fair! 🙂