Urban Hippie by Jen Lahey is published every second Tuesday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Jen on Twitter @Jen_Lahey.
‘Tis the season, and green is an ever-so-popular hue this time of year, don’t you think? Here’s a few UH-approved gifties to shower upon those you love (that could include you) to make everything that much merrier — and greener.
Canadian company Totem makes adorable yet handy bags, laptop sleeves and ipad sleeves using upcycled materials. Ditched promotional banners, inners tubes, tarps and seatbelts are the playthings of Totem’s designers, who fashion them into different handy bag designs. The Urban Hippie on your list will be delighted to receive one to haul his lunch about town, or to impress her coworkers by stylishly shlepping her afternoon memos to and fro. $34-160. terra20, 2685 Iris St., 1-855-terra20.
Also from terra 20, beautiful ‘bark’ bowls and trays from Shiraleah are made from reclaimed and recycled metal and would worked equally well filled sparkly baubles as a holiday centerpiece, or filled with something green and fresh like a spinach and citrus salad at lunch or dinner. $60-$82. terra20, 2685 Irish St., 1-855-terra20.
For the bookworms and big thinkers on your list, a copy of Mike Berners-Lee’s ‘How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything’ is a nice choice. The book examines the impact of scores of things, from daily living and sundry items, all the way up to events like the Olympics and football games, and all manner of things in between. Rather than make every trip to the grocery store or ball game a guilt trip, we like to think it will get discussions going and get people thinking about how daily choices affect the bigger picture. $16 online. Chapters.
Grandma and Grandma, take note: this sturdy, well-built riding dump truck by Moover Danish Design Toys is designed for tikes aged 8 to 48 months, and can be driven and steered at the same time (and when they get older, kids can take it apart and put it back together—cool!). Non-toxic soy paint makes this a great choice for mini-UHs who are prone to, you know, licking things. $124. Peek-A-Boo Natural toys and Accessories, 992 Wellington St. West, 613-421-2329.
Anticipating feeling a wee bit tense due to the impending descent of relatives upon you? Treat yourself (or a particularly special relative) to a Prana ECO Yoga mat and stretch away the crankies. This nifty mat is made from hermoplatic elastomer, a recyclable plastic that doesn’t produce harmful toxins during manufacture. Added happy feature for those who like to work extra hard at their yoga sessions: it doesn’t absorb sweat (read: doesn’t get as stinky over time—bonus!). MEC, 366 Richmond Rd., 613-729-2700.