Gifts That Give Back 2023

It’s that time of the year again! Before you rush out to malls or websites to purchase your holiday gifts, make sure to check out our sustainable gift guide first. The 2023 collection includes gifts at all price ranges that give back to social causes from healthcare and the environment to a number of women’s causes. Check out what’s new or visit one of previous editions and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

Forged Flare ornaments

Ornaments for Animal Rescue

Looking for a Christmas party gift, hostess gift or a unique stocking stuffer for an animal lover? Forged Flare specializes in creating unique ornaments that are reminiscent of stained glass. Handcrafted in Texas and perfect for gifting, my Mother’s Angels ornaments make people feel seen, appreciated, and heard. Pick a design filtered by an emotion – representing luck, love, peace, etc; by birth month, holiday occasion or charity.

The Paw Print for Charity ($49.95) holiday ornament that shows an angel with a paw print, gives back 30% of every sale to HOME Rescue, a local animal shelter in the Dalls-Ft. Worth area. The founder, Jen Street and her family created this design with a specific intent — to give back directly as a thank you for getting them through the loss of their pet.

Tote Bags for the Planet

No one needs another tote bag, but yes, they do need this one! Any travel addict on your gift list is going to love the oversized tote bag by Xplorer Maps, with hand-drawn story maps and accessories that illustrate various destinations. Select your favorite national park, city or destination, or collect them all. Made of heavy duty cloth material, the tote bags are reusable and sustainable. Take them grocery shopping, to the beach, or even holiday shopping! Get a matching jigsaw puzzle and keep the entire family engaged during the holidays.

Xplorer Maps is a member of 1% for the Planet, which partners in conserving and preserving our public lands. To date, they’ve donated over $145,000 to nearly 40 different organizations worldwide. 

The bags cost $24.99 and are available through their website and on Amazon.

Sustainable Athletic Ware

Let’s face it – you are going to pack up a few pounds during the holidays and come January, you will likely set a new year’s resolution to eat healthy and exercise more! So, gift someone you love, as well as yourself, Vitality premium athletic apparel and loungewear for added motivation to move. My personal favorite is the Cloud II Trouser ($88) which comes in a dozen colors. It is flattering and super comfortable, perfect for running errands, walking at the trail, and while traveling.

Vitality’s brand designs are for everyBODY, available in sizes 2XS-4XL, including for men and women. Vitality’s mission of inclusivity, commitment to customers, and focus on confidence-inducing apparel remains at the forefront. Each piece of clothing is sustainable, ensuring steps to reduce energy consumption, material waste, and emissions. Along with sustainable and ethical production practices, Vitality has also raised $500,000+ for a variety of organizations including the Special Olympics, It Gets Better project, Active Minds, Girls, Inc., American Red Cross, and more.

Women’s Bean Project Gift Box

Gourmet Food Supporting Women in The Workforce

If there’s a foodie or chef on your gift list, get them a meaningful subscription box from the Denver-based social enterprise Women’s Bean Project (WBP). This initiative encapsulates gourmet products from WBP and additional complementary products from curated brands. For only $75, your receiver will get a box full of surprises each quarter, which includes an assortment of baking, soup and bread mixes, spices, snacks and recipes.

What sets this gourmet food subscription apart is its profound impact – 100% of the proceeds directly contribute to training and employing women who face significant barriers to entering the workforce. Women’s Bean Project hires women with histories of incarceration and homelessness, women who are ex-gang members or former addicts with multiple felonies, and puts them to work manufacturing gourmet food items. But more importantly, the nonprofit addresses the mental, physical, and emotional health of the women participating in the program.

Candier Candles

Candles for Female Leaders

Barbie is not the only one to highlight girl power in 2023! These cute vegan soy wax candles by Candier feature sassy and fun messages that make for the perfect personalized gift any woman or teen girl will love. Send good smells, holiday sprinkles and inspiring messages like the Donut Worry Candle. Warning – It actually smells like a fresh glazed donut and may make you hungry!

Candier’s flagship candles are poured in the U.S. with pure, natural sustainable soy wax and are cruelty-free blended with essential oils. Plus, a portion of all Candier sales go to Girls Inc, to support the next generation of female leaders. They’re also 100% committed to minimizing their carbon footprint and fighting climate change by limiting their plastic use and donating to Greenspark. 

Moon Sonders Dreamighty® wearable throw blanket

Blankets For Breast Cancer Victims

Want to gift a warm hug across the miles? Moon Sonders Dreamighty® wearable throw blanket will keep adults and kids warm and snuggly all through the winter. Available in solid colors and character patterns, the soft fleece blankets with sleeves are perfect to wear as you sip on hot chocolate, watch a feel good movie or while you wrap Christmas gifts.

The founder, Karen Bonnici is herself a breast cancer survivor and committed to supporting breast cancer victims. Her “Let Your Strength Shine” blanket is a heartwarming ally for the Pink Fund’s essential mission and 5% of profits from sales of blankets goes to alleviating the financial strain on breast cancer patients.

Order the Moon Sonder blankets for the entire family on Amazon. Kids $29.99 and adults $49.99.

Enjoy Ceramic Art Coffee Mug

Coffee Mugs Supporting Art

Gift the coffee lovers on your holiday list characteristic handcrafted coffee mugs and espresso cups created by artisans. These are no ordinary mugs! They are especially designed for those who cherish art, culture, and coffee. The best selling Snowman Mug ($49.99) with gold handle was conceptualized during a workshop where artisans shared tales of their childhood winter memories. Today, every purchase of this mug ensures their stories continue, fostering a community of shared memories and art.
For every mug sold, a portion of the proceeds is directed towards supporting local artisans and their families. Enjoy Ceramic Art also collaborate with community initiatives that focus on preserving traditional ceramic craftsmanship, ensuring a future for this art in the modern age.

Hats For Social Impact

Hats are a must have in my travel suitcase so I always love it when someone gifts me a new hat! You can’t have too many, right? One of my favorite hat companies is Wallaroo, which is made in Colorado and inspired by Australia. For nearly two decades, this company has been dedicated to creating trendy hats that effectively protect the skin from harmful UV rays. Skin cancer is a growing concern around the world, and Wallaroo takes skin cancer education and prevention seriously. Make sure to select a hat rated according to the UV radiation blocking capabilities. A UPF 50+ Palm Beach ($55) fabric fedora blocks 97.5% of ultraviolet rays, according to the Australian Radiation Protection Agency, and is fashionable to wear at ant resort. The wide brim Sanibel hat ($53) ensures maximum sun protection and the chin strap provides extra wind resistance for when you are out at the beach or open water.

Wallaroo Hat Company is part of a growing global community of 2,100 Certified B Corporation® making business a force of good. In addition to designing fashionably functional hats, Wallaroo donates sanitary products to women in need.

Saffron Marigold block print shower curtain

Block Printing Honoring Artisans  

If you are looking for household gifts for the parents or in-laws, Saffron Marigold is a fair trade, handcrafted textile company that produces beautiful, boho-chic home decor and accessories with unique block-printed designs. They work in fair trade partnership with artisans in India who utilize eco-friendly materials from local sources and adopt low-energy production techniques, mainly handcrafted methods. You can find table lines, bedspreads, quilts and shower curtains made of natural fibers like cotton, alongside reclaimed or upcycled materials, as well as low-impact and natural dyes. As a result, the patterns are vibrant and stylish!

Every purchase ensures a wonderful ripple effect: steady employment for skilled artisans, economic self-sufficiency for apprentices, and safeguarding the time-honored craft of block printing.

Alexis Jae Aircraft Pendant

Jewelry Supporting Breast Cancer Research

Alexis Jae Jewelry offers one on a kind solid 14k gold and diamond statement pieces that female travelers on your gift list will love. Ethically sourced gems and recycled gold ensure that the jewelry is not only pretty, but sustainable. They are also sold at wholesale prices without any middleman markups. What’s more? 25% of profits from all product sold support breast cancer research through a partnership with A Cure In Our Lifetime.

Check out the compass necklace ($600) that will remind you to stay course and follow your North Star, or get the jet setter a chic and versatile 14k gold aircraft pendant ($115).

Burlap & Barrel Spices

Spices For Equity

If you love to cook like me, you will love the quality of spices from Burlap & Barrel. They are a leading purveyor of single origin spices sourced equitably around the world. Founded in 2016, Burlap & Barrel is a single origin spice company and social enterprise working directly with expert spice farmers in more than 20 countries to source unique, beautiful spices for home cooks and professional chefs.

Really, their spices taste fresher and more flavorful because they come directly from small farms! With a better-than-fair-trade sourcing model, they help improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. You can find practically any spice on their website, from Royal Cinnamon and Zanzibar Black Peppercorns, to rare botanicals like Amazonian Pompona Vanilla and Wild Timur Pepper from the Himalayas. My personal favorite is the chef Floyd Cardoz masala gift set ($66.99) because it is packed with six essential flavors from all over India, but you really cannot go wrong with any of their spice collections.

Shiki Wraps

Gift Wraps For The Planet

Finally, wrap all your gifts this holiday season with Shiki Wrap’s reusable gift wrap and bags made from sustainable materials. You can machine wash and reuse these soft, stretchy, fabric wraps without any need for tapes and ribbons. These beautiful printed gift wraps not only help save the environment, they also support artists and feature designs that benefit nonprofit organizations. For example the Ocean Conservation themed prints benefit The Rozalia Project for clean oceans and a healthy marine ecosystem. Prices range from $14-25 per wrap. Get the entire holiday collection for $135 and you will have plenty to wrap all your gifts this year.

Shiki Wrap is a 1% for the Planet member that includes thousands of businesses and environmental organizations working together to support people and the planet.

Gifts That Give Back 2022

This year, it feels like holiday decorations were up before Halloween and Black Friday started two weeks earlier. I guess we just can’t wait to celebrate, so let me help you do just that! Like every year, I share a list of my favorite products to give and receive, but ones that also give back. Each of these are hand selected by me because they are not only wonderful gifts, but also meaningful. From empowering women and young girls to saving manta rays, these businesses make an environment or social impact. So make your holiday shopping worthwhile and give a unique, sustainable gift that also gives back in 2022 and beyond.

Fashion for The Ocean

A great gift for women who care about responsible fashion. FLORE QUO’s Iris cross-body shoulder bag ($350) is sleek and fashionable to carry during the holiday parties. I also use it to travel as it goes from the cocktail bar to the beach. The bag is made in Spain and comes with two crystals embellished interchangeable ornaments – signature Butterfly Crown and Manta. You can get it in pink, vibrant green and classic black.   

By wearing this bag, you won’t only make a fashion statement, but also show your love for the ocean and manta rays in particular. 10% of the profit from the bags are donated to the Manta Trust, a charity registered in England and Wales.    

Receive 10% off your purchase with FLORE QUO with code “GOEATGIVE.”

Jewelry for a Cause

Remember a loved one or give hope to someone battling a life threatening disease. Revive Jewelry’s affordable bracelets, rings and earrings (retail prices ranging from $25-$117) make for great gifts to moms, daughters, survivors and caregivers. Each of the pieces honors loved ones and survivors by incorporating cellular imagery in the design. The best part is you have flexibility to choose which cause you want to stand for.

10% of proceeds from sales are donated to an associated charity. For example, if you purchase the Forever Tied Awareness Bracelet, you can select which cause you want to give to – Alzheimers, breast cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer. There are 18 causes to choose from.

Use code “GOEATGIVE” to get 10% off your purchase on Revive Jewelry. Valid through 12/31/22.

candles are gifts that give back

Candles by Refugees

Who cannot use a candle that gives back during the holidays? Prosperity Candle’s Burmese Candles ($28) are handmade with all-natural soy and coconut wax and premium fragrances. Each scent in this series evokes a cherished memory from the women artisans and refugees who came to the U.S. from their homeland of Burma (Myanmar). With handwritten Burmese symbols, each candle reflects the incredible qualities they brought with them as refugees seeking to build a brighter future for their families: such as peace, kindness, gratitude, joy, and compassion. Your purchase helps provide employment at a living wage.  

Use code “WELCOME10” at prosperitycandle.com to receive 10% off your first order. 

Wall Decor By Emerging Artists

Make a big impact in the life on an artist when you gift this trendy BIG Wall Decor ($40-700). The innovative two-part durable and portable wall decor system makes for good holiday, housewarming, office and college grad gifts. Designed by emerging artists, there are colorful abstracts, soothing nature and contemporary imagery for any space. And what is great is the massive size that fills up the wall without costing hundreds of dollars to frame. Since BIG Wall Decor started in 2019, they have paid over $500,000 to new artists. 

Use code “GIVE20” to receive 20% off BIG Wall Decor

Eco Friendly Slings

Anyone outdoorsy on your holiday gift list? Urban Bower is a sustainable eco-friendly outdoor gear store that sells high-quality products while caring for the environment. You can get lanterns, blankets, cutlery, chargers, towels, bento boxes and hammocks, but my favorite is the Circadian Sling Bag ($52). Made from plastic bottles and designed in Portland, Oregon, the bag is super light, hands-free with tons of storage for walking around town or hiking in the forests. Plus, you can get a design to represent your favorite animal – lion, camel, eagle, cobra and more!

Each of their products is sourced from businesses that are either a B-Corp, part of 1% for the planet, help clean waterways of plastic, give back to their community or give back in other ways.

Get 10% off your oder on Urban Bower with discount code “goeatgive10.”

Food To Fight Hunger

Foodies on your gift list will appreciate Bookmarks and Breadsticks’ Read It & Eat It Winter Hot Sauce box ($60). The perfect holiday gift contains a copy of the book – Hot Sauce Nation, a trio of hot sauces from woman-owned business Queen Majesty’s, and Bee Sting Honey Sriracha Flavored Chips for dipping. The site also offers holiday peppermint and hot cocoa boxes and $5 from each purchase is used to fight hunger in Buffalo. These holiday boxes support FEEDWNY and The Good Deed Grocery, organizations that bring free food to area schools.

best toys to gift in 2022

Toys That Empower Girls

Did you know that two-third of girls don’t think they can be whatever they want to be? Why is that? If you have a pre-teen girl to shop for, inspire them with fun and interactive LeadHER craft collection ($24.99). These craft kits includes an educational story of a known powerful woman, such as Maya Angelou, Greta and Amanda Garman Thunberg. They also include thoughtful discussion questions that encourage them to use their voice for change.

What’s more, LeadHER donates a portion of proceeds to organizations working to empower girls across the globe. They have given over $30,000 in products to Girls Inc. of Westchester and Girls on the Run LA this year alone.

dates that give back

Chocolate Covered Dates

If you gravitate to sugary sweet treats on cold winter afternoons, here’s one that is good for you, good for the world, and good for the planet. Hot Date Kitchen dark chocolate covered sweet and salty organic medjool dates ($9.79) filled with spiced sunflower butter are plant-based and gluten-free. They are also a Carbon Neutral company and donate 10% of their profits to the Clean Air Task Force (considered one of the highest impact charities working on Climate Change Mitigation), and to GiveWell (high impact non-profit working on poverty alleviation in developing countries).

But wait, this Black Friday weekend, they will be donating 100% of profits to Climate Change nonprofits.

Taaluma bag give back to artists in Rwanda

Totes Funding Micro Loans

I like to buy locally-made souvenirs from the places I visit, but don’t always have the luggage space to haul them back. That’s why, when I saw Taaluma Rwanda Tote by Isabelle S. ($95), I fell in love with the colorful fabrics and the backstory. As seen on Shark Tank, Taaluma works with fabric-making artisans from around the globe to make limited quantities of culturally-inspired tote bags. These can be used as backpacks at school, office or while traveling (they have passport and laptop pockets).

Each purchase contributes to funding a micro loan for a small business owner, therefore helping reduce poverty, eliminate hunger and increase access to education. Get one Taaluma tote from each country!

socks that give back to Seattle children hospital

Socks For Children’s Health

Get down to the basics. For your last minute stocking stuffers, get Arvin Goods‘ soft, fitting and responsibly made socks ($12+). They come in a variety of colors and athletic, crew and no-show styles. Made with 50% or more certified organic materials, each pair of socks helps save 50+ gallons of fresh water.  Arvin Goods donates 10% of profits annually to the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

give back to nature

Fashion For Earth

If you are shopping for activewear, tees or loungewear, Happy Earth Apparel is a new, stylishly sustainable B Corp certified fashion company that puts people and the planet first. The fabrics are organic and made with sustainable material. They partner with fair trade and carbon neutral businesses. When you check out, you get an option to give to causes such as reforestation, climate change and stopping pollution.

Make a statement with the soft and sustainable give a damn hoodie ($60) on your hikes, travels and gym visits!

Gifts That Give Back 2021

It’s the time to give and receive. Our annual holiday gift guide is here with a purpose. You can not only purchase unique products for your family, colleagues and loved ones, but make a difference by giving back to a social or environment cause. These wonderful companies are taking initiative to support local causes, whether they are related to the health and wellness, uplifting artisans, building communities, or even assisting rescue dogs. So, this year, make a decision to shop differently, and build a better world, together. You can purchase all of these products online and have them delivered straight to your doorstep.

Check out the full list below…

Jewelry That Uplift Artisans $30

This beaded cuff made with recycled Kantha textile beads suspended within a frame of gold metallic beads will add plenty of color to your holiday party. World Finds is an ethical brand that has beautiful designs with meaningful messages. Their Cause Braclets support 15 different charities such as teachers, animals, coral reefs, etc. (so you can personalize it to your receiver’s interest); Kantha Necklaces, made from discarded furniture pieces covered in sari and Kantha remnants; and Kantha Connection bracelets highlight attributes such as compassion, creativity, and unity. World Finds contemporary accessories are design in Chicago and hand made in India. They give woman artisan jobs, a source of income, and a means of preserving traditional crafts and art forms.

NOVICA gives back to artisans
NOVICA subscription boxes are filled with handmade surprises from around the world.

Fair Trade Box $59.99

NOVICA.com, the world’s largest online impact marketplace which supports indigenous artisans worldwide, just launched the first ever fully-customizable subscription called the “Undiscovered Box” which delivers handmade and fair-trade artisan treasures from around the globe – including options for gifts, jewelry, accessories, and decor from a specific nation. The seasonal, quarterly box lets you travel to a new nation by experiencing its hidden gems, and preserves disappearing arts in nations around the world by showcasing hidden craft skills passed down through generations. Unlike any other subscription box in the marketplace, each customer can select their most beloved (5) products from a highly curated selection, including gender-neutral options.  

give a greeting card that gives back
Cardology greeting cards support elderly care.

Pop Up Greeting Card For The Community $13

Cardology’s colorful and intricate 3-D hand-assembled pop up cards are super cute to send over the holidays. Made with sustainably sourced paper, 10% of profits go to charities, including Age UK, that cares for elderly in the community, and the Woodland Trust, who plant trees with the money. Another unique way they give back is through the village of Lover in the county of Wiltshire. People from all over the world come here to send a special love letter marked with a romantic cachet stamp. After losing their post office, the villagers raised money for their community to build new facilities for young children, families, professionals and retired people within the parish, by sending 8000 hand written valentine’s Day cards, including those by Cardology.

give to end childhood hunger
All proceeds from Bake Away cookbook go to No Kid Hungry.

Cookbook to End Child Hunger $24

Bakers will be happy to receive a copy of the new cookbook – Bake Away: Twenty Recipes Capturing the Spirit of Creativity, Experience, and Expression, filled with dessert recipes and colorful pictures. Teen philanthropist and author Sahana Vij created Bake Away, a cookbook to raise money for No Kid Hungry, with all proceeds going to end childhood hunger and poverty in America. Vij takes readers on a journey through her travels and inspirations as a baker, starting with a visit to see her cousins in Atlanta, where she decided to make a New York-style blueberry cheesecake.

give the gift of positive reminders
Custom Neon lights give back to charities in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

Be The Change Neon Light $250

College kids and young adults will love the fun and cool ‘signs of change’ LED Custom Neon signs with remote controlled ambient lighting. Designed as symbols for the systematic change that needs to happen in our communities and world, each sign emits positive messages such as ‘Be the change, A lover and a fighter, and Darling you’re pure gold.’

100% of the profits from ‘signs of change’ LED neon sign purchases give back to a corresponding charity. These include: Black Girls Smile to address mental health among African-American girls, teens and young women; founded with the mission of helping them with mental health issues; Blueprint for Allis that strives to create an inclusive society among young people; and Children’s Ground that works with Aboriginal communities in Australia.

wine gives back to cancer
Teneral Cellars wines donates to women’s health causes.

Wine For Women’s Health $96

Teneral Cellars is creating a social movement by encouraging conversations and women’s empowerment through exceptional wine and thought-provoking experiences. The brand is available exclusively online. It is also the only all-woman-owned digital wine company that donates 10% of profits to women’s causes, such as the Endometriosis Foundation of America. Teneral Cellars’ Healthy Women, Healthy World Collection features a trio of wines (Bordeaux blend, dry Petit Sarah, fruity white) that bring attention to reproductive, heart, and breast health issues that affect millions of women globally. 

Raise a glass and keep the conversation going!

Satin Tea Mug For Cancer Surviors $30

This holiday season, gift your friends organic teas that support wellness, strengthen immunity, help reduce stress. Besides award-winning handcrafted loose leaf teas, The Tea Spot also sells beautiful tea infusers, tea mugs, tea tumblers, teapots with infusers, and Steepware® modern teaware. The Satin Tea Mug with a stainless steel tea filter and a saucer which doubles as a lid, has a beautifully glazed satin finish, in colors inspired by nature. And the company, a Boulder, Colorado-based woman owned and operated business, donates 10% of all profits in-kind to cancer survivors and community wellness programs.

gift earrings
Aria Design Co raises awareness and funds for mental health.

Earrings for Mental Health $32

New Zealand based Arias Design Co sells artisan earrings with eco friendly polymer clay and other materials. The lightweight, hypoallergenic and delicate hand painted earrings are inspired by Van Gogh’s famous sunflowers. But there are many other fashionable designs to choose from. The sole purpose of Arias is to support better mental health in the community under their Lend An Ear campaign. Arias donates 20% of its profits to the Mental Health Foundation and works closely with them to support their mission.

give green vodka
360 Vodka gives to environmental organizations.

Eco-Friendly Vodka $30

Skip the duty free lines and liquor stores. If you have a cocktail aficionado on your list, get them a bottle of 360 Vodka – the world’s first eco-friendly vodka that is good for the planet, as it is to drink. The American-made and American-owned premium vodka is made using locally-sourced midwestern corn and is naturally gluten-free. Six-times distilled and six-times filtered, 360 Vodka is smooth, clean, green, and delicious. It comes in unique flavors like glazed donut, BBQ, watermelon and Georgia peach. Return the bottle closures for reuse through the brand’s “Close The Loop” program. 360 Vodka also makes donations to environmental organizations and other local charities. The brand promotes several other green initiatives through recycling, paper reduction, and purchasing. 360 Vodka can be purchase online through Drizly.

give back to rescues
Pupups collars and leashes help dogs in shelters.

Collars That Help Shelter Dogs $28

Don’t forget to buy a gift for your four-legged family members too. Pupups line of eco friendly, reusable and waterproof collars and leashes are colorful, practical, and affordable for all dog lovers. They also come in unique styles you won’t find anywhere else. All products are packaged in an eco-friendly reusable case that can be used for doggy bags, treats, or anything else. Pupups is a woman-owned, Seattle-based business. The founder creates each design herself using the finest materials for exceptional durability, easy clean-up (just rinse), and colorfastness. This holiday season, Pupups is donating a collar to a rescue or shelter dog for every collar sold. Go fetch one for every dog lover in your neighborhood!

gift for hearts
Big Heart Candle Co. donate to American Heart Association.

Candles For Good Hearts $36

Give the gift of good scent, while giving back to support heart health research and education. All Big Heart Candle Company candles are chemical-free, pesticide-free, fertilizer-free, carcinogen-free. They also have wooden wicks sourced from an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified mill. Phthalate-free and candle-safe essential oils are used for formulating the scents. Moreover, 10% of all Big Heart Candle Company profits give back to the American Heart Association, that brings awareness to the importance of heart health. 

Colorful Culinary Gifts For Your Easter Basket

Instead of confetti and candy, why not fill your Easter baskets with these colorful locally-produced culinary gifts? I have picked a few unique foods and kitchen accessories that will remind you of bright spring colors and will come in handy even after the holiday is over! Shop from the small companies that produce them, and ship directly to your home or to your loved ones.

easter gifts
2oz Easter jams are the perfectly size for little hands

V Smiley Preserves

These are the best tasting fruit preserves I have ever tried, and the flavors are so unconventional, you cannot find them anywhere else. There’s no sugar or preservatives – only honey and fruit in a jar! Try the Pear Lemon Sage White Pepper, Navel Orange Mission Fig Cardamom, Seville Orange and Bergamot Orange, or Raspberry Redcurrant Geranium Jam spread on toast or pair it with your favorite cheese. These jars are made in small batches with locally sourced fruits from farms in Vermont.

What’s more? 25% of this month’s featured flavor – Lavender Blackberry Rhubarb Jam – goes to the Trans Justice Funding Project. 

culinary gifts
Bees Wrap is a colorful environment friendly alternative to plastic

Bees’ Wrap

Bee’s Wrap is a reusable and biodegradable alternative to plastic wrap. It is perfect for storing leftovers, wrapping up snacks for on-the-go snacking, and eliminating unnecessary waste at home. And they are so pretty and vibrant! Wrap your unused piece of fruit or cover a bowl of leftover lunch with prints that will also brighten the refrigerator shelves. Bee’s Wrap is made in Vermont by a woman-founded certified B Corp.

colorful kitchen gifts
Opinel tools are handy in the kitchen everyday

Opinel Essentials

Opinel’s Essentials+ collection brings bright colors together in practical everyday workhorses – a peeler, serrated knife, and paring knife. These are available individually or in a three-pack set. Designed for precise handling, these tools make it easier to keep that 2021 resolution to cook joyfully in the new year. Plus, the dishwasher-friendly polymer handles are good for both right and left-handed cooks.

colorful maple syrup
Everyone should have these all-natural spice infused maple syrups in their cocktail bar

Runamok Maple Syrups

The 100% pure Vermont maple syrup is also organic. The collection of Runamok cocktail mixers will sweeten your brunch mimosas and ice teas, without the added sugar. With flavors like Cinnamon+Vanilla-Infused, Ginger Root-Infused, Rum Barrel-Aged, and Pecan Wood-Smoked, the collection of syrups are just as good in baked goods, savory dishes, cocktails, and desserts, as they are on top of breakfast staples like pancakes and waffles. Runamok Maple is a family-run company based in Vermont.

stroopwafels
Easter egg Stroopwafels are covered in white and milk chocolate

3Bros Stroopwafles

Liven up your Easter basket with Easter egg and butterfly shaped stroopwafels dipped in white or milk chocolate with sugar icing.

Stroopwafels are classic Dutch cookies with a sweet caramel filling, enjoyed as a snack with a cup of hot coffee. But you don’t need to go to Netherlands to buy fresh tasting Stroopwafels. Fayetteville, Georgia-based family-owned and operated 3Bros Stroopwafels uses the original Dutch recipe. The recipe calls for butter and sugar beet molasses, pressed inside a cinnamon wafer.

Lastly, 3Bros supports organization by helping them host Stroopwafel fundraisers.

chocolates
Delysia Easter collection can be served as dessert

Delysia Chocolate Truffles

Obviously, you can’t entirely skip chocolate on Easter Sunday, but you can go gourmet with it! Delysia’s 16 piece Easter truffle collection features the beloved desserts of a pastel party on a warm spring day. The box contains pieces of carrot cake, lemon meringue, hot cross bun and caffe latte turtle chocolate truffles. Additionally, they sell painted chocolate eggs, golden egg molded chocolate, and handcrafted Easter gift baskets on their website.

Chef-owner and chocolatier Nicole Patel of Austin, Texas-based Delysia Chocolatier is a Top 3 chocolatier in the Americas. Patel uses only the finest quality chocolate from sustainable sources and freshest ingredients to create these delectable works of art. She also offers virtual chocolate tastings that you can enjoy with your friends and colleagues!

Holiday Gifts That Give Back – 2020 Edition

It’s been months since I stepped inside the mall! With ongoing lockdowns, online shopping has become second nature. Now that its time to shop for the holidays, most of you would look to your web browser for ideas. So, how about helping each other out by giving meaningful gifts that also give back?

One thing 2020 has taught us is the important of living a simple and meaningful life, consuming less, and valuing our family and friends more. Here are some products that will not only make your friends, family and colleagues happy, but also give back to help someone in need. Shop directly from small businesses that are working towards uplifting others’ from poverty, empowering women, providing shelter to the needy, and protecting the environment, among other good deeds.

Work at home…

Hope slipper for Haiti
Proceeds from Give Hope Roger Slippers provide education, employment and healthcare in Haiti

Sandals For Haiti $50

These sleek and comfortable sandals are perfect for the men that are working from home or lounging after a tough day. They are made with locally and sustainably sourced leather.

Add a messenger bag, wallet and bracelet to round up your shopping. Give Hope Global is a non-profit ethical fashion line offering products that are handmade in Haiti. Proceeds from sales are used to open and operate schools, community health care program, model farms, transitional homes, and for providing dignified employment to Haitian artisans. 

Take 15% off your order of Hope Roger or other sandals with discount code “GOEATGIVE15”

Hippy Feet to end homelessness
Hippy Feet socks help fight homelessness in Minneapolis, Duluth, and Chicago

Socks For The Homeless $24

American-made Hippy Feet socks come in colorful holiday and travel inspired designs. These eco-friendly, recycled cotton socks are available for men and women in ankle, quarter and crew lengths.

When you shop Hippy Feet socks, you help provide jobs to young people aged 16-24 that are affected by homelessness. Since 2016, Minneapolis-based Benefit Corporation, Hippy Feet has provided transitional employment opportunities to over 120 young people affected by homelessness. 

Dosha mat is a gift to help relieve tension
Dosha Mat helps relieve stress and gives back to youth in need

Accupressure Mat for Youth Health $94.50

As you spend several hours of your workday in front of the screen, you may experience tension, soreness and body aches. This luxurious and eco friendly acupressure mat is based on the ancient Ayurvedic treatment. It works by massaging and stimulating key points on the body to promote deep relaxation and healing. In addition, Dosha Mats helps with sleep, stress, headaches, circulation, energy, and nervous and immune systems.

Each mat is carefully handmade using the highest-quality, hypoallergenic natural linen, a removable cushion made of 100% natural coconut fibre, and features more than 4,500 high-quality acupressure points in the beautiful shape of lotus flowers. Dosha Mat is a social enterprise that donates 15% of their profit to several non-profit organizations that work to provide exercise programs like yoga, to youth in need.

For when you can travel…

backpack give back to the environment
Day Owl Backpack is sustainably made from durable, recycled materials that create jobs around the world

Backpack for the Environment $149

The lightweight canvas Day Owl Backpack is the most responsible bag you will own and versatile for taking to school, airport, work and hikes. It is made ethically from First Mile waxed 100% recycled fabric, through traceable sourcing and fair working conditions. Each bag saves 25 bottles from landfills or oceans, 700 gallons of water, and avoids 1.2 lbs of pesticides (which is what is used in the production of a cotton bag).

Moreover, Day Owl supports quality jobs in the poorest parts of Haiti, Honduras, and Taiwan through its FirstMile program.

Gift Monos luggage to travelers
Monos focuses on minimalism, affordability and human connections

Terrazo Suitcase That Puts People Before Profits $335

Monos Suitcases are the most well-designed, affordable premium suitcase inspired by the Japanese concept of mono no aware – 
the profound appreciation of the beauty in fleeting moments. The bags are lightweight and unbreakable, made with aerospace grade material and vacuum-formed with German Makrolon polycarbonate.The extraordinarily resilient material absorbs energy from impacts and springs the case back to shape. Also, the interior lining is durable, waterproof, and anti-bacterial.

The Terrazzo collection is inspired by old Italian villas, 1920s Art Deco architecture, and modern designer spaces that have a similar design. The organic pattern and its stonelike, matte finish impart classic style, while rendering any scuffs virtually invisible.

Use code “EARLYBF2020” at checkout to save 35% on everything site wide during the early Black Friday sale.

Sustainable Snacking…

Steeped Coffee gives back to front line workers
Single use Steeped Coffee gives to frontline healthcare workers in California

Coffee That Gives To Front Line Workers $15

If you know someone who loves coffee, then you got to fill their stockings with California-based hand-roasted, ethically-sourced Steeped Coffee. The coffee comes in nitro-sealed single-serve bags (like tea) to ensure absolute freshness. And the package is made of compostable and renewable materials. All it takes to brew a perfect cup is hot water and a few minutes. At the end of the day, there are no wasteful plastic pods accumulating in waterways or landfills. Steeped is also great to take along when camping or traveling.

Steeped Coffee matches every gift your purchase, pack for pack, and delivers directly to frontline healthcare workers across California, as part of their “You Give, We Give” campaign.

Nunbelievable cookies give back to the hungry
For every cookie you buy, Nunbelievable donates a meal at a soup kitchen

Cookies That Feed The Hungry $29.99

Nunbelievable, a mission-based baked goods company, donates a meal for every cookie sold! Since they launched in October 2019, they have donated over 100,000 meals to partner soup kitchens across the country.  The GMO-free individually wrapped cookies are delicious and come in four flavors. Choose from Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin, and Double Chocolate Chip (Gluten Free), or get all four!

Send a 6 or 12 pack of Nunbelievable cookies to those you love this holiday season, and let them know you are thinking of them. Also, check out their meaningful corporate gifting program.

Self care…

Give the gift of Celestial silk pillowcases
Celestial Silk Gives 10% Back to Charity

Silk Pillowcases That Give Back $85

Mr & Mrs silk pillowcases make for a practical and luxurious gift to parents, in-laws or a special couple. Celestial Silk pillowcases not only keep your hair smooth and your skin moisturized, they also help you sleep better. Silk sheets are naturally hypoallergenic and are among the top bedding choice for asthmatics and allergy sufferers. All of their products are Oeko-Tek certified, which means no harmful chemicals ever touch the 25 momme pure mulberry silk. The pillowcases come in a gift-ready box with a card.

Celestial Silk donates 10% of all proceeds to charities such as EarthJustice. Further, they have donated more than three thousand silk pillowcases to chemotherapy patients and lower income women.

Read about the many benefits of silk.

Healing Crystal makes for a great gift
Healing Crystals necklaces give to children with respiratory diseases

Crystal Necklace For Respiratory Health $64.50

Many of us have faced stressful situations this year, including losing people we love, housing, income and health. Gift these folks a unique Healing Crystals necklace in amethyst, white jade, rose quartz or black obsidian. In addition to looking good, this necklace doubles as a Japanese mindful breathing tool which helps slow your breathing and calm your body and mind. Breathing into the crystal can reduce levels of stress and anxiety, increase positivity, improve concentration, improve posture, release toxins, and strengthen the immune system.

Healing Crystal Company is 100% female-run and has a “crystal karma” program whereby they donate 15% of their profits to non-profit organizations that work to provide healthcare to children with respiratory diseases in developing countries.

A bit of luxury…

Jazeera ring
Azeera’s conflict free gems donates to children’s organizations

Black Onyx Ring That Helps Kids $310

Create your own special ring with any combination of Amethyst, Citrine, Black Onyx, or Garnet. Inlay it in 14k rose, white, or yellow gold.

Azeera is a New York City based responsible online fine jewelry company specializing in customizing quality colored stones. Ethical miners and brokers provide conflict-free gems, which are then hand cut at a family-owned workshop in Jaipur, India. Azeera prides itself in creating fair standards and responsible working conditions for craftsmen in India. Additionally, they give back a portion of each sale to various children’s organizations.

Use code “goeatgive” to receive 25% off your custom made jewelry at Azeera.

Isabella Grace gives back to American Cancer Society
Proceeds from Isabella Grace Rose Gold Bead Necklace go to the American Cancer Society

Gold Bead Necklace for Breast Cancer Research $36

Consciously handmade Isabelle Grace Jewelry makes for a beautiful gift this holiday season. The brand donates 15% of the proceeds from their Breast Cancer Awareness collection to the American Cancer Society.  The elegant gold rose bead necklace supports those afflicted with cancer, as well as survivors of the disease. Also, check out their bracelets that feature inspirational sayings.  

Check out other great gift ideas…

Disclaimer: We accept product samples for review, but no remuneration for our opinions or proceeds from sales.

As an Amazon Associate, we also earn from qualifying purchases. All donations go to Go Eat Give, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Shop at smile.amazon.com. Make sure to add “Go Eat Give” as your preferred charity, so Amazon can donate for every dollar you spend.

Chocolate Alternatives That Are Good For You

Do you have a love and hate relationship with chocolate? You love the sweet indulgent taste of chocolate. It is satisfying in the moment. However, you’re allergic to sugar and dairy. Or do you feel the candy you eat is too addictive and doesn’t help you with your diet goals? Now, there’s good news! Whether you want to indulge in Halloween candy, gourmet chocolates, or bake your own sweet treats, these chocolate alternatives will satisfy your palate in a healthy way. Discover liquid, spreadable, gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free chocolates. Ethical, organic and sustainable chocolates are not just good for you, they are for the planet too.

gluten free chocolate truffles
Sweet Vegan dark chocolate truffles are handmade in New York.

Vegan Chocolate Truffles

New York based chocolatier – Sweet Vegan shows how delicious a truffle can be without using any dairy or other animal products. Sweet Vegan offers “Dreamy Bite”  truffles made with organic, sustainable and fair trade ingredients. Most importantly, the chocolate’s full flavor profile is so good, you will not miss the dairy! Get a gift box or order one of these delectable flavors – Luscious Lemon, Energizing Espresso, Spicy Ginger, or Midnight Passion. Moreover, Sweet Vegan is free of soy, gluten and nuts.

Flax Chocolate Brownies

Fresh and healthy brownies out of a packet? Sounds too good to be true, still these passed my taste test! With Flax4Life gluten, nut and dairy free baked goods, you’ll feel like you’re treating yourself to a decadent dessert, minus the guilt. Plus, you get the added bonus of all natural ingredients, and a healthy dose of Omega 3, fiber, lignans and no preservatives, no hydrogenated fat, no cholesterol and no trans fats. The Chocolate Brownie Mini Muffin has 689 mg of Omega 3, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein per serving and is loaded with rich, decadent chocolate. Now, thats a healthy dessert!

Hydrating Chocolate Water

If you are trying to give up carbs and sugars, drink more water, or have a healthier lifestyle, try Pure Inventions alternative – chocolate water. Sweetened naturally with low-glycemic lohan fruit and stevia extracts, Pure Inventions comes in liquid drops that are free of synthetic colors, flavors, sugar, calories, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and gluten. Add the Coconut Water Chocolate beverage to your water and sip through it on your working day. You will feel like you are at a luxury spa!

Chocolate Covered Crickets

A bug covered chocolate alternative sounds unconventional, even so the great flavor will change your mind. Bug Out Bar is a chocolate brownie bar made with cricket protein powder. Crickets are sustainable and nutrient-dense food, packed with protein and nutrients, making it a nutritional powerhouse.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Spread

Looking for an alternate to Nutella? Get rid of high sugar, artificially flavored spreads in your pantry and replace them with Broma. The almond dark chocolate spread is made with sustainably sourced dark chocolate, almonds, and a nutrient formula. Broma tastes different from sugar based spreads, but you will feel good about it afterward.

Chocolate Protein Powder

Now here’s an alternate to chocolate and protein powder. PBfit All-Natural Chocolate Peanut Butter Powder uses premium cocoa to give you the chocolate you crave and the protein you need. With less fat and calories than regular peanut butter, PBfit is great in smoothies, mixed into baked goods, added to cereals, or sprinkled on fresh fruit.

Dairy Free Chocolate Milk

Sometimes you can satisfy that chocolate craving with just a glass of milk. The dairy free Oatsome Chocolate Oat Milk from Oatsome will become your favorite milk alternative.  Try it straight out of a glass, warmed up like hot cocoa, or in your favorite smoothie. Serve hot or iced. Oatsome Chocolate tastes like the chocolate milk that you drank as a child, without the lactose.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. All proceeds go to Go Eat Give, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Shop at smile.amazon.com. Make sure to add “Go Eat Give” as your preferred charity, so Amazon can donate for every dollar you spend.

BetterBody Foods Recipes That Are Nutritious and Delicious

Like many others, I filled my quarantine time with baking goodies, making ice cream, and binge-watching all my streaming subscriptions. However, with school starting in a month, I’ve decided it’s finally time for me to start working out and eating healthy again. Luckily for me, summer is the best time to explore new recipes because many fruits and veggies are fresh and packed with flavor. However, while I am enjoying the best vitamins and nutrients from fresh produce, I also want to be mindful of the ingredients in staples like flour, sugar, oils, and more. By using organic, natural ingredients, I learned that I can make food taste great and still be good for the body.

BetterBody Foods

Online health food store, BetterBody Foods sent me some samples of their products to try, including their Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, Organic Coconut Flour, Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, and Organic Quinoa. The following contains my genuine experiences and opinions about the products.  

BetterBody Foods was founded by Stephen Richards who saw the devastating consequences of diabetes on his family. He wanted to make healthier food choices with “better for you” ingredients that he could share with his friends, family, and community.

I too wanted to explore how I can transform my everyday cooking into healthier alternatives with BetterBody Foods sustainable and organic products. By choosing to use natural and nutritious ingredients, I was able to still make great tasting food and meet my health goals. 

Breakfast: Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

I typically wake up hungry and ready to eat, so I decided to make a big breakfast of buttermilk blueberry pancakes. Using BetterBody Foods Organic Coconut Flour, Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, and Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, I was very curious as to how these ingredients would affect the taste and texture of the pancakes.

Healthy alternatives that can be a staple in any dish you make!

Pancake Ingredients

Even though the coconut flour created a thicker batter than normal, once cooked, the pancakes came out surprisingly fluffy. The coconut oil added a delicious coconutty flavor that was offset with plump and juicy blueberries I added. The pancakes also had a subtle dried coconut texture, so you know the coconut flour is made from natural ingredients. Finally, the coconut palm sugar has almost half the glycemic index as regular sugar – this means our bodies digest and absorb it more slowly which reduces our risk for diabetes and heart disease. These yummy pancakes are gluten-free and vegetarian friendly. Therefore, we can enjoy them guilt-free!

Crispy, fluffy pancakes that are guilt free too

Fluffy Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes Recipe

Ingredients:

  •  2/3 cup light coconut milk, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp BetterBody Foods Organic Coconut Flour, sifted
  •  2 Tbsp BetterBody Foods Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
  •  2/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  •  3 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp BetterBody Foods Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • BetterBody Foods Virgin Organic Coconut Oil for frying
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
betterbody foods

Steps 1 – 4

betterbody foods

Steps 5 – 6

Instructions:

  1. To make the buttermilk, mix the apple cider vinegar with the coconut milk and let it sit for a minimum of 5 minutes.
  2.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the sifted coconut flour, coconut palm sugar, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut buttermilk, eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Make sure your coconut oil is in a liquid state but still at room temperature. This is very important, otherwise your coconut oil will clump together!
  4. Mix the dry ingredients in small batches into the wet ingredients. Scrape down the sides and make sure that the coconut flour is thoroughly mixed in. The batter will be thick because of the coconut flour.
  5. Heat up your pan at a low/medium heat and add the coconut oil. Pour your batter in and slowly circle the pan to help spread the batter. Drop blueberries on top of the batter.
  6. Once bubbles form on the surface of the pancake, flip and continue to cook until they’re golden brown. Continue until you’ve used all the batter.
  7. Serve with fresh blueberries and maple syrup or honey.

Lunch: Crispy Korean Vegetable Pancakes (Hobak Jeon)

betterbody foods
Homemade Hobak Jeon using Betterbody Foods ingredients

Kimchi, Squash, and Zucchini Korean Pancake

For lunch, I tried my hand at Korean pancakes that I learned how to make from Chef Jiyeon of Heirloom Market BBQ. She partnered with Go Eat Give in a live cooking demonstration during lockdown. You can find the recipe and the recorded video on Go Eat Give’s Facebook page. My first attempt was not particularly successful – my pancakes weren’t crispy and they reeked of vegetable oil. I was on a mission to improve my Korean pancakes!

I knew I had to change my oil. So I replaced the generic vegetable oil with BetterBody Foods Avocado Oil because of its neutral flavor and health benefits. To create a very crispy texture, I had to use a LOT of oil. This makes it even more important to use an oil that is good for you. Since avocado oil is a monounsaturated fat, it can help reduce the bad cholesterol levels in your blood. Next, the oil must be very hot, since we’re pan frying the pancake to make it crispier. Another great benefit of avocado oil is that it has one of the highest smoke points at 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, I spread out the batter to make the pancake super thin – this allows the pancake to cook through without burning.

Making each of these changes, I was able to make perfectly crispy Korean pancakes.

Watch as Chef Jiyeon Lee teaches us how to make amazing Korean pancakes!

Dinner: Citrus Quinoa Salad 

betterbody foods
A easy yet healthy meal for anyone to make at home

Fresh Citrus Quinoa Salad

At the start of quarantine, my friends started an old school recipe exchange to inspire ideas for new dishes. Quinoa was a popular ingredient, likely because of its versatility and health benefits. One of the recipes I received was a fresh and healthy citrus quinoa salad, which I wanted to make for dinner.

Since BetterBody Foods Organic Quinoa includes 6g of protein and 11% of the daily value of fiber per serving, I could have a salad that was light yet filling. Here’s a salad recipe, that’s simple and customizable to your personal taste.

Citrus Quinoa Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup BetterBody Foods Organic Quinoa 
  • 3-4 cups of spring mix
  • 3 fresh mandarins, peeled
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Dressing:

  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed mandarin juice
  • 1/3 cup BetterBody Foods Avocado Oil
  • 2-3 tbsp BetterBody Foods Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Sea Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Thoroughly rinse the quinoa to remove any residual bitterness. Following BetterBody Foods instructions – combine the quinoa with 1 cup of water, bring it to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is absorbed. This will take approximately 15-20 minutes. Fluff and set it aside to cool.
  2. While the quinoa cooks, prepare the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a mason jar. Add the salt and black pepper to your taste. Close the jar and shake to mix the ingredients. Put the dressing in the fridge to cool while you prep the salad.
  3. In a large bowl, add the salad mix to the quinoa. Add the mandarins, pistachios, and feta cheese. Shake the dressing before pouring it over the salad. Add fresh salt and pepper to taste. Keep the salad and dressing separate if you don’t plan on eating the entire salad in one sitting.  

Final Thoughts 

Between diet and exercise, changing what we eat is most important to being healthier. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I never want to sacrifice the taste of my food. But with BetterBody Foods, I was able to make simple substitutions to improve the nutritious value of my meal while still keeping the delicious flavor. Try your hand at creating your own meals with BetterBody Foods or follow them on Instagram to see the fun and healthy recipes they’re cooking up. 

Go Eat Give Recipe Contest With Betterbody Foods

Are you interested in eating healthier and cooking more nutritiously? Go Eat Give is hosting a BetterBody Foods recipe contest from August 1-10, 2020. Tag #GoEatGive in your public Facebook story or post with a photo of a healthy dish you made for a chance to win the following BetterBody Food products:

PBfit Protein Peanut Butter Powder

Oatsome Organic Oat Milk

PBfit Protein Peanut Butter Spread

PBfit Protein Almond Butter Spread

Be sure to be on the lookout for our Facebook announcement of the start of the BetterBody Foods recipe contest! 

~By Melissa Ting, Marketing and Communications Intern at Go Eat Give. Melissa is an MBA student at Georgia Tech. She has a passion for discovering new foods and exploring new countries. 

Sustainable Father’s Day Gift Guide

Many malls and shops around the world are still closed, but that should not stop you from shopping for the special man in your life. This summer, shop for products online, that will make dad happy and help change the world! Here are some recommendations for Father’s Day gifts that give back to the community...

Vintage leather toilet bag is handmade and ethically sourced.

Toiletry Bag for Zambia $34.95

A 100% authentic Leather Toiletry Bag that comes in a vintage style, is timeless and useful for when dad is ready to travel again. Each wash kit varies in appearance to be as unique as your loved one. All Moonster products are handmade and ethically sourced. With every Moonster product purchased, a percentage of profits are donated to Tehila, a non-profit organization in Zambia that promotes the prevention of child cruelty.

Order the toiletry bag from Amazon and ship it directly to your dad this Father’s Day.

father's day gifts
Help your family and event planner in Florida.

Ultimate Care Package to Combat COVID-19 $48.50

Send dad a thoughtful care package for his Father’s Day gift, which contains all the essentials he needs to stay healthy and safe. PPE Gifts has created care packages of personal protective gear including a large bottle of hand sanitizer, flushable wipes, two pairs of safety glasses, and several pairs of gloves. Event Services Group (ESG) created PPE Gifts after the coronavirus pandemic completely shut down their event business in Florida. It helps keep their employees working, while also donating much-needed supplies to essential workers on the front lines of COVID-19.

Simply order online at PPEGifts.com and they will ship it directly to his door. Use code GOEATGIVE10 to receive 10% off your order.

For every pair purchased, a pair of socks is donated to charity.

Socks & Sock Subscription For The Homeless $57

Need to refresh your sock drawer regularly? Forget the boring black-white-brown socks and look at these fashionable designs! With a Society Socks subscription, dads will receive 2 new pairs of bold and expressive patterned socks each month. With every pair of socks purchased, another pair is donated to charity. Society Socks works with several charities to not only donate socks but to create a positive change through community involvement. Besides this, if you want something funny, that can instantly lift your dad’s mood and make him burst into laughter, then you can try customized socks. Webshops like MYFACESOCKS are known to sell funny face socks that can be personalized easily. Moreover, these products are known to be quite affordable, so if you want you can just purchase one in every color for your dad! Who knows, he might just wear that to his work also!

Anyway, if you choose the Society Socks subscription, then you can gift a pair ($6) or a 3-12 month socks subscription.

father's day gift
Demeter Cologne will transport to you to another country!

Nostalgia Inspired Cologne $36

For something unique, check out this travel and place inspired cologne from Demeter Fragrance Library. Through the limited edition Destination Collection, dads can travel to New Zealand’s fresh green outdoors, walk through the meadows of Ireland, or experience the vibrant nightlife of Cuba.

Demeter also sells fragrant hand sanitizers, and donates them back to the community. They have donated over $20,000 worth of their hand sanitizer to first responders in the Selinsgrove, PA area where they produce their line of fragrances.

Map Mug to Save the Trees $18-24

father's day gift
Color your own Trouvaille Global mug.

Dreaming of all the places you will go to? Color these USA or world map mugs to remind dad of the places you have visited together or would like to go in the future. Each set includes a mug along with a special green ceramic pen to color in. Make the ink permanent after baking it! Trouvaille Global sustainably produces the mugs in Europe. One of the charities they support is Tree Aid. Tree Aid prevents deforestation and promotes sustainable development by helping communities plant and protect trees. This helps them make their way out of poverty and protect the environment for now and for future generations.

Buy customizable map mugs on Uncommon Goods.

father's day gift
Leather wallet that keeps giving back!

Wallet for Charity $28

This trendy and company Fair Tribe men’s wallet is embossed with the world map and the phrase “miles to go” onto its sustainable leather. It is made with leather from sacred cows that die of natural causes and vegetable tanning methods, instead of chemicals. Each of their products has a story about the artisan who made it and this one comes from India! 1% of every sale is donated to one of 6 preselected, vetted non-profits of the customers’ choice, and the giving increases to 10% on Black Friday. Choose from charities that provide micro-loans, medical care, food security, environmental and wildlife protections. 

Check out the Fair Trade Artisan shop.

father's day gift
Sydney Duo Nausea Relief Bracelets

Blisslets For Good Health $29+

If your dad suffers from nausea or motion sickness due to flying, riding in the car, cruising, due to medication or even over-indulging during a Zoom happy hour, this is the right Father’s Day gift for him! Fashionable wrist bands called Blisslets discreetly trigger a pressure point on the wrist connected to the area of the brain that regulates feelings of nausea. “We designed Blisslets to be a product people would want to wear: one that worked, felt good, and looked good,” says founder and mom Katie Aparicio.”

Take 10% when you subscribe to My Blisslets newsletter.

father's day gift
Recycled sail cloth carries beverages in style.

Beverage Bags Made of Recycled Sails $75

For a picnic, golf day out, beach getaway or cookout, dad’s will love this gift. Marlin Beverage Bucket Bags from Sea Bags are stylish and durable for any occasion. There is a grommet in the bottom of the bag so the melted ice can drain, while beers, drinks and ice creams remain chilled. The durable bags, totes and accessories from Sea Bags are handmade from recycled sail cloth, in Portland, Maine. Through their unique recycling and upcycling efforts, Sea Bags has helped keep over 700 tons (and counting) of sail cloth material out of landfills.

Purchase on Sea Bags website.

father's day gift
10% of proceeds from sales of men’s masks go to #HealthyHappyFund

Handmade Masks $10

Masks are not a traditional Father’s Day gift, but an essential to go to work, grocery shopping or the airport! The triple-layered, 100% cotton reusable masks from ChicTweak, New York while also in fashionable prints and colors that men love. 10% from the profit of each purchase goes to a #HealthyHappyFund, which supports the Children’s Village and the International Rescue Committee.

Order your mask for a cause at ChickTweak.

Gifts That Give Back 2019: A Sustainable Shopping Guide

It’s that time of the year. Whether you like it or not, you have to give gifts to your loved ones, friends, and colleagues. Why not make it more meaningful and purchase something that also helps the community at large?

We have put together our list of Sustainable Gifts that are not only worth giving, but also give back to someone in need. Here are our top picks for Gifts that Give Back 2019:

Food For Thought Greeting Cards
Each Food for Thoughts greeting card gives a PB&J sandwich to the hungry.

Food For Thoughts Greeting Cards $22 (8-pack)

Instead of picking up a random holiday card from the drugstore, get a cute sandwich shaped Food for Thoughts Card that feeds the hungry. With the purchase of each card, the cash equivalent of one PB&J is donated to an organization that feeds the hungry, such as food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens. Besides holiday cards, they also have birthday, thank-you and new address cards. They make wonderful teacher and office gifts!

According to Feeding America, 1 in 8 Americans does not have access to enough food.

TLD Candles
Environment friendly candles that smell good too!

TLD Candles $25

Two Little Dumplings are not your ordinary candles. These are made in New York, using all-natural coconut soy wax, low smoke hemp/cotton wicks, essential oils and nontoxic adhesive. The products reduce CO2 emissions by using reusable containers and all-natural candle materials, and recyclable packaging. They are also long lasting and smell great! A portion of all proceeds go to NYC Material for the Arts.

Cat Praying Wood Sculpture
Handmade wood sculpture benefits handicraft worker in Bali.

Cat Praying Wood Sculpture $49.95

These meditating cat statues carved in wood is sure to make any animal lover smile. NOVICA empowers artists and provides them a platform have a broad reach. Browse for hundreds of handmade items from all over the world on their website or Amazon.com. We personally met with one of NOVICA’s 100-year old flute makers in Bali.

Every purchase is gift wrapped and comes with a handwritten postcard from the artist – in this case Nengah Sudarsana from Bali. He also says on the website, “Novica has created a much better life for me and my family. Before, I could hardly afford to live in a single room home. Now I live in a house with three rooms, and have my own car. Most importantly, I now support many other artisans who work with me.”

Society Socks, A Gift that Gives Back
For each pair of sock purchased, a pair is donated to charity.

Society Socks subscription $57 & above

Instead of stuffing the stocking with a pair of ordinary socks, why not create custom photo socks with your choice of picture, as who wouldn’t want a pair of socks that has the face of your loved ones on? Of course, this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so it’s a good job that you can gift someone a sock subscription, where they will receive two stylish pairs of cotton socks each month. For every pair sold, Society Socks donates a pair to charity. Chose from 3, 6 or 12 months subscription and include a hand written note in your gift. If you love the idea, you can also get them personalized or subscribe to yourself!

Socks are one of the most needed, but least donated clothing items in homeless shelters.

Wicked Dog Hoodie, A Gift that Gives Back
Proceeds support number of dog rescue programs throughout the US.

Wicked Dog Hoodie $60

Here is a cool gift for animal lovers. Wicked Dog Apparel is a Boston based clothing brand that brings together the love of Boston, dogs, and clothing, that includes t-shirts, hats, dog leashes, hoodies and more.

Wicked Dog Apparel sponsors a number of dog and animal related charities such as BarkHappy and International Doodle Day, as well as Christopher’s Haven‘s fashion show, and The Longest Day – 48 Peaks, a hike to fight Alzheimer’s. You can sport a nice look while reuniting lost and found dogs with their families, and saving abandoned, neglected, and abused dogs from high-kill shelters throughout the United States.

Lazy Sea Turtle Tee, A Gift that Gives Back
Proceeds from beachwear go to sea turtle conservation.

Lazy Turtle Save Our Shells Tee $38

Lazy Turtle’s hoodies, tanks and t-shirts make a great gift for someone who cares about oceans, sea life, and the environment, or to teach young ones about marine conservation. The Florida family-owned company sells sun-safe beachwear (SPF 50), proceeds of which go to the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC), the world’s oldest and most respected sea turtle conservation group. Get one each for mom, dad and the kids before heading out on your next beach vacation!

NOSOFA Club Scarf and Pocket Square
NYC Taxi themed scarf provides skill training in Michigan.

NOSOFA CLUB Scarf and Pocket Square $49

The city focused accessories make a fashion statement and perfect gift for a pair – newly weds, mom and dad, young couple! The NYC taxi cab scarf for women and pocket square for men is made of Poly Chamuese (that feels like silk) in a beautiful grey-yellow pattern. NOFOSA Club provides employment, life skills, and confidence to women and men at the St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center, located in Flint, Michigan. They teach people how to sew, giving them a professional skill as well as employment.

Fair Anita Earrings, A Gift that Gives Back


Earrings that empower women in Peru.

Fair Anita Earrings $16

Fair Anita employs 8,000 survivors of sexual/domestic violence around the world to create sustainable, fair trade jewelry, and accessories. Through this gift that gives back, the women employed at Fair Anita are paid 2-3 times more than the minimum wage, plus provided with health insurance and educational scholarships. Most items retail under $22 and are made from recycled materials, sourced locally from the communities where they are created. You can shop by country and learn about the artisans on Fair Anita’s website. However, feel free to browse hoop earrings elsewhere first before committing to a purchase!

Yowie Chocolate Covered Toys
Chocolate covered toys facilitate ecological conversations.

Yowie Chocolate Covered Toys $24.95

Yowie empowers kids and parents to make a difference in ecological conservation by eating one of their favorite things – chocolate! Every chocolate is shaped as a lovable Yowie character and comes with a limited-edition collectible animal. There’s a leaflet that features a picture of the real-life animal, its profile and level of endangerment, to encourage parents to start conversations about ecological conservation with their kids. Makes for delicious stocking stuffers and party favors. Available at retail stores, including Walmart.

Beato Goes To India Children's Books, A Gift that Gives Back
Children’s book that educates kids in Bali.

Beato Goes To Indonesia Children’s Book $14.95

This fun children’s picture book teaches kids about travel, diverse culture, and protecting the habitats of endangered animals, through the eyes of a traveling cat. Authored by Go Eat Give founder, Sucheta Rawal, the book is based on real-life characters and photographs. A portion of profits benefits Bali Children’s Project, a nonprofit that keeps kids off the street and gives them education (including books, uniforms, food, and tuition), so they have a better chance in life.

Go Eat Give takes travelers to Bali for culinary, yoga and volunteer journeys.

Charcoal Soaps, A Gift that Gives Back
Give a charcoal soap and one woman in Kenya or Tanzania will receive a new charcoal-efficient stove.

Apotheke Charcoal Soap +Candle Gift Set $45

This charcoal soap does not only prevent breakouts and keeps your skin hydrated, it supports women in Tanzania and Kenya who are running charcoal-efficient stove businesses. Cooking over open fires is one of the world’s leading killers in developing countries. This gift that gives back will help to ensure that each soap made helps to provide a woman in East Africa with a stove; and each candle provides a family with solar light.

Womens Beans Project Snack, A Gift that Gives Back
Snacks that employ incarcerated women.

Women’s Bean Project Snacks $5.75

Grab a Women’s Bean Project delicious and organic snack for all your coworkers. The project hires women with histories of incarceration, women who are ex-gang members or former addicts with multiple felonies, and puts them to work manufacturing gourmet food items. Assortment of sweet and spicy flavors include Greek Yogurt Covered Blueberries, Ginger Zing Trail Mix, Ginger Zing Trail Mix, Ginger Zing Trail Mix, Chili Spiced Mango, and Thai Curry Cashews.

Artisanal Foods, A Gift that Gives Back
Honey made products that save the bees.

Catskill Pollinator Artisanal Food Basket $70

Artisanal food products are always popular among coworkers, hostess gifts, and foodies. The New York-based farm-to-table food and spirits brand with honey at its core offers gift baskets filled with organic honey, maple syrup, waffle mix, chocolate honey truffles, and more. During the crafting of their New York Rye Whiskey, spent mash is given to local farmers three miles away to feed their pigs; and a percentage of every sale is donated to environmental causes devoted to saving bees and other pollinators including Friends of the Earth and The Sierra Club.

Heals Stress Reliever Kit
Relaxation kits prepared by single moms.

H.E.A.L’s Stress Reliever Kit $19.99

With family, shopping, cooking, and traveling, holidays can be a stressful time. Pamper someone during the holidays with H.E.A.L’s Sleepy Time Kit and H.E.A.L’s Stress Reliever Kit. Created by Dr. Harmony, the kits contain magnesium bath flakes, relaxation oils, and body lotions. It is the perfect way to say “thank you” to the chefs, caretakers, and party hosts, while also giving back. These two gifts contain handcrafted items by single moms, people with disabilities, homeschool families. H.E.A.L’s products are available through their website, Amazon.com, and in Walmart stores.

A Chef’s Review of Rotimatic – The Robotic Roti Maker

As you probably know by now, I am a food and travel writer and a chef. I have taught cooking classes across the US. I would say, I have perfected many cuisines, including Mexican, Spanish,  Italian, Moroccan, Indian, and more. However, one thing I have never been able to perfect is the quintessential “roti.” I can make a perfect French crepe, get a golden crust on an Italian crostata, and bake a mouth-watering banana nut cake from scratch. But I have yet to perfect making a roti!

I know this is sad, but what looks like a simple and easy recipe, takes years of perfection.

Whenever I visit my grandmother in my hometown of Chandigarh, I step back in the kitchen to observe our home chef churning out one soft and fluffy roti after another, within a matter of seconds. Often times, I’m inspired by her to get my hands dirty in the kitchen, but like a child who has learned to make cookie dough for the first time, I retreat messy and complacent with just being served at the table.

Back in the US, I satisfy myself with frozen parathas, whole wheat tortillas or rotis bought from the Indian store.

So when I heard about this new automatic roti maker that can make fresh, homemade rotis, without much effort, I was eager to learn more.

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Why not get help of a robot?

What is Roti?

Roti is a round flatbread made of wholemeal flour and water, native to the Indian subcontinent. It is also found in parts of Africa, the Caribbean and Asia, though it may be prepared slightly differently. Roti is also known as chapati or phulka and eaten as a staple with most Indian curries and vegetables. No Indian meal is complete without rice, roti or both!

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My first batch of Rotimatic rotis

If you frequent Indian restaurants, you may be familiar with its cousin – naan, which is actually quite different. Unlike roti, naan is typically made with processed flour, yeast or baking powder, and dairy (yogurt or milk), and baked in a clay oven known as tandoor. It has more calories than roti L

In Indian households, roti is proffered over naan, as its easier to make and healthier.

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This is what a Rotimatic looks like when in use

Using Rotimatic

Rotimatic is like a bread maker, but for rotis. It kneads the dough, rolls it out, bakes it and churns out fresh rotis – within minutes! The Singapore based company, Zimplistic sent me my very own Rotimatic to try out and these opinions are strictly my own.

At first glance, the box I received was bulky and huge. It was as big as a microwave oven, though I was expecting it to be more like a bread maker. Weighing 45 lbs., I needed the help of my husband to move the machine to the kitchen, which occupied a bit of counter space.

In order to get started with my robotic roti maker, the first thing I needed to do was download the app that goes with it. Now, the app doesn’t really control the machine, but talks to it. Mostly, it’s there for recipes, help and track how many rotis you made.

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Select preferences on the Rotimatic to get started

The Rotimatic comes ready to go and you don’t even have to wash it before its first use.

The second step is to fill the three canisters with ingredients – water, oil and flour. Turn the machine on and use the screen to make your selections. You will need to select what type of flour you are using (they strongly recommend Aashirvaad Select Whole Wheat Atta from India), what you want to make (roti, puri, pizza/ flatbread), the thickness you prefer (from 5 levels), how much roast you like on it (4 levels), and the quantity you want.

The first time you turn on the machine, it takes about 7-8 minutes to warm up. After that, each roti is made one at a time. The Rotimatic will take the required amount of ingredients to produce one roti roughly about every 2.5 minutes. The roti comes out hot and ready to eat.

Rotimatic is not any noisier then a blender or food processor. It does get pretty hot in front of the oven area, but it won’t cause burning if you happen to be there.

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Enjoying an Indian dinner with fresh rotis

The Taste Test

The first warning Rotimatic gives you to is “This is a learning machine. Your rotis will get better over time!” I guess like the face recognition software on the iPhone, the Rotimatic learns your preferences over time. Exactly how, this is not clear to me.

My first few rotis were actually quite good. They were perfectly round, consistently shaped and evenly cooked. I watched closely to see how the oven fluffed each roti like one would do at home. 

I tried a few different settings as well. My personal preference was thin and crispy, though even the thick ones were pretty good. I fried the thick ones in light oil to make it a paratha. I recommend wrapping the rotis in a cloth if you are not going to eat them right away.

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You still need to fry the pooris in hot oil

What else can you do with it?

You can also make poori (a type of fried bread) with the Rotimatic setting designed for it. Small round thin discs are spit out, which you still need to deep fry in hot oil to cook your poori. They are hard to make manually because you need to roll out the dough very thin. I thought these were delicious and a must at my next Diwali party! They also come out much faster than the rotis, so you can get a bigger batch ready to go into the fryer.

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Ragi roti served with kaya make for a delicious & healthy breakfast or snack

The app and website have a lot of recipes for desserts, sides and mains you can make using the Rotimatic, such as masala besan roti, chaat puri, puran poli, and more. You can also use masa harina flour for tortillas, amarnath flour for pasta, spelt flour for biscuits, and brown rice flour for rotis.

Rotimatic was first released in 2017, and since then the machine has improved. As the technology continue to evolve, more options will be released, such as making tortillas and wraps.

Switch out store bough bread for whole wheat roti for breakfast

Is it worth it?

My testimonial of the Rotimatic is that it makes practical sense for my family. Since we are only two people, we don’t want to labor to make only 4-5 pieces of roti for ourselves. On the Rotimatic, I can set how many rotis I want to eat at that time and it will make only that quantity.

Also, if different family members prefer different kinds of rotis (say I like a thin roti, my husband likes a poori), you don’t have to knead two different kinds of dough. The machine does it for you.

I often travel for work and my husband can use the Rotimatic on his own as well. When he returns from work, he turns on the machine, goes to freshen up, and when he returns, his dinner is ready!

My husband has dinner ready!

What about cleaning?

I once threw away my heavy-duty vegetable juicer only because cleaning all the different parts took more time and effort than it did to make the juice. With Rotimatic, I am happy to say the cleaning process is painless. The only thing you need to clean after each use is the kneading area. Wait for 30 minutes for the machine to cool down before opening the door, but make sure not to wait till the next day or the dough will solidify.

A handy brush comes with the equipment so you can simply dust off the flour.

The rest of the parts require cleaning at least every 2 weeks and it takes only 10 minutes.

Final Thoughts

The Upside

Rotimatic is super easy to use and directions are given for every step. Like a robot, it talks to you! My machine told me when flour was running low or there was an obstruction in the door.

It forces you to eat healthier. The main ingredient when using the Rotimatic is whole wheat flour, but you can also use other varieties such as gluten-free, almond flour, millet, etc. There are no preservatives or added sugars or salt used. Plus it is much cheaper the buying store bought rotis (in Atlanta, they cost $1-2 each). The machine also gives you a summary of how much time and calories you saved after each use!

I feel this is going to force me to experiment with other kinds of low-carb, high-fiber flours that I wasn’t comfortable with cooking before. This is especially useful for people with dietary restrictions, such as diabetes, celiac, or allergies towards certain grains.

Saving money, time and calories!

I like the fact that that the Rotimatic just doesn’t make rotis. You can also make homemade, healthy and delicious pasta, flatbread, tacos, wraps and more with it. Keep in mind, all will be the same size.

Did I mention it saves time? I turn on my Rotimatic when I start to make my main dish, like saag paneer, daal or chicken curry. By the time I am done cooking, my rotis are done too. Cooking rotis for only 1-2 people is more time consuming since it requires same amount of labor as if you were making a big batch. Using Rotimatic reduces your time in the kitchen. 

Actual size of Rotimatic

The Downside

At over $800, the Rotimatic is quite an investment for a kitchen gadget that can only make limited things. You have to think about how often you would use the product to justify the price.

Rotimatic occupies quite a bit of counter space and is not easy to move, so make sure you have a big enough kitchen where this machine can sit permanently.

Since the Rotimatic has only been out for 2 years, it’s long-term warranty and life is not yet know. As it is a high-tech machine, there are bound to be glitches. A few times, my screen alerted me that the dough was running low or the kneading rotator was stuck, but that wasn’t true. Couple of times the dough balls got left behind and didn’t make it to the second step.

Are you owner of a Rotimatic? What has been your experience with it? Please share with our readers in the comments section below.