A handsome piece, French corkscrew, 2Careful Peach Boutique

It’s the holiday season! Gift-giving time is upon us, and there is a major shift taking place around the world. We are moving towards becoming more responsible as consumers, knowing that by buying eco-friendly, organic, fair-trade and handmade items we are making decisions that greatly impact not just our earth, but the well-being of our families and loved ones as well. We are also aware that buying products sold locally keeps our neighborhood economy strong. Our dollars are indeed a force for change.

With this in mind, I scoured the independent shops of Oak Park, Forest Park and River Forest, as well as Riverside and Brookfield, seeking out smart, stylish, and sustainable products to present to you in this gift guide. What I found were uncommon and extraordinary gifts to enchant your loved ones and thoroughly satiate your green appetite: low-impact gifts with a high-impact punch when it comes to thoughtfulness, uniqueness, quality, and, of course, kindness to the environment. But gifts with traits like these don’t necessarily have to be expensive. In fact, several will surprise you.

Whether you are looking for an unconventionally simple gift for him or perhaps a shimmering bauble for her, these sweet indulgences are guilt-free when it comes to the earth. A charming one-of-a-kind ring (welded from antique French flatware), a nature-friendly flashlight (made of beech wood, housing an energy efficient LED light bulb), or rockstar worthy gifts for the bibliophile (Mark Twain, anyone?), here are just some of the possibilities.

This holiday season, it is our hope that we, as participants and patrons, will all come together in support of the local businesses that mean so much to our communities and help our neighborhoods thrive. We hope shoppers will be seduced by clever designs, enticed by quality craftsmanship, and excited by all that our independent neighborhood retailers have to offer. I hope you enjoy this inspired selection of fine and fabulous gift ideas.

In peace,

Christina Pippin

Gift Guide – 2010

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