No matter your creed, background, or beliefs, the holidays are an inspiring time of year. It’s a time for family, friends, and opportunities to give back. Why not give back to the earth while also supporting your community? As a Colorado solar company, Namasté Solar’s success would not have been possible without the local support we've received over the past 14 years. That's why we put together this list of local Colorado gift ideas. We want to spread the good cheer and highlight local companies committed to being environmentally friendly. While there are plenty of local businesses focused on making life greener, these are a few of the standouts we think you should consider. Because, baby, it’s global warming outside.
Eat, drink, and be mindful
During the holiday season, food and drink are the perfect ways to bring families and friends together. Consider the gift of dinner out or gift cards from these green-leaning establishments.
- Beer, especially craft beer, is a state staple so it’s exciting to see breweries commit to providing environmentally responsible beverages to Colorado. Companies like Upslope Brewing Co., Great Divide Brewing Co., Left Hand Brewing Co., Odell Brewing Co., and Bristol Brewing Co. are all Colorado sudsy establishments dedicated to environmentally friendly business practices. From using clean solar energy like Upslope, Odell, and Left Hand, to recycling water like Bristol, or diverting 99% of their landfill waste like Great Divide, the creative ways these breweries are getting in on sustainability is inspiring as well as delicious. (Bonus factoid: Upslope and New Belgium Brewing Co. were both previous Namasté Solar commercial projects.)
- Among local eateries, Ace Eat Serve, Mercury Café, Root Down, and Taste Local are excellent places to start or continue on your food sustainable journey. Restaurants like Ace Eat Serve, Root Down, and Mercury Café are utilizing clean wind power while others such as Taste Local compost all uneaten food for their garden and use recyclable and compostable materials.
Fast fashion, or inexpensive clothing made on a massive scale, has contributed to the fashion industry’s 10% of carbon emissions every year, according to Business Insider. It can be a challenge to find retail options that are eco-friendly, but here are a couple of places to start.
- Momentum is chock-full of ethical shopping options. Not only are they fair-trade and advocating against human trafficking, but they offer lots of eco-friendly merch as well. Here, you can purchase stocking stuffers and gifts like felt dryer balls, upcycled Kantha fabric and telephone wire, organic socks, recycled journals and iron lanterns, and sustainable leaf lamps.
- Icebox Knitting is all about educating their patrons about the power of intentional purchases. This means, instead of creating waste by purchasing a bunch of items you’ll never use, this outdoor-wear company wants shoppers to think about what and how they buy products. Ice Box not only upcycles materials for their wares, but they make sure to make their products long-lasting without the use of toxic materials. Their hats would make the perfect winter-time present.
- Omerica Organic is all about responsibly sourcing their products and giving back to the earth when they take something from it. This Colorado company has been making organic wood plugs and jewelry since 2004. To offset their use of wood, the Omerica team regularly plants trees, donates to tree-planting organizations, and harnesses the power of wind energy at their shop. According to its website, Omerica Organic is responsible for planting 15,131 trees.
Walking in an eco-friendly wonderland
While outdoor recreation is a great way to appreciate what Mother Nature has to offer, there are ways we could all do better to protect the earth, even when we’re enjoying it. Here are a few outdoorsy gift ideas from companies dedicated to making our adventures a little more one with nature.
- At Crescent Moon Snowshoes, the products are made with a lifetime guarantee. No throwing these snowshoes into a dumpster. The shoes are made from recyclable material and sourced from environmentally friendly suppliers and manufacturers. Even better? Crescent Moon’s shop is powered by wind energy.
- Folsom Custom Skis is aware that while they might never eliminate their carbon footprint completely, they’re doing their best to make sure it’s as small as possible. The team at Folsom worked to get to a point in their manufacturing process where they create as little waste as possible when making their skis. They use poplar, bamboo, and maple in their board cores instead of substances like foam. When the materials inevitably need to be retired, they recycle them to be repurposed, sometimes as furniture or sleds.
- In 2005, a couple of outdoor enthusiasts decided it was time to make a change to the outdoor retail industry. Thus, Green Guru was born. The team at Green Guru makes products like backpacks, hip packs, and pouches out of old adventure gear. They get their materials from recycling stations and use them to create some pretty unique bags. The colors alone pack an 80s-vibe punch.
Keeping it cool
Keeping our environment clean and respecting the earth is a great way to spend your holidays. Making a difference for the environment while supporting local businesses adds another layer of joy to gift giving this holiday season. Plus, if you’re looking for more gift ideas, be sure to read our Colorado B Corp gift guide, too. There are lots of ways to spread cheer these last few months of the year, and now, the information is at your fingertips.