Green Up Your Act
When it comes to throwing parties and giving gifts, being eco-conscious is easier than you think.
By Sara Bliss
1. SLOAN RANGER
We’re slipping Sloan Barnett’s life-changing book Green Goes with Everything: Simple Steps to a Healthier Life and a Cleaner Planet (Atria) into everyone’s stocking this year. Barnett provides fact-filled motivation for greening every aspect of your life, from lipstick (it may contain lead, a known neurotoxin) to floor cleaner (the government does not require most chemicals to be listed on cleaning products, and the majority have never been safety-tested). Barnett goes a bit overboard in her love for Shaklee, her husband’s company, but does a great job of highlighting toxic substances to avoid while providing simple eco-alternatives. Available at bookstores citywide.
2. A COMPLETE ECO TRIP
Want to give only green this season? Two online retailers make it effortless with eco-chic gift baskets for each person on your list. For everyone from the gourmand to the golfer, Fresh Unlimited offers an array of luxe organic and free-trade greentheme baskets. Visit freshunlimited.com.
And holistic health counselor and nutritionist Randi Luckman’s Health Gifts features gift baskets filled with herbal remedies, organic teas, antioxidant-boosting sweets and snacks, and ultrapure balms and lotions. Visit healthgifts.com.
3. TREE HUGGER
Planting a tree is the ultimate gift for that ecoconscious friend (and the environment, too). So contribute to Million Trees NYC—the city’s bold initiative to plant a million new trees by 2017. For a $100 donation, the group will plant a sapling in one of the five boroughs. Up your gift to $1,250 and they’ll plant a flowering tree in a community garden and include a personalized plaque. Visit milliontreesnyc.org.
For a more international arboreal outreach, just $30 to Oxfam will put 50 young, often fruit-bearing trees in the ground in countries like China and Ethiopia. Or, for $500, Oxfam will plant a forest, or 1,000 trees. Sure beats a scarf. Oxfam, 800-850-7608; oxfamamericaunwrapped.com.
When you’re not sipping cocktails made with organic alcohol and freshly squeezed juice at Greenhouse, Manhattan’s first eco-friendly nightclub, you can be getting down to Kanye on sustainable bamboo floors beneath ultra-energysaving LED lights. The just-opened Soho hot spot also boasts green fabrics, recycled-glass cocktail tables, and low-flow loos. So while you may still have a raging hangover and multiple blisters the next morning, at least you did right by the planet. Greenhouse, 150 Varick Street, 212-807-7000.
photograph by Gustavo Campos (STARK)
Cover shoot: May/June 2014 issue of Gotham magazine.