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November 2019

12 Days of "Green" Christmas

By Bre Mirynech

Here in the Rockies, we’re dreaming of a green Christmas! No, we don’t mean one without snow (we’re definitely wishing for the opposite). By green Christmas, we mean one in which we can all be sustainable and eco-friendly during the holiday season. Choosing gifts wisely, cutting back on waste, all of the little things that add up and can help make this time of year a little easier on the environment.

Consumerism, plastic packaging, gift wrap, bows, all of it. Christmas, although such a magical time of the year, can be a hard time of year when it comes to waste and the mass purchasing of so many goods. If you’re shopping for the outdoor enthusiast in your life this year, we wanted to make it easier for you to choose gifts that are sustainable, re-usable, recycled, or from brands that are supporting various environmental and social initiatives.

As avid adventurers who love to play outdoors, we recognize the importance of choosing products that also help support the protection of the world we play in. So, read along to see our guide to twelve days of easy, green Christmas gifts for the outdoor adventurer in your life this holiday season!

1) KEEN Revel III

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: warm, stink-free feet! That might sound like an impossible dream to any hiker, but thanks to the new Keen Revel III’s, your toes will be toasty and you can keep those feet smelling fresh. With two types of insulation to keep the cold out, the hiker in your life (and their toes) will thank you when they hit the trails this winter.

KEEN believes every product has an impact on the environment, so they are on a mission to lighten it. The Revel III’s contain Eco-Anti Odour. Keen decided to use natural properties to help cut the smell, so these boots have insoles infused with probiotic technology to naturally break down odour in sweat without using heavy metals or hazardous chemicals.

A small step you can make towards keeping your Christmas green is purchasing products from brands that are working towards sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. We understand not everyone is perfect, so let’s try to support the brands that are trying their best to be.

2) Patagonia Shell Yeah! Shell

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: a recycled, waterproof shell! For the skier in your life, give the gift of beating the elements with a jacket from Patagonia’s new Shell Yeah! Collection. Built for the deep snow, unpredictable weather, and built to handle it all, these jackets are not just great for your adventures, but for the environment too.

The new Shell Yeah! Collection is made out of recycled materials and is Fair Trade Certified™ sewn. Using recycled fabrics decreases the dependence on petroleum and keeps used materials out of the landfills.

Patagonia also choose to pay a premium to have their waterproof shells Fair-trade Certified™ sewn. The extra money from this premium goes directly to the people making the jackets. Reduce, reuse, and recycle this Christmas with the Men’s Powslayer Jacket and the Women’s UnTracked Jacket.

3) Lifestraw Bottle

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me: clean water anywhere! If there’s a staple item you need no matter what the adventure, it’s water. Keeping hydrated is necessary to keep your body going.

With the Lifestraw Go water bottle you can drink water absolutely anywhere. It has a 2-stage water filter system that protects against bacteria, parasites, and micro-plastics while reducing chemicals like chlorine and improving the taste of your water. It’s leak-proof, BPA free, and is made to endure harsh environments and conditions.

When you purchase a Lifestraw product, you are supporting many different and amazing initiatives. For every purchase, a child in need will receive water for an entire year. Lifestraw also does humanitarian work, creating products to serve the developing world. They are currently working to eradicate guinea worm with their Lifestraw Guinea Worm Filters, and they support special initiatives for women and girls like their recently built maternity ward in Kenya.

Clean water for you, clean water for a child in need, and money going directly to services for those who need it most. With the gift of a Lifestraw Go Bottle, you’ll also be giving so much more.

4) Cabin Pom Beanie

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: warm ears and ten trees! Here in the Rockies (ok…in all of Canada), we pretty much wear toques all year round. So, why not give the gift of a year round necessity. With the Tentree Cabin Pom Beanie, you get a classic toque style and warmth that will get you through the coldest days. By giving the gift of
this beanie, you not only gift them a hat but ten trees as well. For every item purchased, Tentree will plant ten trees! They have planted over 30 million trees to date, and their products are made from sustainable materials as well.

Give back to the environment this Christmas by choosing a gift from a company that is working hard to protect and preserve the world we live in and adventure in. One hat equals 11 gifts to the one you love and to the environment as well.

5) Destination Kitchen Set

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: a backcountry kitchen! Whether this gift is for a front-country camping lover or an off-the-grid backcountry camper, they will love having these kitchen luxuries. This 24-piece Destination Kitchen Set from GSI Outdoors includes four cutlery sets, a folding spatula and serving spoon, a cutting board, utility knife, spice shakers, and soft-sided condiment containers. All of this comes contained in a nylon case, weighing just under 2 pounds!

GSI Outdoors partners with and supports organizations that work to create a better Earth. They give back by helping foster environmental stewardship, sustainable water projects, and supporting a love of the outdoors in children who may not be able to access the outdoor world as easily. When creating their products, they use as many recycled, recyclable, and environmental friendly materials as possible. Many of their products also promote and aid in the Leave No Trace principles.

Give the luxury of being able to cook a delicious meal anywhere your adventurer may find themselves this year. By choosing this product, you promote a reusable product and support many different environmental and social responsibility initiatives in the process.

6) Nomad Nutrition Meals

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: delicious backpacking meals! Maybe the person you’re shopping for isn’t necessarily a gourmet cook. Luckily with Nomad Nutrition meals, you don’t compromise on the quality of your meal and all you need to do is add water!

With several different meals to choose from, these meals are designed to meet the nutritional needs of outdoor adventurers and athletes. These meals are plant based (yes, you can pronounce all of the ingredients), and they are designed to be filling without compromising on nutrition, taste, health, or the environment.

Nomad Nutrition started in the mountains in British Columbia and promotes a healthy, organic lifestyle even when you’re in the middle of nowhere. They are crafted and locally made in small batches from scratch, using whole, organic, and local ingredients. This company is always working to become more sustainable in order to protect the places we all love to play in.

Support locally sourced, plant-based meals that require a much smaller footprint. With wholesome, delicious meals that can be made anywhere, the adventurer in your life will be happy and full on their next adventure.

7) HydroFlask Lunch Tote

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me: a reusable lunch tote! Chances are the adventurer in your life really enjoys food. I mean, being active gives you a good appetite! For this Christmas, give them the gift a reusable lunch tote from HydroFlask. This 8L lunch tote is insulated to keep food chilled for 4+ hours. It is waterproof, durable, and easy to clean thanks to its fully lined interior. It has water-resistant zippers as well to keep the moisture out.

Your money from this purchase goes to helping HydroFlask support non-profit organizations that focus on building, maintaining, restoring, and providing better access to parks. Since 2017, they have supported 63 non-profits, donated over $800,000 and donated over 17,000 bottles.

Skip the plastic bag lunches this Christmas with a reusable tote that will help the person in your life who’s on-the-go and with a sustainable, plastic-free lunch.

8) Pocket Wilderness Wash

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: backcountry hygiene! We all love adventure, we don’t mind getting dirty, but it’s important to keep yourself and your gear clean, especially on those long backpacking trips.

Sea To Summit Pocket Wilderness Wash is an all-in-one washing product. It has 50 soap leaves in a package and is safe and great to use on your body, clothes, and dishes. Just simply put a leaf or two in your hand or bowl and mix with water! It is biodegradable and phosphate, paraben, and fragrance-free.

Pocket Wilderness Wash is gentle on the environment, which means you can use it in many places. Since it has soap leaves instead of liquid soap as well, you save a huge amount of weight in your pack. The backpacker in your life will love this eco-friendly addition to their stocking or gift this year.

9) Watuko Headgear

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: bamboo headgear! Neck warmer, buff, multifunction headgear. Whatever you call it, you know it’s a huge necessity in the outdoor lover’s pack. Thanks to its versatile functions, these products can be used for many different needs.

Watuko's multifunction headgear is made out of bamboo. This product is incredibly soft, provides natural breathability, and absorbs moisture easily. This gift is easy to pick out, as one size fits all! It’s wind resistant and provides natural anti-bacterial properties. By choosing bamboo as the material in their products, Watuko is focusing on sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Bamboo requires no fertilizers, pesticides, or irrigation in order to grow. Bamboo is also self regenerating, grows faster than all other grass, and it produces more oxygen than trees of similar size.

Neck warmer, hat, headband, oh my! This product serves many different uses making it a great gift for the outdoor enthusiast this year. It’s long-lasting, sustainable material also helps to keep your purchase a green one.

10) Sunski Sunglasses

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: sustainable shades! Eye protection is incredibly important for people who spend time outside. Whether it’s that mid-summer sunshine on a hike or glare from the snow while snowshoeing, keeping your eyes safe and protected is critical.

Sunski is committed to making a positive impact on the planet. They understand the importance of sunglasses, so they work to make their product a sustainable choice. Their sunglass frames are super light, strong, and most importantly, recycled! The materials are locally sourced straight from a landfill. They do not use plastic packaging for their products either, and they are part of 1% for the planet. These sunglasses are backed by a lifetime warranty, keeping sunglasses out of the garbage by fixing them instead.

With stylish sunglasses in all different colours and frames, this is the perfect choice this Christmas for someone who spends a lot of time outside. Not only are you choosing great eye protection, but you are being sustainable and eco-friendly!

11) Goal Zero

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me: portable power! There’s no doubt that our lives rely on power. From the lights in our house to the phone we use everyday, we constantly rely on power to keep us connected. Our phones come with us everywhere. When we adventure into the backcountry, this poses a problem as people want to keep their devices charged. Thanks to the Goal Zero Nomad 14 Plus Solar Panel, you can have power on the go during your lengthy backcountry trips!

This solar panel gives you the ability to charge all of your USB devices directly from the sun. Leave it in the sun at your campsite or hang it on your pack, this solar panel works anywhere and has an LED indicator to show you the strength of your solar conditions.

Goal Zero’s mission is to empower people with a bright, safe, connected, and sustainable future. They want to put reliable power into every human hand on this earth. Pretty incredible, right? If your outdoor enthusiast wants to stay connected on trips, give them gift of power anywhere they go. This environmentally friendly source of power is perfect for long days (or weeks) adventuring, keeping you connected to the devices you need.

12) Yeti Rambler Bottle

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: warm or cold drinks anywhere you go! If the adventurer in your life likes getting outdoors 365 days a year, then this is the gift they need. The Yeti Rambler Bottle is 36 oz and is designed for life in the wild. Whether the adventure takes you in the scorching hot desert or scaling waterfalls in the dead of winter, this bottle will keep your drinks either icy cold or toasty warm. With many different colours to choose from, you can pick the colour the perfect colour to suit any style.

Yeti products are designed for the serious outdoor enthusiast. It can handle all of the conditions you will put it through. Although here in the Rockies people are much better at not using plastic bottles, this is still quite an issue in many areas of the world. Having a reusable option like the Yeti Rambler is the perfect way to eliminate your waste and go plastic-free. So, ditch the plastic bottles for good this year and give your special someone this reusable and practical gift this Christmas season.

We sure aren’t perfect when it comes to being green and we definitely aren’t asking you to be. However, this holiday season we are encouraging you to be mindful of the products you buy.

Choosing gifts that are sustainable, eco-friendly, recycled, or re-usable are any easy way to lessen your environmental impact. Choosing brands that are focused on their green initiatives and giving back is a great way to make sure your money is making a positive environmental and social impact as well. Like we said, we don’t all need to be perfect. However, having many people making small steps towards lessening their impact sure adds up to make a big difference.

Like the Dalai Lama said, “if you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito”. If all of us together make small choices to be mindful with what we purchase during the holidays, just imagine the big impact we can make together. So, this Christmas, let’s all work together to make it a green one!