Gifts For One And All

by Dennis Machicao

rogerimp flickr/CC license

Gifts For One And All

It’s that time of year again when the New York International Gift Fair showcases companies that have next seasons gifts on display. Taking every inch of exhibit space at the cavernous New York Javits Convention Center and spilling over into the Hudson River Piers, you will find merchandise for everyone’s taste and pocketbook.

In visiting the show, I was curious to see how many companies had merchandise that was sustainable, fair trade and green. To my delight there were quite a few.  This is only a small partial list of the numerous products and companies that fit those criterias.

To start, one company that had a product that would benefit the whole family and would be especially interesting and learning experience for kids is Back to the Roots. This company offered a kit from which you can grow your own gourmet oyster mushroom garden. Everything comes in a box that you just punched out a front panel, add water and just watch the mushrooms grow.  As you harvest them, more will grow.  It gives you fresh food and is sustainable. And the most interesting part of it is that the mushrooms grow in recycled coffee grounds, eliminating waste and put to good use to grow food. They say you can grow ups to 1.5 lbs of pear oyster mushrooms. What fun for the whole family. Go to to get the whole story and get started with your gourmet mushroom farm.

Another product that is interesting for not only kids and back to school but for anyone that uses a pen in this electronic era is Eco Pen from a company called Acme Studio, Inc.  This company has a wide variety of writing instruments and one of their lines is Eco Pen that has pens made of cornstarch plastic and are 100% biodegradable. According to the company, when disposed of properly, they will break down in approximately one year. Go to to get more information.

If you want to pass the time away but still know what time it is get The Bedol Water Clock. This clock needs no batteries to run but rather runs on water.  According to the company, the clock uses ions from ordinary water to create clean energy. They say to fill the clock with water and depending on the composition of your water, after 6 months to a year, replace with fresh water and you’ll be on time for all your appointments and will wake you up at the time you set it too. What more renewable resource than water. Go to to get yours.

If mom needs beautiful wooden bowls, cutting boards, and wooden utensils a company called Bambu will satisfy your every need in this category. A company that is a Green America Approved Business and was granted their Gold Seal of Approval has a whole line of products made from renewable bamboo, cork, coconut, cotton and soy.  Their business philosophy incorporates the highest ideals for a greener planet with products that are of sustainable materials and fair trade practices. To see their beautiful collection, go to

And finally for dad. There was an interesting company, Perma Brands Corp that had a line of shaving products, brushes and razors. One brand that they carried is Razorpit that believe it or not, will sharpen disposable razor blades making them, well, not so disposable. The company states that Razorpit of Danish designed uses friction against a patented silicone surface to remove fine residue of oil, hair, skin and soap that makes razor blades feel dull. According to them, you can use the same blade for up to 150 shaves. This certainly reduces the frequent disposal of blades and their costly replacement. Go to to see where you can get one.

Well there you have it, gifts for every member of the family that are sustainable, recyclable and green to the environment. This of course is just a small sampling of the many companies that have eco friendly products. And fortunately each year there are more and more companies that follow the business philosophy. So happy holi

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