Having trouble wrapping your head around what looks to be the warmest holiday season on record? Here at Fairfield Earth Day, we’re trying to have a low carbon footprint holiday and thought we’d share some of our favorite gift ideas to help you and loved ones live lightly throughout the year.
Know a nerdy science guy or gal? Why not give them a gift of the Universe? Membership to The Westport Astronomical Society’s Rolnick Observatory offers the chance to learn all about the night sky, meet and talk to top scientists and researchers, training on telescopes, special viewings of astronomical events such as comets and asteroids, star parties an amateur radio club and much more. You will also be supporting science in your local community. Memberships start at $25 for students. Add a copy of Philip’s The Urban Astronomy Guide: Stargazing from towns and suburbs by Robin Scagell to get the excitement started.
Encourage young things to grow with a gift from
The Hudson Valley Seed Library. They offer heirloom and open pollinated vegetable, herb and flower seeds. The seed packets are artist designed that you can recycle into something new- art for your wall, ornaments or crafts. Additional gifts include everything from seeds to fine art to garden tools. We like the Gourmet Green boxed seed collection for $19.05 or Sheryl Humphry’s Rainbow Chard fine art print. ($65)
Ho! Ho! Ho! No GMO’s! A gift Certificate from Sport Hill Farm, 596 Sport Hill Rd, Easton, CT is a great gift for the foodie in your life. “Summer in a jar” marinara/crushed tomato sauces make a wonderful gift. or they will customize a gift basket for anyone who has a hardcore locavore to please. Note: The Farm Market will be open only from Thursday, Dec. 17 – Sunday, Dec. 20th Hours are Thursday & Friday 9-6, Saturday 9-5, Sunday 11-5.
Those sounds emanating from your garage just might have something… Encourage that rock star or diva of yours by giving them a day in a real recording studio. Acoustic Refuge in Easton can accommodate a band or individual. They also provide backup and give lessons in guitar, base and drums. For more information contact them for rates & fees.
Ever think about what happens to those millions of paper coffee cups every morning? For those of us who would like to stop waste before it happens here’s a gift bound to please a caffeinatied co-worker or college student. Presse by Bobble is a 2-piece stainless steel coffee press that you take with you. Keeps your coffee warm for three hours. Very Eurochic. And stuff some stockings with the Bobble water filter bottle, which will help keep some of the estimated 200 billion per year consumed plastic water bottles out of circulation (where they end up you cannot imagine).
If you’re thinking of a big-ticket item for a special someone, why not try an Electronic Vehicle (EV) the ideal gift that keeps on giving. One of our sources swears by his Nissan Leaf, and says that the 2015 models are being given away for practically nothing, with leases in the $199 per month range… These cars are a no brainer for college students, if they remember to charge them… Shop it locally at Miller Nissan 930 Kings Highway East, Fairfield.
Give the gift of fitness and the added bonus of clean air with a bike from Zanes, Brick Walk, 1215 Post Rd, Fairfield. Or perhaps a nice alternative to our exponentially increasing local traffic? The Trek 2015 Electra Townie Go is an electric bike-perfect for Mom’s errands or trips to the beach. One four-hour charge will take you thirty miles. And remember, when you run out of battery, you can always peddle.
Aaah. The gift of inner peace – so often elusive. Yoga for Everybody, , 27 Unquowa Rd., Fairfield, has an introductory special rate offer of $30 for 30 days where you can try out their classes- every day. They also have classes like Yoga for Middle School Girls, or treat the whole family with Winter Break Family Yoga. It’ll get the kids away from the screen for a while.
It was the first of the three R’s, (and we don’t mean ReGifting) which made us think about gently used items with lots of pizazz – they can make unusual gifts. We looked first at The Fairfield Women’s Exchange, 332 Pequot Ave. Southport, where we found mittens crafted out of old sweaters from Goodwill by a local artisan. Their selection of children’s clothing is charming, and the back room houses an interesting array of antiques, such as a huge tin and copper lantern, a charming oversized cup and saucer with a hunting scene, and beautiful glassware. This shop, run by volunteers, is about community and giving back. One hundred percent of purchase price of non-consigned items will support local charities.
Speaking of Goodwill, 1700 Post Road East, Westport, you will have ours if you help slow down the seemingly endless cycle of manufacturing, buying and throwing away. My kids have been touting the benefits (to the environment and their pocketbooks) of secondhand shopping for years. At the Westport Goodwill store you can find anything from Trek bicycles to old turntables (very trending now) and LPs. Wouldn’t your cousin love a designer handbag? How about a Mad Men era outfit of cashmere sweater and pencil skirt? There are household items from vintage china to Christmas themed cookie jars.
Yar! Got a restless pirate in your house? Give a Community Sailing Membership from Fairfield Parks & Recreation. A household membership provides access to 18’ daysailers, and two and one man kayaks. And you sail out of beautiful Pequot Yacht Club in Southport Harbor. Anyone in your household who passes the qualifications can
reserve for two hours each week during the season. Prices start at $250 for a kayak membership. There is also a 10% discount for seniors. Lessons are available as well.
Encourage a budding naturalist with an Ambassador Bird sponsorship at the CT Audubon, 2325 Burr St, Fairfield. Choose from an owl, hawk or falcon. You can visit your bird throughout the year and learn about these magnificent creatures. Another gift that keeps on giving is a membership to the CT Audubon Society. Membership offers access to sanctuaries throughout the state, plus discounts on eco-travel, educational programs and social events. Why not tuck that gift membership into a pair of bird themed socks from their Nature Store at 2325 Burr St., Fairfield. They’ll love it!
Give the gift that they will cherish after Holiday stress time is over. Elements Massage, 2173 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield, has highest rated massage in the industry and provides a Wellness program to ensure you are stress-free the whole year.
And our personal favorite: a giving tree. (But aren’t they all?) Know another nature lover? Surprise them by honoring them with the gift of a Commemorative Tree planted in their name. The town of Fairfield will work with you to choose an appropriate tree and plant in spring. You and the recipient can watch it grow together. To arrange for a tree, contact Jeffrey Minder, Tree Warden at 203-256-3178.