Author: Sean Carruthers
Tagline: Christmas in July? Here’s a Karma gift guide from 2014
Disclaimer: This is an article from the Chronicle’s archives (from 2014), as such, the co-op’s product selection has changed over the years. As a result, this article shouldn’t be seen as a representation of the co-op’s current product offerings.
Has your holiday shopping stalled? Don’t panic. We toured the aisles of your friendly neighbourhood co-op to help you find gifts for everyone on your list.
Lunch time at work or school can mean a whole parade of expensive meals and throw-away takeout containers. Instead, consider one of Klean Kanteen’s vacuum-sealed stainless steel food containers, so your loved ones can pack a home-cooked meal. It’s economically sensible and ecologically friendly. The Klean Kanteen food canisters keep food hot (or cool) for hours, and they’re also good for day trips, hikes, or picnics. And Klean Kanteen has a full lineup of stainless steel water bottles, too!
Beeswax candles are always a good idea, producing negative ions and cleaning the air, all without the harmful chemical pollutants released by typical paraffin candles. This goes double through the holiday season, when many a candle is lit in celebration or commemoration. In addition to the usual pillars, stick, and tealights, you can also get beeswax candles in seasonal shapes like pine cones or Christmas trees.
Speaking of beeswax, Toronto Honeys has a new lip balm made with fair trade cocoa butter and beeswax taken from hives in and around Toronto. Even better, it’s produced by two Karma members. Nearly everyone gets chapped lips at some point during the winter, so this would be a great stocking stuffer for anyone on your list.
Q: Chocolate? A: YES, PLEASE. Fair trade chocolate is always a big favourite during the holidays, and thankfully Karma has a whole wall to choose from. My personal favourite these days is the dark chocolate variety made with 72 per cent cocoa from Montreal’s Galerie au Chocolat (the brown cardboard packaging may be basic, but the taste certainly isn’t). There’s also a great assortment of stocking-size bars from B.C.’s Denman Island Chocolate and a selection of vegan options from Orangeville’s Giddy Yoyo. If you’re not sure which to choose, just get them all, because … chocolate!
Wild and woolly
If your gift recipient is more practical in nature, never fear. Everyone wants their clothing to come out of the dryer soft and static-free, but sometimes the options are dubious: ye olde dryer sheets can spread a layer of toxic stink onto your clothes, and those spiky dryer balls can actually damage fabric. In our house, we’ve become really fond of Moss Creek’s dryer balls (made of 100 per cent merino wool). You get three dryer balls per box, which comes with an adorable sheep on the label.
Also on the practical side is Bunchafarmers’ stain remover stick, which is all-natural, biodegradable, and made right here in southern Ontario. Just rub the stick straight onto stains caused by grass, grease, ketchup, wine, ink, etc., and then wash as usual. (Stubborn or long-standing stains may require multiple treatments or a bit of manual scrubbing, of course.)
If you’re looking for a gift that’s a bit more unique, how about recycled beer? Okay, not the beer itself, but the bottle it came in: Ontario’s Artech Glass Blowing Studios use heat to recraft old bottles into glassware that can still hold an entire bottle of beer. They’re all done by hand, so each new glass has some character to it . . . much like the type of person for whom you’d get this as a gift, no doubt!
If you’re just not sure . . .
Still can’t decide? There’s always a Karma gift certificate. They’re available in any denomination and can even be used by non-members. Why not share your love for Karma by treating a friend?