Green Gift Guide for 2011

Buying a present for a man is always hard – either he doesn’t need it, doesn’t use it or won’t wear it. Besides the fact that the really cool presents (like the latest gadget or sporting equipment) usually cost an arm and a leg, one is always left to wonder if they really appreciate it – because when it comes to guys, if they genuinely wanted something, they would’ve bought it already.

After scouring the internet for the latest eco-friendly gifts for guys, we’ve come up with a list of some pretty neat stuff for each type of man:

The Pet Guy: If your man is an animal lover (but you definitely don’t want more dogs in the house), consider “adopting” an animal at the zoo as a Christmas present. The Johannesburg Zoo, for example, offers different adoption packages – all you have to do is pick your animal and fill out the adoption papers. The Pretoria Zoo, on the other hand, offers an animal adoption package that includes free entrance – so you can visit your animal all year round. In Somerset West, the Monkey Town Primate Centre also has an “adopt a monkey” program, which could be the perfect sustainable gift idea. If you’re not a big fan of adopting an animal, you could always buy a couple of interesting animal documentaries.

The Artist: If you are looking for a present for an artist or designer – you probably already know that you’ve got your work cut out for you. A sustainable option is to do some serious antique store hunting. Melville, for example, has a number of quaint shops where you will find anything from paintings and floral vases to vinyl records, antique wooden book cases and ancient wine racks. Another great eco-friendly idea for designers and artists is hand-made sculptures and art. This Double Tree of Life Wall Sculpture , for example, is made by Haitian artisans who flatten large oil drums and bend the pieces of metal into intricate sculptures with a hand chisel and hammer. No electricity is used during the process and each sculpture is signed by the artist. A natural bamboo screen is another “homey” option – these screens are an elegant and flexible way to “add” extra rooms to your home (or to simply keep your washing machine out of sight when you have guests).

The outdoorsy guy: A lot of people already have those Robocop-like head lamps (that get used at braai’s and camping trips), but how cool is a solar-powered baseball cap with a LED lamp? This solar cap from 2C Solar Light has a flexible solar panel on top of the cap’s brim (so you should wear it during the day when it’s sunny) and two LED lights underneath the brim. This is a great way to ditch the batteries during camping trips. Another idea for an outdoorsy person who’s into cycling is booking a CRM Body Scan. Cycling experts agree that “bike fit” is the most important variable in selecting or perfecting your riding experience – if your man is a mountain biker, consider booking a “bike fit” appointment where CMR Body Scanning equipment is used to measure the different dimensions of a cyclists’ body. These dimensions are then processed to calculate the correct ergonomic set up for your new or existing bicycle. This “bike fit” session costs just under R400 at Cajees Cycle Corner in Gauteng.

The Health Nut: Buy a Light Air Ion Flow Air Purifier – this award winning, silent device removes the smallest pollution particles that are most harmful to our health: bacteria, smoke, mould, dust, pollen and fungus spores. According to research, mould particles in the air are reduced by over 90% within three hours, making it an extremely effective device. If your man is into yoga, order a recyclable yoga mat (it’s made from plastic elastomer instead of rubber and latex). While soap may seem like a very boring present – the Just Soap brand makes this necessity a pretty neat present. The machine used to make Just Soap is a human-powered bicycle blender and the soap is also chemical and fragrant free, making it a one-of-a-kind sustainable grooming product. If your partner is into cooking, you could always buy this bamboo cooking utensil kit (the utensil holder is also recyclable).

The Live Eco team


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