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Hidden Gems

Things that make the world a better place, sustainable gift edition!

Storyworth

Many of us won’t be physically exchanging gifts with loved ones on our lists this year. If you’re looking for a meaningful virtual gift idea that will bring your family closer, consider Storyworth! Storyworth is a subscription service that sends story prompts to your chosen loved one every week (or daily or monthly). You can write your own question or choose from Storyworth’s library of questions that you’ve probably never thought to ask. Your sassy grandma or sweet auntie responds with a story which is shared with you that week, and at the end of the year Storyworth combines all of the stories with your photos to create a family history book! You have the ability to edit the stories and photos at any time, so let your creative flag fly and virtual scrapbook away! I was so fortunate to have access to the family history book that my grandmother put together before she passed (check out my great-great grandparents’ immigration story in the Moonshine issue, here). Reading about the lives of my ancestors inspired me to pick up where my grandmother left off and continue our family story. Storyworth is a great way to get the conversation started if you’re not sure where to start or what to ask, and your whole family is sure to cherish the memories for generations to come. \ Carmen

PlanetBox Stainless Steel Bento Lunchbox

Ok, so I’m actually not taking lunch to work often these days (or anywhere, really), but this lunchbox is a lifetime piece that will last you far beyond your Covid days and makes a great gift! I received my bento style lunchbox as a gift a few years ago and have had the joy of packing many tasty lunches to follow. PlanetBox was founded by parents that were sick of using single use plastic and wanted a fun and easy way to pack their kids lunches. This idea developed into several stainless steel lunchboxes that are perfect for adults or kids, along with a variety of smaller containers that can be used for snacks, dressings etc. many of which fit in the larger bento boxes. I have the “Launch” styled box, which fits an entree, side and a little dessert on good days. Not only is this lunchbox great for the environment, but it forces you to pack a more balanced lunch by seeing your meal displayed in one container. Say g’bye to stinky plastic containers that smell like spaghetti sauce! These boxes truly make lunchtime fun. And if you need some inspiration, check out Jenny Mollen’s (wife of American Pie star Jason Biggs) Instagram account called @dictatorluches  where she creates next level bento boxes for her kids. \ AL

Voluspa Candles

The Moso Bamboo Voluspa candle is the best candle I’ve ever owned, and it’s also the longest lasting! It literally smells like a Christmas tree and looks like magic as it gently illuminates the deep purple embossed glass jar that houses it. I love to light it year-round and it enhances every room and table setting that I put it in. Even after the 100 hours of burn time runs out, you will be happy to reuse this beautiful jar as part of your home decor. Use it to hold flowers, crystals, jewelry – whatever you wish! Of course these candles make great gifts, and your local shops know it! I’ve seen Voluspa candles at many-a gift emporium across the country. Check out the local scents and shapes in your downtown area and support a local business! \ Carmen

BioGlitz

In our modern era and especially during the holiday season, glitter is everywhere (figuratively and also very literally. But I don’t mind ✨). And though a glimmering sparkle may signify some of our most cherished times of year, unfortunately the glitter we grew up with is actually aluminum-laced microplastic particles which, once discarded and in our environment, are horribly destructive to all walks of life. That said, our desire to shine no longer needs to be detrimental. Enter, BioGlitz: a sustainable take on a magical material. The BioGlitz tagline says it all: ‘Taking the litter out of glitter.’ The company is built upon the mission of a plastic-free future while ethically sourcing alternative materials. Their plant-based glitter is biodegradable, non toxic to animals and is verified free of microplastics and aluminum. BioGlitz not only delivers on the consciousness but also offers an enchanting variety of color and sizes of glitters that gives us endless ways to shimmer. They even create their own blends which gives us more sparkle to love in a single jar. Before BioGlitz, I would have never considered the environmental impacts of glitter. However, now that I know there is a sustainable, biodegradable alternative, I’ll never have to think twice. Time to celebrate! \ Anna

MÜHLE Safety Razor Set 🪒 

Our self care regimen is often a part of our lives that produces a lot of waste with all of those tubes and bottles that need to be disposed of and replaced. One item that adds to the pile is the disposable razor. Because we like them sharp and seek convenience, we gravitate towards disposable cartridges. But there’s an easy solution to this wasteful habit that has been around for over a hundred years, and it’s also sharp, convenient, and a lovely ritual to add to your self care routine. The double-edge safety razor is simple, elegant, and comes in durable materials that last a lifetime. I find it to be an experience so pleasing I tossed my electric razor for good. When I was on the hunt to join the safety razor cult, I personally gravitated towards the strong geometry of the MÜHLE hexagon series for my safety razor, badger brush, and bowl. My absolute favorite shaving cream is The Art of Shaving’s unscented cream which makes an excellent lather without the addition of fragrance. Finally, the blade. Grab this variety pack that showcases the best blade brands. I have been shaving with a safety razor now for three years and haven’t regretted a minute of it. Except for maybe a nick here or there, but thankfully there’s a solution for that too. \ Tom

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