Eucalyptus Gift Guide
Photographs by Lane Johnson
Local Art // Support local artists by buying their one-of-a-kind art instead of meaningless gifts at big box stores. Each purchase helps to support each artist and keep the arts alive in the Bay Area. Pictured here are a yellow vase made by Berkeley artist Holly Wallace and hand-painted, recycled button necklace by Palo Alto artist Judith Content. From $15-$350 at the Palo Alto Art Center, 650.329.2366.
Spa Basket from Pharmaca // Treat your man from the inside out by reusing one of those empty gift baskets lurking in your closet. Load it up with natural body products for his inside (greens, omega-3 capsules, and multi-vitamins) and his outside (shampoo, conditioner, and muscle massage oil). About $70 at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy in Los Gatos or www.pharmaca.com.
Asian Accents // Support our local economy by buying from small, innovative merchants like Green Design on The Alameda in San Jose, a shop showcasing Buddha statuary, bubbling fountains, and exotic indoor and outdoor plants. A visit to this tropical boutique is like an hour-long vacation to Southeast Asia, complete with humid air and chirping birds. This charming garden lock is imported from Thailand. Prices vary; 408.971.4089 or www.greendesignplantscape.com.
PlanToys // A child’s imagination is a kaleidoscopic place. The winner of numerous awards for ingenuity in toy making, PlanToys makes toys out of durable, eco-friendly, organic, recycled rubberwood. Every toy is designed to encourage children to use their imaginations while developing their motor skills. Choices include the tea set (pictured), a dancing alligator, or the African animals collection. $20-$40 at Tiny Tots Baby Boutique in Campbell or www.plantoys.com.
Life Factory Bottles // Bid farewell to the metallic taste of your aluminum water bottle and that peculiar lingering odor of your plastic one, too. Life Factory bottles are made of glass and free from harmful BPA chemicals. The scratch-free, dishwasher-safe bottles are wrapped in a colorful silicone sleeve that makes them hard to break, even if you drop them. $22 at www.lifefactory.com.
Windmill // Turn the power of the wind into a fun learning project. The Green Science Windmill Generator Kit uses a hands-on approach to teach kids about renewable energy. Your child constructs a pint-sized windmill using the kit’s propeller and a small motor, plus a recycled plastic bottle. Set it outside and when the wind blows, the windmill creates enough power to generate a small LED light. $15 at The Tech Museum Store in San Jose.
Serendipity // In 2009, the Cederquist family of Santa Cruz turned their love of home-grown fruit into a business. Their preserves, spreads, and sauces contain no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or preservatives. Spread a little peach jam on toast, sprinkle your salad with fruit-infused vinegar, or use the cognac- or brandy-flavored jams in desserts. Gift boxes are $20-$30 at farmers’ markets and New Leaf Markets or www.serendipityspreads.com.