Scharffen Berger Chocolates
These all-natural, European-style chocolates–the “Extra Dark” is 82-percent cacao–are some of the best we’ve ever tasted, and they’re made in the USA, Chocolate-covered apricots and chocolate-covered crystallized ginger are also available, The nifty, wooden gift boxes can be reused, too. $12 to $50; (800) 930-4528; www.scharffenberger.com.
Garden Insects of North America
This new book truly is “The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs.” Written by Extension entomologist Whitney Cranshaw, it includes the best color insect photos we’ve ever seen, plus authoritative advice on least-toxic pest control options and beneficial bugs. $29.95 in paperback; (866) 803-7096; www.MotherEarthNews.com.
L.L. Bean Storm Chaser Clogs
These slip-on shoes have the cushioning of sneakers and the waterproof protection of overshoes. An elastic collar seals out dirt and pebbles, and the lining keeps toes toasty warm. $49; (800) 441-5713; www.llbean.com.
Heath/Zenith Solar Motion Sensor Light
This motion-detecting, solar-powered outdoor light is easy to install and, with no electric cords, especially convenient on moveable buildings such as chicken coops. The light has a battery-charged solar panel that mounts on the roof and holds a charge for several months. $80; available at hardware stores.
Gardening by the Moon Calendar
A beautifully illustrated and practical calendar that simplifies the technique of lunar planting. Packed with great information on garden activities for each month, it comes in three versions for a long, medium or short growing season. $12.95; available in natural food stores or at (707) 869-3974; www.gardeningbythemoon.com.
These elegant glass products are made from reclaimed bottles, collected from around the world. This “Protect the Earth” design features that message etched in four different languages into the glass. $25 to $50. Call (715) 355-1897 for questions; order online at www.greenglass.com.
Meadow Stone Farm Goat Milk Soap
Elsa, a dairy goat from Connecticut, is the sole supplier of all the milk used for these gentle hand and facial bars. Meadow Stone Farm also makes facial creams and shaving bars, and even dog biscuits! $5 to $8; (860) 617-2982; www.meadowstonefarm.com.
Energy-efficient Clothes Washers
Want to include large appliances in your holiday gift giving? Consider an energy-saving, front-loading washer. They use two-thirds less water than top-loading ones. Manufacturers such as LG Electronics, Bosch, Frigidaire, Kenmore and Maytag, as well as Asko, Haier, Equator and Thor, offer versions ranging in price from $400 to $1,600. Available at most appliance stores. Contact the American Council for an Energy–Efficient Economy for a full list of appliances: (202) 429-0063; www.aceee.org.
Smart Gift Wrap
These reusable, hand-dyed and hard-to-miss cloth bags make the gifts more special. To encourage reuse, the company created a Web log where gift givers can follow each wrapsack’s journey from person to person. $3.95 to $6.49; available in natural food stores or at (800) 505-3365; www.wrapsacks.com.
MOTHER’S cotton tote bags are great for trips to the market or library. Also try MOTHER’S delicious, triple-certified coffees. And, best of all, give an Earth-friendly, online subscription to MOTHER EARTH NEWS, $10. Totes and coffee also $10 each; (866) 803-7096: www.MotherEarthNews.com.