Archive for the ‘Organic’ Category

Tunki Coffee, the Gift for Coffee Lovers

I’ve always tried to come up with unique and interesting gifts for this blog. One of my best friends is a coffee lover, and I’ve given her many coffee-themed gifts throughout the years. From a beautiful travel mug to an eco-friendly hand protector (like the cardboard ones at Starbucks, but reusable) I have searched high and low for unique ideas. This Christmas, I know exactly what I’ll give her. A bag of fair trade organic coffee from Peru, called Tunki Coffee. Click the link to find out more about it, or to order a bag. This coffee is grown on a cooperative in Southeastern Peru that unites hundreds of farmers and their families. It’s called Cecovasa, and the farmers there have received a lot of attention since one of them entered Tunki Coffee in the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Coffee of the Year Awards. Not only was Tunki named Coffee of the Year among 130 samples from 22 countries, but it also received the People’s Choice Award. Now everyone is wondering where they can buy Tunki Coffee from Cecovasa. One company, Rojas International, is distributing Tunki from Cecovasa in the US. They sell Peruvian Food products under the brand Mama Tina’s, and if you’re a fan of Peruvian cooking, you know they are all natural, high quality foods. Of course, not all of the coffee they sell is from the farmer who won the prize – there would never be enough to go around! But the coffee is grown within the cooperative that he is a member of. The brand Tunki has existed for several years within this cooperative, and is receiving recognition within Peru and abroad. What an interesting story to tell my friend when I give her the bag I just ordered! I always feel good when I buy fair trade products.

Beautiful Organic Jewelry: Carved Gourd Earrings

Grace: In my never-ending quest to find new, unique earrings, I came across these beautiful, handcarved earrings.  They are incredibly unique; I’ve never seen anything like them before!  They are made from mate or carved gourd, an ancient South American tradition in which a gourd is hand carved with a hot tool (in the past it was a burning ember).  Since these earrings are hand carved, no two are exactly the same, even within a pair.  Not only is the center of these earrings handmade, but the silver detailing is also made completely by hand.

If you know someone who loves all sorts of handmade silver jewelry, I would highly recommend these earrings  They would make an especially great gift for someone who is interested in organic jewelry.  These handmade carved gourd earrings are a great addition to any woman’s jewelry collection.

Dan: Wow those handmade carved gourd earrings are really astonishing.  I have never heard of such a unique and interesting material before.  Given the amount of time to make the material alone before turning it into jewelry, it must be really valuable.  It makes for an excellent and rare gift!

Spondyllus Shell Sterling Silver Necklace!

Dan: What is spondyllus?  Spondyllus is a shell that is collected off of the shore of Peru and possesses a rare and beautiful look and texture.  Mostly a tint of purple, they can be polished so that they are shining bright.  Ancient Peruvian royalty used to have the most experienced divers in their nations go into the deep to find these spiny shells because of their great beauty.  This shell, when combined with silver, can create some really great sterling silver jewelry.

One website features spondyllus shell jewelry that is combined with many other beautiful accents such as silver, huayruro seeds, opal, etc to create the finest handmade necklaces and jewelry.  One specific example that I would like to highlight is called the Silver Cascade Necklace; its title comes from its beautiful silver work that cascades over a flawless and rich rectangle of purple spondyllus.  I gave this necklace as a gift over the summer and they really adored it as one of their favorite peices of jewelry.  If you are looking for Peruvian spondyllus shell than you are also looking for the most esquisite and beautiful jewelry on the market.  Go check out spondyllus jewelry for your next gift!  The HOLIDAYS are approaching!

Grace: I also gave this necklace as a gift to someone this summer (my mother, actually) and she absolutely loves it.  It looks beautiful on the website and in person, but to see it actually on someone is completely different.  I was especially struck by the purple color of the shell.  I like purple as much as the next person, but it’s not my favorite color and I always find it really hard to wear, but the pendant on this necklace is just the right size and the purple is just the right vibrancy to really make it pop.  I would highly recommend this gift!

Mix and Match: Sterling Silver Huayruro Seed Necklace

Grace: Earlier this week, Dan wrote about a beautiful, handmade huayruro bracelet.  I was playing around on that same site and found a handcrafted necklace that matches the bracelet.  What I love about this necklace is the little pop of color from the huayruro seeds.  The red contrasts beautifully with the silver pendant and the black chord.  This necklace is perfect if you want to add just a little touch of interest and color to an otherwise uninteresting outfit.

This huayruro necklace is also an interesting combination of organic and inorganic materials.  The red huayruro seeds not only contrast in color to the silver pendant, but the organic nature of the seeds and the cotton chord compliments the coldness of the silver, which is a very unique and interesting combination.  Sometimes, I find silver to be too distant and harsh, but the exotic touch of the huayruro seeds is what makes this necklace interesting.

If you really enjoy contrasting and complimenting elements in jewelry, I would highly recommend looking around the rest of the site.  Their beautiful, silver artisan jewelry is a great gift for any occasion, and it’s a great alternative way of thinking of jewelry.

Dan: You are right that this necklace is both beautiful and exotic.  Made by human hands and not from a factory you can really see from the website how intricately made it is.  Those intricacies and how work will most definitely come out in real life when your family and friends see it.  Not to mention the good luck that comes from the huayruro seeds that you told me about Grace!

Eco-Friendly Robe

Grace: I love giving and receiving gifts that I can just lounge about in, such as sweatpants or pajamas, but I’ve noticed that as gifts, unless they’re high quality (which most lounge wear isn’t) they tend to get forgotten about or only last a couple of years.  However, I found this lovely robe that is a great alternative to sweats and pajamas and makes a great, relaxing gift.

In addition to being super soft and absorbant, as all robes should be, this robe happens to be eco-friendly too!  Made from organic cotton and bamboo yarns, this gift is perfect for someone who is environmentally conscious, but also wants something they can just relax in.  This is also a great gift for someone who wants to start dressing eco-friendly but is wary of eco-frienldy clothing.  Since a robe is something fairly universal and comforting, they might just fall in love with it and be wiling to try wearing more eco-friendly clothes.

Dan: I have never been one for robes but this gift recommendation is tantalizing.  This robe does sound awfully comfortable, especially during the winter when all you want to do is climb under your bed covers and stay there all day, every day.  If you are someone who wants to make their lifestyle more eco-friendly then definitely check out this robe!

The Green Perspective

Dan: Grace just went on vacation for a few days and then she is off to Hamilton this weekend so we will all miss her :-( . A reader from Philadelphia wanted us to check out their own site! The site is called thegreenperspective and it features a bounty of really great environmentally safe and self sustaining products. My personal favorite gift package that the site has to offer would be the “green your kitchen” package. It features a really unique bowl, a book titled In Defense of Food, utensils and environmentally friendly cleaning products!

I recently watched a news segment roughly a month ago about how common household cleaners can be more harmful to your health than you may think. Among the top qualifiers are air fresheners, ammonia, bleach, carpet shampoos, dishwasher detergent, drain cleaner, furniture polish, mold and mildew cleaners, oven cleaners, antibacterial cleaners, laundry products, and toilet bowl cleaners…phew. This is part of the reason why I love this gift package so much. You can clean your kitchen in an environmentally friendly manner and protect yourself from harmful chemicals at the same time! In addition, you can protect yourself from harmful chemicals including pesticides and hormones when eating organic foods versus processed inorganic compounds.

I really like this site, and everything featured on is a good gift idea. The one I liked best is only one great option to living a greener life!

Making Homemade Yogurt

Grace: In case you haven’t noticed, there’s nothing in this world that I enjoy more than food, but it’s unfortunately difficult to find food that is both delicious and healthy. One food item that is getting a lot of press for its health benefits is yogurt.

According to various studies, the heath benefits of yogurt are not only due to its calcium content and other properties it gains from being a milk product, but also because of the bacteria that is used to make it. This bacteria hinders the growth of harmful bacteria, therefore protecting the body against harmful bacterial infections and diseases. Also, the bacteria promotes a healthy digestive system, making yogurt a fan of dieters. For a more extensive and thorough explanation of yogurt’s health benefits, I would suggest downloading the Yogurt Encyclopedia (it sounds silly, I know, but it was actually quite informative and interesting!)

Although yogurt is something that can be bought at your regular grocery store, the health benefits of inorganic yogurt are debatable. This debate has made organic and natural yogurts more popular, but they are also incredibly expensive. I personally love organic yogurt, but it’s difficult to bring myself to shell out all the cash for something that’s going to disappear in two spoonfuls.

Luckily for me, I found this convenient, homemade yogurt maker. You get all the health benefits of yogurt right at home, and it’s easy and cheap compared to going out and buying organic yogurt all the time. It’s especially nice that this yogurt maker actually comes with cups, so you don’t have to search your house for Tupperware like I do. The end result is absolutely delicious, although you may want to sweeten it with some honey because plain yogurt doesn’t have much flavor.

This gift may seem a little odd, but it is perfect for someone who loves anything organic and homemade.

Dan: Yuck! I am quite a funny eater pertaining to my likes and dislikes but yogurt is a no-no for me. I love other dairy products such as milk and ice cream but there is something about the texture of yogurt that turns me off. However, I understand that yogurt is truly a healthy snack if made/bought correctly. Some of the inorganic yogurts found in the grocery store can really do more harm than good because of all the artificial flavoring; this is why I believe this gift idea is one for the yogurt lover in you (not me!). This gift idea is also one to cherish because you can use it forever, something that would be great as a housewarming gift!