Give the Gift of Discovery

 

 

Inspire growth through sustainable gifts that encourage active learning and creativity! Rather than gifting the hottest new gadget or plastic toy, look for gifts that will not only be fun, but will have a long-term effect on a child’s memory and growth!

In this gift guide, we’ve rounded up our top picks, sure to spark your child’s imagination and curiosity!

 

 

 

 

A garden, a fish tank and a huge learning opportunity, the Water Garden 2.0 is the ideal gift! Perfect to educate little ones about closed-loop ecosystems, this kit is easy to use and in as little as 10 days you can be enjoying microgreens and fresh herbs.

The set includes a coupon for a betta fish, a 3-gallon tank, 3 months worth of seeds and everything else needed to get started growing, caring and enjoying.

Easy to operate, the fish waste fertilizes the plants and the plants clean the water (meaning fewer water changes required).  It’s a great way to help explain how we’re all interconnected!

Ready to learn more? Download the free online curriculum to learn all about the science behind aquaponics.

 

Back to the Roots

Water Garden 2.0

$99.99

 

 

We’ve all seen bird nests, but have you ever wanted to peek inside without disturbing the inhabitants? With this window nest box, that easily adheres right onto your window pane, you can get an inside look!

Your entire family will enjoy observing the natural habitats of your new avian pals. Get excited waiting for eggs to hatch, watch as the baby birds emerge and are fed before getting the strength to fly on their own.

The handmade, ethically sourced box provides a comfortable home for birds, and an exciting behind-the-scenes look into the fascinating life of these feathered friends.

 

Eartheasy

Window Nest Box

$39.95

 

 

Let your child explore engineering and planning while enjoying car and train sets with these beautiful hexagon-shaped building tracks. Since they are not linear, your children’s creativity is not limited by traditional boring tracks that only go in a circle. With these upclycled tracks, they can build outward in any direction they choose!

Customizable stickers allow them to transform the tracks into an entire landscape for hours of play and learning! Already have a traditional train track set? Not to fret, adapter pieces allow kids to connect these new pieces to old play tracks for even more fun options!

While they may look like plastic, these tracks are actually made from sustainable, upcycled injection molded wood, manufactured in Tennessee. The shape is designed for little hands to easily manipulate, making this the ideal toy for all the little learners on your list!

The Grommet

Tobo Toys Upcycled Play Tracks

$34.95

 

 

 

Encourage your child to create their own toys! These beautiful animal puppets take on a life of their own, once put together.

Not only will this gift teach them how to sew, but it will be a fun bonding opportunity. Plus your kids will feel pride crafting something with their own two hands! Since all of the materials are ethically sourced, reclaimed wool, you can feel good knowing the hours of fun you’re providing aren’t harming the environment.

Choose from a cat, monkey or giraffe – or get all three and put on your own puppet show!

Eartheasy

Recycled Wool Puppet Kit

$19.95

 

 

Enjoy hours of fun building tall structures and watching the marbles fly through! Three dimensional thinking, problem solving, early engineering and physics properties will be learned while kids craft their own “marble-run metropolis.”

Each set consists of hand-crafted, carbonized tracks, sustainable wood powder super spirals and bamboo cylinders that can be arranged into an infinite number of marble run courses! This is one toy they’ll enjoy playing with over and over again.  Appropriate for children ages 4 and up.

Fat Brain Toys

Bamboo Builder Marble Run 

$49.95

 

 

 

Invoke your child’s wonder with a Mushroom Farm kit and grow delicious oyster mushrooms perfect for topping pizzas, mixing into salads, sprinkling on tacos or giving soup a little more flavor! Right before their eyes, kids will experience the delight of watching the first mushroom “pin” and expand into a cluster of home-grown organic treats!

Just add water and in as little as ten days, you’ll have an entire crop of delicious mushrooms! Plus each box can produce up to two crops for twice the fun!

Picky eaters are always more excited to taste veggies they grew themselves, expanding their palates. Allow the pride of growing something lead to including mushrooms into your mealtime arsenal!

 

Back to the Roots

Organic Mushroom Farm

$19.99

 

 

 

 

Excited to gift the joy of growing, but can’t choose? Try the Family Farmhouse Gift Set and you don’t have too!

With the Family Farmhouse Gift Set, which includes an Organic Tomato Self-Watering Planter, 4 Garden-in-a-can cans and an Organic Mushroom Farm, teaching children about farming is easy.

Let them get their hands dirty and watch how different plants grow. After all, understanding where food comes from is key to developing life long healthy habits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the Roots

The Family Farmhouse Gift Set

$99.99 $84.99

 

 

Are you giving your kids the gift of learning this year? We’d love to see their crops and creations! Feel free to tag us @backtotheroots!

 

– Jan S.

 

 

 

Images Referenced from:

Eartheasy| The Grommet| Fat Brain Toys 

Continue Reading

Large Presents, Small Presence

 

 

 

Small living spaces present large challenges, but there’s no need to skimp on the best things in life due to a tiny apartment. When looking for the perfect gift for your friend (or yourself) with a low environmental footprint, focus on gifts with a useful nature.

 

So, how does one find a present that does not impose nor is unnecessary? The key is finding products that are multi-use, giving you the most impact, without taking up too much precious real estate in your home.

 

We’ve searched high and low for our favorite environmentally friendly holiday gifts for those living in smaller situations- these presents are useful, personal, sustainable and of course fun!

 

 

Turn your windowsill or fire escape into a vegetable garden and you’ll be eating healthy all year long!

A small space doesn’t necessarily mean a small possibility for culinary delight. With Back to the Roots Growing Kits, any apartment dweller can nurture their green thumb with a USA certified organic cherry tomato growing system.  

 

The best part? It’s extremely low maintenance. You only have to water this plant once a week!

 

 

 

 

Back to the Roots
Organic Cherry Tomato Self-Watering Planter 
$29.99

 

 

 

 

 

Eco-friendly functional gifts with a personal flair are ideal for a professional chef or friend just beginning to curate their personal kitchen collection. Each cutting board is handmade from sustainably sourced maple wood and is fully customizable.

 

When not in use, let these boards adorn your kitchen as functional art.  Now that’s a kitchen tool we can all get behind!

 

Words with Boards

Personalized Cutting Board

$159

 

 

 

 

Made from 100% eco-friendly bamboo, Oceanstar’s wine rack is key for creating an elegant display of wines, perfect for entertaining in a tight space.

Stacking wines vertically keeps bottles organized while saving precious room on your countertop or bar cart.

 

With so many people giving the old-bottle-of-wine-standby, your friends will be thankful for your original gift, which will be useful long after the drinks have been poured!

 

Oceanstar

Natural Bamboo Wine Rack

$26.30

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kitchen is the heart of the home and well-designed, sustainable kitchenware is a must for anyone keen on incorporating a healthy lifestyle. Store-bought food often sneaks in excess sugars and preservatives, while disposable containers increase our carbon footprint.

 

Canning at home let’s you skip the preservatives and lock in the natural flavors. Properly canned fruits, vegetables, jams and sauces can be stored without refrigeration, allowing you to be assured you have a plethora of healthful options on hand all year long!

 

This canning kit comes with all the necessary information and tools, including a canning cookbook to easily get started creating nutritious dishes right at home!

 

 

 

Eartheasy
Fagor Home Canning Kit

$34.95

 

 

 

Bring a little bit of the outdoors in with our Water Garden to elevate your mood, while providing fresh herbs and greens for nutritious meals and snacks. The Water Garden aquaponics’ system, easily interjects life into a loved one’s space with a self-cleaning fish tank that grows organic herbs and microgreens on top. The fish waste helps fertilize the plants and the plants clean the water, making it simpler than ever to grow organic food indoors.

 

For those interested in alternative gardening techniques and water conservation, this gift is a perfect introduction into aquaponics technology and closed loop ecosystems. Plus you can’t beat the enjoyment of watching each new sprout appear!

Back to the Roots

Water Garden 2.0

$99.99 $79.99

 

 

 

 

 

Half of the fun of having a space to call your own is decorating it. Unique objects with a special meaning make a space feel cozy and homey. These handwoven throws from a fair-trade cooperative are not only beautiful, but something they’ll feel good about displaying in their home.

 

They’re versatile, gorgeous, naturally dyed and available through Maven. Use it as a shawl, a throw, a picnic blanket… the possibilities are endless!

Maven

Half Moon Throw

$70.00

Made from harvested lutindzi grass, picked off the savannah in a manner to keep the roots intact for quick regeneration, these baskets support the local artisans of Swaziland. Their beautiful handwoven baskets generate income for these women with Gone Rural to provide basic needs for their families, such as clean water, healthcare and education.

 

This 10” basket is ideal for sorting mail, storing cosmetics or keeping fruits and veggies organized on the counter. A conversation piece that your friends will enjoy for years to come.

 

Global Goods Partners

Handwoven Swazi Basket

$32.00

 

 

 

 

Have a suggestion to make a small space feel larger? We’d love to know what gifts you’re giving this year! Leave us a comment or send us a tweet @BacktotheRoots to share all the gifts you’re wrapping up this season.

 

-Jan S.

 

 

 

 

Images Referenced from:

Global Goods Partners| Maven (captured by Emily Poole) | Amazon |Eartheasy| Fagor|Words With Boards

Continue Reading

Farm-to-Table Holiday Feast

Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. Its not about nutrients and calories. Its about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity. Louise Fresco

 

What could be more special than sharing a meal with your loved ones composed of whole, organic foods this holiday season? Bring the farm-to-table movement into your home with Back to the Roots growing kits, for a meal they’re sure to remember!

More than a passing trend, the farm-to-table movement represents a new standard in high-quality clean eating admired by chefs and tastemakers around the world. Consuming local and well-farmed food avoids chemicals found in conventional market produce while reducing the environmental impact of large-scale farming practices. Most importantly, farm-to-table food just tastes better!

In just 10 days, you can grow a delicious batch of oyster mushrooms with Back to the Root’s Organic Mushroom Farm. Healthful, sustainable home-grown food you’ll feel good about serving for holiday gatherings and casual suppers too.

Often the unsung hero of the culinary arts, mushrooms are versatile, making them a perfect centerpiece for holiday dishes! Not only are oyster mushrooms delicious and high in nutrients, but they provide multiple benefits ranging from antibacterial to antioxidant properties.

So this holiday season, grow, prepare and enjoy a mushroom feast that your friends and family won’t stop raving about!

 

Oyster Mushrooms on Melted Brie Toast from Iglika of Sprig of Thyme is the perfect start to any holiday meal. Creamy brie pairs well with buttery and crunchy oyster mushrooms for a mouth-watering appetizer. Substitute home-grown pearl oyster mushrooms for yellow ones and get the farm-to-table party started!

 

 

 

Serve a healthful and hearty harvest salad bursting with flavor. Fred Bollaci of La Dolce Vita combines wild rice, madeira wine, swiss chard, pecans, roasted oyster mushrooms and pomegranate seeds for a side dish that’s anything but boring.

 

 

 

 

A traditional oyster stuffing gets a makeover with delicious oyster mushrooms replacing their shellfish counterpart. Tom Douglas of Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking‘s Rustic Bread Stuffing with Dried Cranberries, Hazelnuts & Oyster Mushrooms is a crowd pleaser that your friends and family are sure to go back to for seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

David Tanis for Food and Wine knows that no holiday meal is complete without a succulent roast turkey seasoned with sage, thyme and garlic on the table. To enhance the bird’s flavor, Tanis creates a woodsy mushroom medley gravy your guests will drool over.

We recommend snagging one of Back to the Roots Herb Kits and growing the sage yourself!

 

 

 

 

For a vegetarian main course option that will win over any meat-eater, check out Victor of IFOODBLOGGER‘s Ricotta and Oyster Mushroom Lasagna. This decadent rich dish is warm and hearty with “meaty” oyster mushrooms layered between pasta sheets overflowing with mozzarella and ricotta cheesy goodness.

Best part of this lasagna recipe is that it is quick to assemble, but your family and friends will think you slaved over it for hours.

 

 

 

We can’t wait to see all your mushroom creations, tag us at @backtotheroots_official to show off your home-grown dishes! Bon appétit!

 

 

 

– Jan S. 

 

 

 

Referenced recipes:

Sprig of Thyme | La Dolce Vita | Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking| Food & Wine | IFOODBLOGGER 

Continue Reading

Gifts that Keep on Giving

 

 

The Holiday Season is upon us, which means cooler weather, hot drinks and the daunting task of finding the perfect gift! While there’s no shortage of items to choose from at your local mall, all perfectly packaged and ready to be nestled under the tree, this year, adopt the true meaning of the holidays with presents that give back.

Just as it’s important to know about the food we put in our bodies, we should also be aware of how the products we buy are made and if those companies we support are making a positive impact to create a more sustainable culture. Through conscious consumption we can support ethical products and practices and make a difference!

 

 From saving our natural resources to giving back to children in need, there are countless ways to show you care with quality gifts that will bring smiles to all.

We at Back to the Roots have rounded up our favorite holiday gifts that are not only perfect for your friends and family, but ones you can feel good about giving. In fact they’re so great, we won’t blame you for ordering an extra one for yourself!

 

 

For the Healthful Kitchen Connoisseur

 

 

Our Garden-In-A-Can herb set is the perfect gift for the friend or family member who’s always cooking up a storm! Your loved ones will feel pride and excitement as each can begins to sprout.

With a wealth of vitamins K, C, B-6, manganese and iron to name a few, these cans act as a growing pharmacy.

Herbs are able to help support strong bones, stabilize blood sugar and boost your immune system, among many other great benefits.

However, the best part of having fresh herbs always on hand is how great they taste! These flavorful plants amp up soups, stews and sauces, taste great in salads and enhance just about everything! It’s so easy; just pop open the top, water and leave these cans on your windowsill for a bevy of flavor ready at your disposal.

Plus for every Ready to Grow product grown and posted on social media, Back to the Roots donates a kit & educational curriculum to an elementary school classroom of your choosing. Committing to foster a future of conscious learners and knowledgable consumers with each can grown to help shift the world towards a more sustainable future!

 

Back to the Roots

Garden-in-a-Can Herb Set (4-pack)

$24.96

 

 

 

 

For the Friend Who Loves
to Cozy Up Next to the Fireplace

 

Keep their tootsies nice and toasty in a beautifully crafted pair of slippers by TOMS. Known for their bandage style shoes and commitment to donate a new pair of shoes to a child in need with every purchase, TOMS is a brand they’ll be happy to show off.

For her, check out the Drizzle Grey Wool Tassel Women’s Ivy Slippers. With a faux shearling lining, wool upper and rubber outsoles for traction, these comfy slippers can be worn both inside and outdoors.

The Grey Slub Textile Men’s Berkeley Slippers will be a big hit for the man of the house on a cold winter night. Just like the women’s slippers, these are also vegan with faux shearling lining and rubber outsoles for walking around the kitchen or taking a quick trip to the store.

Plus with TOMS’ “One for One” program, just like their regular shoes, every pair purchased will directly result in a new pair of shoes donated.

TOMS

Men’s Berkeley Slippers & Women’s Ivy Slippers

$54.95

 

 

 

 

For the Fancy Tea Fanatic

Housed in a bamboo box, these beautiful glass tea pots transform basic tea into a work of art! Organic tea leaves are hand-sewn around flowers which blossom as they steep in hot water revealing a simply stunning beverage.

Your friends and family will enjoy watching these beautiful flowers bloom while sipping the exquisite flavors of these smooth, rich teas. While they’re Instagramming their new favorite gift, they’ll feel good knowing each box of tea is made from high quality organic ingredients and eco- responsible packaging with an aim to offset carbon emissions. The box itself is sourced from China to help support predominantly female local artisans and their families.

Additionally, each purchase helps support the Numi Foundation, Communitea, Together for H2OPE and other charitable organizations to help give back to the community and provide clean, safe drinking water.

Social media likes, beautifully delicious teas and helping provide safe drinking water?  Sounds like a holiday hit to us!

 

Numi Organic Tea

Flowering Tea™ Set in Bamboo

$34.99

 

 

 

 

For the Outdoor Adventurer

The Luzon, a lightweight, repurposed ripstop nylon pack by Cotopaxi is ideal for hikes, camping and backpacking. With light mesh backpack straps and an internal hydration sleeve, it’s easy to take along on every adventure.

This Utah-based outdoor outfitter prioritizes both the innovation of products and experiences while funding sustainable solutions for poverty-stricken communities. Through grant programs in the fields of health, education and livelihood initiatives, Cotopaxi has established itself as both a sustainable clothing company and a philanthropic organization.

The perfect gift for all the hikers, bikers and explorers on your list!

 

 

Cotopaxi

Luzon 18L Daypack

$39.95

 

 

 

For the Wellness Lover that Spends
Their Entire Paycheck on Bottled Kombucha

 

Kombucha, a bubbly, fermented drink offering a probiotic punch, contains vinegar, B-vitamins, enzymes and a high concentration of acid to create an “addictive” supplement to one’s health regime. These days, various brands of Kombucha can be found everywhere, from health food stores to even gas stations. However, the act of producing and bottling a beverage comes with a serious carbon footprint, while encouraging a culture of wasteful consumption, particularly if the bottle is plastic.

Rather than consuming Kombucha created on a corporate level, start brewing your own! Customizing flavors and the carbonation of the beverage allows for full creative control for a drink that’s completely unique with Uncommon Good’s Brew Your Own Kombucha Kit.

When making a purchase through Uncommon Goods, $1 is donated to the Better to Give partner of your choice. Uncommon Goods has donated thousands of dollars to their partners. To learn more about these organizations and pick which one you’d like to donate to, check out their Better to Give page.

 

Uncommon Goods

Brew Your Own Kombucha Kit

$99.00

 

 

 

 

For Nurturing Curiosity In Children of All Ages

A Back to the Roots staple, the Organic Mushroom Farm produces delicious mushrooms your children (or inner child) will be excited to harvest.

From the pride that stirs when the very first mushroom pins to the joy of waking up to see the box filled with mushrooms, it’s easy to see why growing them is almost more fun then eating them!

Just soak overnight and follow the simple watering instructions to be gifted an abundant explosion of healthy and nutritious oyster mushrooms your child will be excited to devour!

Oyster mushrooms offer fantastic nutritional and culinary advantages including high levels of zinc, iron, potassium, and vitamins as well as antioxidant properties. They taste delicious and the fact that picky eaters are more likely to try something they’ve grown themselves- well that’s just a bonus!

It only takes 10 days to grow a full batch of organic pearl oyster mushrooms and with the Back to the Roots downloadable curriculum detailing the science of mushroom farming, both young and old are bound to enjoy learning about the growing process.

Back to the Roots

Organic Mushroom Farm

$19.99 $14.99

 

 

 

For the Friend Always on the Move

Lifestraw offers safe, EPA-approved technology for quick and accessible water filtration, regardless of the quality of water available. Used by both outdoor enthusiasts and humanitarian organizations alike, this portable, yet powerful tool allows for the comfort of safe drinking water anywhere.

While the Lifestraw Play was designed for kids, this sturdy and leakproof bottle is great for anyone. With it’s 2-stage filtration process, the bottle removes waterborne bacteria and protozoa up to 1,000 gallons. It also improves taste, reduces chlorine and organic chemical matter making it terrific for travelers, backpackers and runners to ensure they always have clean water, no matter where they go.

For each Lifestraw purchased, a school child in a developing community receives safe drinking water for an entire school year. Lifestraw plays a vital role in distributing their products amid natural disasters and is committed to ensuring accessibility of clean water for all.

Lifestraw

Lifestraw Play

$39.95

 

 

 

Planning to gift any of these items to your friends and family?  Or a gift from another incredible company giving back?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

-Jan S.

 

 

Images Provided by:

Numi Organic Tea |  TOMS | Uncommon Goods | Cotopaxi | Lifestraw

Continue Reading

The Back to the Roots Official
 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

 

You wake up in the morning, a bit groggy, and turn around to see that your new basil plant has sprouted. Something changes in that moment. Your morning halts. You stop to examine the sprouts. You smile. You feel a sense of accomplishment. “Today is going to be a good day.”, you think to yourself as you walk out of the door.

That feeling, a kind of “growing giddiness”, is why gardening kits make the perfect gift. By giving someone a plant, you’re not just giving them a physical item, but you’re giving them feelings. Feelings that they will remember, and cherish, and appreciate.

In this gift guide, we highlight six of our Indoor Gardening Kits that will bring endless smiles, memories, and yummy foods into the lives of those that you love this holiday season. 🙂 🎄

 

back to the roots mushroom farm kit mushroom growing kit grow your own organic mushrooms

1. Mushroom Farm

This kit gives you everything you need to grow your own organic oyster mushrooms right out of the box in just 10 days! Not to mention, each kit can grow at least 2 crops and comes with a “100% guaranteed to grow” promise. This is a great gift for children or teachers as it comes with access to an interactive learning curriculum that explains the science behind mushroom farming. Another purchaser perk? The rectangular shape of the kits make wrapping as easy as can be!

          Learn more about the Mushroom Farm here!

 

 

back to the roots self watering tomato planter green gift indoor gardening kit best unique gift christmas gift idea

2. Self-Watering Tomato Planter

Spice up your next gift exchange by surprising your guests with a planter that will actually water itself! This planter uses a microporous clay olla that waters the plants continually through the week. This means that you only need to fill up the olla once a week and voila! You get your very own homegrown cherry tomatoes. This is a great gift for a friend that is always on the go because it’s totally hassle-free!

    Learn more about the Self-Watering Planter!

 

 

back to the roots water garden best indoor gardening kit best gardening gift unique gift christmas gift ideas green gift ideas

3. Water Garden

Fish are friends, not food! But what if we came up with a way to make the fish a friend that makes food? Even better! The Water Garden is a closed-looped ecosystem where the fish waste fertilizes the plants and the plants clean the water. This means that the fish tank is self-cleaning and easy to maintain. Not only does this product grow delicious herbs and microgreens to go in your latest winter salad, but it also is a great learning tool for children and makes the perfect addition to any kitchen! 

Learn more about the Water Garden!

 

 

back to the roots garden in a can gift set best green gift best gift for gardeners indoor gardening gift4. Garden-in-a-Can Herb Set

Know someone who likes to cook? Or garden? Or learn?  It’s “mint” to be! This Garden-in-a-Can Herb Set gives you the perfect setup to grow organic oregano, dill, basil, and mint right from the windowsill of your kitchen. Plus, if you post a picture of yourself growing and use the hashtag #GrowOneGiveOne, you can spread the growing giddiness by donating a kit to a classroom of your choice!

 Learn more about the Garden-in-a-Cans!

 

 

unique garden gifts gardening gifts best gifts for gardeners back to the roots mason jar gift set

5. Mason Jar Gift Set

Indoor gardening just got a whole lot more chic! This mason jar gift set is loaded with awesome goodies including 3 Garden-in-a-Jars (grows basil, cilantro and mint), 1 self-watering planter (grows cherry tomatoes), 4 decorative art prints, and a recipe book. A perfect gift for the modern mom, foodie or chef! 

 

Learn more about the Mason Jar Gift Set!

 

 

back to the roots gift set unique gifts green gift best gifts for gardeners

6. The Urban Homesteader Kit

All I want for Christmas is the Urban Homesteader Kit! This kit gives you everything you need to become a full-fledged urban farmer. It comes with 1 Self-Watering Planter, 4 Garden-in-a-Cans, 1 Mushroom Farm, 1 Water Garden, 4 decorative prints and a recipe book. Talk about the ultimate gift! Surprise your best friend, mom, or co-worker with a gift that just keeps on giving! 

Learn more about The Urban Homesteader Kit! 

 

Happy gifting & happy growing! 🌱

– Kalene S. from the Back to the Roots team

 

P.S. Our support team is 100% dedicated to helping you succeed this holiday season! If you have any questions regarding your holiday order, such as on gift messaging or wanting to send to multiple addresses, feel free to reach us at contact@backtotheroots.com and we’ll sort you out!

 

Continue Reading