I dragged John down there to help me go on my green expedition.
Or so he thought.
I really dragged him down there to give him ideas of what he could get me for Christmas.
I could barely contain myself as we made our way into the maze of red and white striped kiosks.
Hats, chess boards, hot apple cider and Turkish tiles. Nothing eco yet. Puppets, wooden cutting boards (not sustainable wood), ornaments. Zilch. Where were the green booths?
As we turned a corner, I saw a giant painting of a guy catching a wave on his surfboard. AH!
I grabbed John's sleeve and pulled him over there, almost tripping on a small child.
The painting was in a booth from She Hit Pause Studios. The photographer, Matt Schwartz, was there and I noticed he had several surfing paintings among other interesting pieces like a girl pulling a wagon full of record albums and one of bougainvillia flowers.
I struck up a conversation. Turns out, these weren't paintings but Polaroid photographs that he stretches and then transfers onto water color paper, creating a unique effect.
He travels the world and in between photo shoots, he grabs a wave (or two).
John and I looked through every one of his pieces and each one was more beautiful than the one before it.
It was hard to decide which surfing one I liked best. Was it the girl paddling out? Or the group waiting for the perfect wave with pelicans hovering above them?
I strongly suggested to John that one of them would be the perfect present. I figured I could let him decide as there should be some element of surprise!
As we were about to leave, Matt told me how he donated some of his work to a green school in Mexico and that he was hoping to volunteer there. I became instantly jealous. This is how I should be living my life. (http://www.shehitpausestudios.com/)
I thanked him, told him we'd return and we were on our way to discover the next eco booth.
I was feeling good, still high on the surfing photographs. At this point, John was overwhelmed by the sea of kiosks and I knew he needed a quick fix...of glühwein. This mulled wine is a German holiday specialty. Here in its non-alcoholic condition it was more like a really good hot grape juice.
My quick fix was from the organic chocolate shop called NibMor. The most amazing, delicious, creamy cup of hot chocolate you'll ever taste. I'm drooling just thinking about it. (http://www.nibmor.com/)
Down the aisle a bit was it's counter-part, MissTea. An array of organic teas that serve everything from the common cold to relaxing before bed. It's sold in simple glass jars that make for the perfect eco gift. (http://www.miss-tea.com/)
As we made our way through, we ended our journey at Copa Soaps. Again, an old favorite, their handmade, all natural soaps smell incredible while give a gentle exfoliation and a fantastic clean. This time, we went home with Ginger Carrot. (http://www.copasoaps.com/)
It was a successful mission and I got some great gift ideas for the wonderful people in my life.
As for me, I know the idea is to "reduce" but even a die-hard greenie like myself likes to open something on Christmas day. And what better present than a useful gift which supports a local artisan who is also respecting the environment?