6 eco-friendly gifts your friends will definitely keep

 

Looking for eco-friendly gifts this holiday season?

Local West Virginia artisans, farmers, and merchants create locally made, recycled and sustainable gifts that are great for the environment AND unique enough to be treasured for years to come.

Here are some great ideas from the Mountain State:

1. Honey

Every pantry needs a little honey, and West Virginia is one of the best places in the nation for bees and honey production because of our diverse plant life. Buying local West Virginia honey supports Mountain State apiaries, keeps our plants pollinated and of course, tastes really good!

Pick up honeys from the Mountain State Honey Company, Thistledew Farm, and countless other smaller beekeepers across the state in gift shops and grocery stores.

 

Porcelain and china antiques from West Virginia

2. Antiques

It seems like there’s an amazing antique store in just about every West Virginia town. Browse their wide collections, and just might find a uniquely quirky gift for everyone on your list. And by keeping it out of landfills, you’re “recycling” with style.

Decades-old wood crates, old signs and even detached window panes make amazing wall hangings. If you are shopping for someone’s kitchen, look for well-seasoned Appalachian cast iron skillets and griddles— cast-iron seasoning gets richer with age, and a lot of West Virginia’s antique stores carry generations-old sets that have a quality that is near-impossible to find in new wares.

3. Reclaimed wood

Even before West Virginia was coal country, it was timber country. There is a lot of seasoned wood in our older houses, lumberyards and fallen trees just waiting to be shaped into something uniquely Mountain State.

And West Virginia has plenty of craftsmen who are doing this, creating tiny ornaments to beautiful pieces of furniture. Check out the Second Life Arborist Co. & Fine Woodworking (Wheeling), Virgin Timber Lumber Company (Oak Hill), or Hammerhead Woodcrafts (Harpers Ferry) to see what an West Virginia woodworker can do with a piece of lumber that may have otherwise just headed to the landfill.

 

Wild ramps with roots, West Virginia

4. Local plants

Growing your own plants, whether it’s for food, beauty or both, benefits the environment. Plants take in CO2, produce oxygen and help maintain healthy soil. For every garden vegetable you grow yourself, you’re cutting down on fossil fuel emissions and pesticides.

Sunshine Farm & Gardens carries uniquely Appalachian plants. They specialize in Hellebore hybrids, beautiful and stalky flowering plants that will add colorful beauty to any garden. But, if you really want to give the gift of West Virginia to the gardener on your list, check out their ramp selection. You can order this special Mountain State root (which tastes like a mix of garlic and onions) directly from their website.

5. Sustainable t-shirts

SustainU clothing in Morgantown makes simple products: mostly T-shirts and hoodies. But they are serious about being eco friendly and environmentally sustainable— they use recycled materials, save water by avoiding cotton and keep their production in the USA.

They also have a seriously cool West Virginia vibe, with some unique Mountain State designs like their “Why I Stay” style line. SustainU’s shirts are available online, at stores around the state and even at some special events like Bridge Day in Fayetteville. Give someone a gift of West Virginia that they can wear.

 

Indoor climbing wall and gear at Water Stone Outdoors

6. Shop with local merchants for outdoor apparel

Even with national brands, you can still support local business and the environment. Drop into locally owned Mountain State outdoor gear shops like Water Stone Outdoors (Fayetteville), Serenity Now Outfitters (Lewisburg) or Pathfinder (Morgantown) to get more details on the high quality, eco-friendly clothing they carry.

It’s really an environmental double-whammy: support the national companies that help fund large-scale conservation across America, while also giving to a shop that’s committed to the beauty in its own backyard.

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This post was last updated on December 15, 2016