The Tampa Bay Green Gift Guide: Fabulous eco-friendly gifts from local Earth loving vendors

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[image-1] boasts a wide selection of unique eco-friendly and fair trade gifts, clothing, bath and body products, jewelry, and more. They offer items from local craftsmen like the stunning St. Croix jewelry (pictured), Indigo Bee soap, and Tweeprints stationery. The store also features unique repurposed gifts, like recycled record album bowls and punch cup soy candles, hand made by owner Jennifer Dutkowsky herself. 3217A South MacDill Ave., Tampa. 813-374-2394 www.whynotboutique.com


Tampa Street Market sells one-of-a-kind furniture and housewares from vintage and repurposed items. Owners Charles and Amy Haynie also design eco furniture from salvaged wood and steel. Their Seminole Heights store features green housewares and gifts, like locally made Papergeist notebooks, Tweeprints stationery, and Second Line frames made from salvaged wood. 4715 N. Florida Ave., Tampa. 813-236-4900 www.tampastreetmarket.com


[image-2] is a local, web-based business owned by Jen Meier offering more green items than you could shake a stick at. She can be found every weekend at the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market selling a variety of natural, clothing recycled jewelry and eye-catching handbags (pictured) and accessories. Their website offers even more organic goodies, housewares, pet toys, baby gifts, personal care items, and unique energy and water saving gadgets for your home. www.gogreenitems.com


[image-3]'s motto "Healthy Wear for People Who Care" surely rings true in the array of organic cotton clothing for men, women, and children offered. Their fair trade garb is all-natural, chemical-free and colored with non-toxic dye (pictured at left). Company founder Linda Taylor works the farmers' market scene every week appearing at numerous markets and events like the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market and the Tampa Downtown Market. See her website for the full line of products and her schedule of appearances. www.itsournature.com


Zen Glass Studio and Higher Self Gifts, owned by artists Joshua Poll and David Walker, sell hand blown glass, art, paintings, and photography from local artists as well as organic teas and natural gifts from eco-friendly businesses. Zen Glass: 900A Dr. Martin Luther King St. S., St. Petersburg. 727-894-2371, www.zenglass.com; Higher Self Gifts: 6030 4th Street North, St. Petersburg. 727-329-6488, www.higherselfgifts.com


[image-4] is a line of "eco-modern" stationery (pictured), designed by LEED AP architect Thuy Ma, made from 100% recycled paper and printed with vegetable-based inks. These fun, one-of-a-kind cards can be found on her website and at Tampa Street Market and Why Not Boutique. She even takes custom orders for invitations and announcements. www.tweeprints.com


Indigo Bee offers organic, animal-free soaps, salts, lotions, and essential oils. 3205 W. Bay to Bay Blvd. Tampa, FL 33629. 813-374-2273 www.indigobeesoap.com


Healthy Being Wellness Boutique is a full service, natural health and wellness business providing gentle healing therapies, high quality wellness products and natural health education. They also offer natural products for people, pets, and homes - green cleaning products, too! 425 33rd Ave N., St. Petersburg. 727-502-3464 www.healthybeingllc.com


Second Line Frames takes authentic wood siding salvaged from homes destroyed during Hurricane Katrina and turns it into unique picture frames. This local business donates at least 20% to assisting in the rehabilitation of affected neighborhoods in New Orleans. You can find them at Tampa Street Market and their Etsy store: www.etsy.com/profile.php?user_id=5540567


Papergeist notebooks are one-of-a-kind spiral bound notebooks, journals, appointment books hand made from vintage record sleeves and reclaimed office paper. Pick them up at Tampa Street Market or from their website: www.papergeist.com


[image-5] are great for water conservation and one of the hottest green trends in Tampa Bay. Give one of these as a gift to help conserve water and keep your recipient's water bill down as well (or treat yourself). Purchase one of these 55-gallon rain barrels, complete with setup and attachments, from Rising Force Construction. Contact Lisa Montelione: 813-695-5030. [email protected]


Green With Envy Organics is a locally based company that offers 100% organic cotton canvas totes with various 'green' sayings and pictures. These bags are a great substitute to those boring reusable grocery bags, plus, they're bigger and a lot sturdier. The company also offers organic recycled totes and will even take custom orders. To find them locally, check them out at Sunken Gardens' gift shop, or at their website: http://greenwithenvyorganics.com/


Be sure to check out the guide to Tampa Bay's Green/Farmers' Markets to visit some of these vendors and to shop from other local vendors.

Forget going to the overcrowded malls this year, fighting your way through throngs of other frantic holiday shoppers. Why buy the same overpriced, over commercialized gifts that everyone else will be putting under their trees? Go green this year with your gift giving - not only giving to someone else, but giving back to the Earth.

Check out some of these standout items from these eco-friendly purveyors that will surely make quite an impression on all of the recipients on your list.

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