he’d shut down his elfin sweatshop, park his sleigh outside a worker-run craft co-op and then stop to adopt a few polar bears clinging to melting ice flows By ADRIA VASIL
BORN TO BE WILD
Nothing says loving like a teddy with a cause. Adopt a wild wolf and help protect this hyper-hunted, unprotected species. Earthroots will send your giftee a huggable version of the noble creature as well as a personalized adoption certificate. 416-599-0152. www.earthroots.org. $50.
The World Wildlife Fund has similar packages for polar bear, dolphin and tiger lovers. 1-800-267-2632. www.wwf.ca. $40.
For the ultimate tree hugger, why not adopt a majestic old-growth tree in your friend’s name, and Earthroots will send him or her a beautiful Temagami poster and personalized certificate. $50.
Give a gift that creates a safe haven for this country’s threatened or endangered creatures through the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Your recipients will get a lovely calendar and a certificate with the number of acres you saved in their names. 1-800-465-0029. www.natureconservancy.ca. $30.
TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL
Oh, if learning were always this fun. All net proceeds from these brightly painted blocks ($20) and beautifully illustrated book of traditional children’s tales ($21.95) go to UNICEF programs in 158 countries. (We’re told that’s enough to treat 450 children suffering from life-threatening diarrhea.) Available at select mall kiosks and at www.shopunicef.ca or 1-866-864-2331.
NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE
For a little ethnic flair without the guilt of ripping off the locals, this fair-trade mask was carved from albesia (a local eco-sound wood) by craftspeople on the island of Bali. Isolated artisans are organized by a locally run cooperative. Available at three Toronto Ten Thousand Villages locations (Mennonite-run non-profit, fair trade shops): 2599 Yonge, 416-932-1673; 362 Danforth, 416-462-9779; 2701 St. Clair East, 416-757-8757. $24.98.
For that coffee lover with a conscience, why not pick up a lovely package of fairly traded, sustainably grown, solar-dried organic coffee? (And you thought you had go to Starbucks to hyper-hyphenate your mocha order.) This particular brand, Merchants of Green Coffee, is a roast-it-yourself affair for the adventurous java junkie who doesn’t care to contribute to noxious industrial roasting. Part of the proceeds go to Friends of the Earth and other eco orgs. Available at select health food stores. $7.99.
Cushy on the back and the conscience, this pretty pillow is made from ceremonial Indian saris by women in a worker-managed sewing cooperative in rural Rajasthan, India. Blue Moon, 375 Danforth, 416-778-6991. $36.
Move over, Monopoly. Amnesty International proves you can have fun with dice and simultaneously save the world from inhumanity. Made of recycled materials. 416-363-9933. www.aito.ca. $35.
Who knew a pretty hand-painted teapot could help otherwise unemployed artisans feed and educate their families and access basic health care? Made by an artisan co-op in the northern Vietnamese city of Hanoi and fairly traded by Ten Thousand Villages. $34.95.
NUKE OF SPADES
The perfect stocking stuffer for that poker lover who craves more than beernut banter. Greenpeace has put together this deck filled with tidbits on nukes, who’s making them and who’s spreading them. 1-800-320-7183. www.greenpeace.ca. $13.
This beautiful golden Buddha is a cast resin replica of a Thai temple statue dating from the 13th century. Hand-painted by an artisan in Denpasar, Indonesia, who is paid a living wage by Third World Artisans, the non-profit fair trade corporation that runs Blue Moon on the Danforth. $22.