For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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2015 Gifts That Give Back

Tis’ the season for giving! I’ve curated a fun list of gift ideas that give back in more ways that one. By giving these gifts, you’re also giving back to a great cause.

2015 Gifts That Give Back

 

1. The Gemma Hat by Krochet Kids: Krochet Kids supports women living in poverty in Northern Uganda and Peru by providing them with jobs, an education, and career counseling in order to create long lasting, sustainable change. This classic, gray pompom beanie is perfect for colder weather.

2. Dime Collection (tortoise frame with gold mirror lenses) by Diff Eyewear: These shades not only keep you from squinting on bright, sunny days, but also help to supply eyeglasses to rural areas in Africa. For every pair of eyewear that is bought through Diff Eyewear, a pair of eyeglasses is given (at no cost) to communities that do not have access to vision care.

3. Resilience Necklace by Made By Survivors: Made By Survivors provides jobs, education, and shelter to thousands of human trafficking survivors in Nepal, India, Cambodia, and Thailand. This particular necklace is inspired by vines that grow in Northern India. Like the women who make these necklaces, vines are very resilient. When you cut them down, they grow back even stronger.

4. Black and Gold Striped Vase by Ten Thousand Villages: Ten Thousand Villages is one of the world’s largest fair trade organizations. They are the founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization and strive to improve the lives of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries. This vase is made with a traditional Peruvian technique, but the black and gold stripes give it a modern twist.

5. Nine West Cross Body from The Fashion Foundation: Recently Nine West donated over 300 bags to the Fashion Foundation. So if you want to get a good quality bag for a fraction of the cost while also supporting a good cause, this is the place to do it. The Fashion Foundation has donated over $10,000 to schools in need of basic supplies like pencils, crayons, uniforms, and basic gym equipment. You can read more about The Fashion Foundation in this interview I did with the founder, Amanda Munz.

6. Maria Poncho by Moorea Seal: Moorea Seal is an awesome store that donates 7% of profits to a variety of causes. This poncho combines comfort and style and gives back to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I call that a win-win-win. You can also check out my Moorea Seal gift guides from last year: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

7. Dark Chocolate with Peppermint Crunch by Endangered Species Chocolate: There’s no better winter combination than chocolate and peppermint. 10% of the proceeds from each bar go to one of two foundations Endangered Species Chocolate is currently partnered with: African Wildlife Foundation or The Xerces Society.

8. On Purpose Blue Leather Tote by Kate Spade: What girl doesn’t want to find a Kate Spade bag under the tree? This particular bag is from the On Purpose collection, which provides jobs, heath care, and fair wages to 150 women in Masoro, Rwanda. The end goal is to positively transform the entire community of over 20,000 people.

9. Tiny Treasures Lil’ Zip by Dogeared: The makers of this adorable pouch are a little different than the rest of the companies on this list. Dogeared is a certified B-Corp, which means it is a for profit company that is certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

10. In-Ear Wired Sport Headphones by SMS Audio: These headphones help support Feeding America, which is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization. SMS Audio was founded by 50 Cent so you know they’ll be stylish, yield high quality sound, and will be appreciated by the music lover in your life.


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2015 Gift Guide for Makeup Lovers

The holiday season is upon us and that means the gift buying, wrapping, giving, and receiving is in full swing! I’ve picked out some of the chicest, trendiest, and luxurious products that are sure to satisfy everyone’s holiday fix. All the products below are great for both beauty gurus and beginners.

For an added bonus, all of the products I’ve picked out are cruelty free. Avoiding products that are tested on animals is very important to me and while I understand that it isn’t the most convenient way to shop, I wanted to show you that you don’t need to sacrifice quality for consciousness. I’ve done all of the research for you and all of my picks are from great brands that are committed to keeping their products cruelty free. If you’re interested in checking to see if your favorite brands are cruelty free, you can use this searchable database from PETA.

Whether these items spark your own interest or give you inspiration for gifts to give to loved ones, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy!

2015 makeup gift guide

1. Highlight and Contour Pro Palette by NYX Cosmetics: Contour palettes are all the rage in the beauty community. This one by NYX is high quality, but also affordable.

2. Tartlette 2 In Bloom Amazonian Clay Palette by Tarte: This palette has everything you need for the perfect smokey eye. The buttery smooth eyeshadows come in a mixture of colors and finishes (matte and shimmer), which make it a great buy.

3. Shimmering Skin Perfector (in Champagne Pop) by BECCA: Add a natural glow to the holiday season with this bright highlighter. It works as a cheek highlight, eyeshadow, and you can even mix a little into your lipgloss for a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

4. Jasmine Body Oil by Herbivore Botanicals: This plant based oil packs a luxuriously hydrating punch and smells amazing!

5. Lip Exfoliator by e.l.f.: Exfoliating can be a messy process, but not with this lip exfoliator. It is compact, very easy to use, and gets the job done.

6. Agave Lip Mask by Bite Beauty: I love Bite Beauty because they vow to make all of their beauty products safe enough to eat. And while I don’t recommend eating this stuff straight from the tube… I do recommend sleeping with this on your lips so you wake with a soft pout.

7. Oval 7 Brush by Artis: This new brush’s odd shape isn’t just for show. The curved handle mimics your hand and helps to evenly distribute and blend out products for a flawless finish.

8. Glitz & Glam Nail Lacquer Collection: This four piece set is the perfect way to prepare for New Years. The three pastel colors pair perfectly with the glittery gold polish for some blinged out, New Years nails. This nail set is also 5-free, which means it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals.

9. Butter Gloss by NYX Cosmetics: These glosses are extremely hydrating and the color is very subtle. I love pairing them overtop a lipstick or wearing it alone for a little extra touch when I’m wearing minimal makeup.

10. Clay Mask (Green) by Fig and Yarrow: Aside from a day at the spa, there are few things that are as luxurious as a good face mask. This all natural, detoxifying mask from Fig and Yarrow works on all skin types.

11. Everlasting Liquid Lipstick by Kat Von D: Along with contour palettes, liquid lipsticks are taking the beauty industry by storm. This version by Kat Von D is highly pigmented and lasts on your lips for hours (aka it won’t smudge during your New Years kiss *wink wink*).

12. Blush Palette by e.l.f.: This four piece palette holds a variety of extremely pigmented blushes that are perfect for mixing to create your own signature shade.

I hope this gift guide has given you some inspiration and gotten you excited to go shopping. Are there any beauty buys you’re currently obsessed with? Leave your favorites in the comments below!


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Orange Harp 2015 Gift Guide (For Her)

Every year I make myself wait until after Thanksgiving to start thinking about Christmas. No Christmas decorations, no holiday music, no gift shopping until I have properly stuffed my face with turkey. And every year I find myself in a mad rush to find last minute gifts. This year I’ve decided to take a new approach. In respect for Thanksgiving, I will still keep the holiday tunes and décor to a minimum, but I am going to start thinking about gifts a little earlier to spare myself any last minute stress.

I thought I would help my readers out too by creating my first gift guide of the year. Last year my first seasonal gift guide revolved around a company called Orange Harp. For those of you who have never heard of Orange Harp, Orange Harp is a mobile app that serves as a marketplace for high-quality, ethically crafted, socially conscious products. They partner with brands that make things the right way. The thing I love most about Orange Harp is that they believe you don’t have to sacrifice quality or style to lead a conscious life.

Since my original gift guideOrange Harp has grown in many ways. They currently have partnered with 45 brands and sell over 4,000 products. Orange Harp has also updated their app with filter options for easier navigation. In my opinion, the coolest new addition is their Orange Harp Heroes program. They encourage users to send in their socially conscious tips and stories so Orange Harp can share them with the world. You can email you tips to life@orangeharp.com for a chance to win a $10 gift card.

All the products below are available on the Orange Harp app which you can download from the app store. You can click the links to learn more about each product and why they’re considered socially conscious. This is your lucky day because you can also save some money by using the code GREATERGOODS at checkout to get 15% off your entire purchase (valid through November 30, 2015). Happy shopping!

Orange Harp For Her Gift Guide 2015

1. Aasha Glass Cuff

2. All Natural Hand Cream Smoother

3. Arapahoe Red Button Down

4. Ring Holder

5. Presidio Tote

6. White Sage & Wild Mint Tea

7. Kiss Ring

8. View Sera Cosmetic Bag


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Fair Treasure

I love the idea of subscription boxes. Like love as in capital L-O-V-E. I’ve tried Birchbox and Conscious Box, would love to try Ipsy, am intrigued by Rocksbox, and have heard great things about Stitch Fix.

I just love the idea of getting a special surprise in the mail each month. One subscription box that recently appeared on my radar is called Fair Treasure. Fair Treasure helps you find high quality products from around the world that are produced by people earning a fair wage to feed their families, lift themselves out of poverty, and educate their children.

This box is right up my alley! One of my biggest issues with other boxes is the lack of a socially conscious effort. While I’m trying to make a conscious effort with the products I buy, most subscription boxes don’t help with that, but the Fair Treasure box does. _MG_2208

Although Fair Treasure isn’t Fair Trade certified yet (key word), they are working towards it. All of the products they send out follow the 10 principles of Fair Trade, which are listed below:

  • Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Craftspeople and Farmers
  • Transparency and Accountability
  • Fair Trading Practices
  • Payment of a Fair Price
  • Ensuring no Child Labor and Forced Labor
  • Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Freedom of Association
  • Ensuring Good Working Conditions
  • Providing Capacity Building
  • Promoting Fair Trade
  • Respect for the Environment

Fair Treasure fills monthly subscription boxes with 2-3 handmade items that abide by their ethical, fair trade standards. Boxes usually include home décor, jewelry, or personal accessories. Along with each item is a corresponding note card that gives you a little information about how the item was made. I got three items in my box that I wouldn’t have thought to buy for myself, but will definitively use. In my box I received a bottle stopper, tea towel, and miniature vase.Below are pictures of all the items with their descriptions:

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_MG_2202The subscription service costs $35 a month and you can pay for one or three months at a time. The quality of the products justify the price, but I understand spending $35 a month on a subscription box isn’t in everyone’s budget. I believe it is a great way to treat yourself once in a while. It would also be a great, unique gift. If you’d like some more reviews, you can check out My Subscription Addiction’s and Must Have Boxes reviews of Treasure Box.

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It’s Nice To Receive, But Nicer To Give

I remember one Christmas when I was really young, I had just finished watching The Grinch (the original) and began understanding the “real” meaning of Christmas. I then I began preaching to my poor younger sister about the importance of giving during the holiday season.

Over the year the message became more clear and giving gifts is easily my favorite part of Christmas. I love surprising people with something thoughtful. I even went as far as making an Excel spreadsheet for gifts this year.

And in the spirit of the holidays and of giving, I have realized how important it is to give back to those less fortunate. Any time is a good time to give back, but I find a special importance during the holidays. I love the idea of holiday miracles and that anything can happen.

Whether you donate time or money, try to add giving back to your list this year.

In case you’re not entirely sure where to start, I’ll help you out.

There are 3 different geographical areas I consider when I research charities and nonprofits, which are: local, national, and global causes. I’ve put together some examples of each one to hopefully give you some ideas and inspiration. Happy Holidays!

The Grinch

Local

Find a cause that directly effects your community.

Animal Shelters, Libraries, Homeless Shelters, Support Groups, After School Programs, Park/Beach Cleanup, Environmental Research, Hospice, Museums

You can also look into locally run non-profits. For example there is a non-profit called Safe Passage, which helps children in Guatemala, but is run in my tiny, little hometown in Maine.

National

These causes operate nationwide.

Make A Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. If you haven’t watched the Bat Kid video yet, you gotta check it out.

The Project Night Night gives homeless children care packages filled with a new security blanket, an age-appropriate book, and a stuffed animal.

No More is a public awareness and engagement campaign focused on ending domestic violence and sexual assault.

The American Cancer Society is the largest nongovernmental funder of cancer research in the United States. They are working every day to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

American Heart Association helps to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Donations help fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information.

Global

These causes make the whole world a better place.

Habitat For Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. You can donate or volunteer your time to help build a house.

The World Wildlife Fund is the world’s leading conservation organization. Their mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

Project HOPE delivers essential medicines and supplies, volunteers and medical training to prevent disease, promote wellness, respond to disaster and save lives around the globe.

GlobalGiving is a charity fundraising web site that gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits from anywhere in the world a chance to raise the money. This one for the Sunda pangolin (one of the most trafficked mammal in the world) really pulled at my heart strings.

Help stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa by donating to UNICEF.  UNICEF is airlifting essential supplies, distributing vital health information and caring for children and families.

Heifer International helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty.  You can give an animal which can provide wool, milk, eggs and more. It’s almost like donating a small business to someone. You can check out their gift catalog here.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Do you have any causes that are close to your heart? Share them in the comments below!


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Presents With A Purpose: Caring For Animals

Last week I stumbled upon a necklace from Moorea Seal and I’ve been  completely obsessed with the company ever since.

Moorea Seal sells handmade accessories and household items from a variety of designers. Not only are the pieces incredibly unique, but they also give back to a variety of causes. Each of the designers chooses from 5 different non-profits to partner with and then 7% of their sales go to the allotted non-profit. You can learn more about the causes here.

After looking through the ENTIRE site (multiple times), I realized couldn’t narrow my picks down to just one post (there are just too many awesome products, I can’t even). So I’ve decided to put together a post for each cause. For the next five days I will be posting Moorea Seal gift guides and each one will focus on a different cause.

Here are my top picks from the Caring for Animals sections. 7% of proceeds from sales of these products go to Homeward Pet Adoption Center, which is a no-kill, non-profit animal shelter in Seattle. They give homeless animals a second chance with their rescue, rehabilitation and adoption programs. Every year they help 1,400 dogs and cats find a new home. You can learn more about this great cause here.

Caring for Animals

1. Sight of the Stars Wall Hanging / 2. Small Rain Tumbler / 3. Large Feather Tumbler / 4. Diamond Ring / 5. Brass Taurus Necklace / 6. Coco Portfolio / 7. Stick Studs / 8. I Can, I Will Notebook / 9. Brass Feather Bracelet / 10. Christmas Bunny Card / 11. Stick Up Weekly Calendar