It's Easy Being Green

October 13, 2009


Sustainable Shopping Ideas for This Holiday Season

San Francisco, CA: Reward your family and friends—and the planet—this holiday season by creating an eco-conscious shopping list. Choose from a wide variety of products that are sustainable, economical, and environmentally minded at All purchases support conservation and education efforts at one of America's premier national park sites—the Golden Gate National Parks.

With gift possibilities ranging from Acai berry necklaces to environmentally friendly (and very colorful) mixing bowls and from the classic John Muir Botanist Collection of journals, calendars, and more to quirky regulation Alcatraz aprons, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy's store at the Warming Hut features a unique line of eco-friendly items. Here are five planet-friendly gift ideas that will delight your family and friends while supporting the parks:

  1. Socially conscious fashion: Using natural products like Acai seeds from the South American rainforests, Tagua nuts from Ecuador, and coconut palm from tropical areas across the world, these designs demonstrate that personal style can be achieved in conjunction with a green planet. Pick up sustainably produced necklaces, bracelets, and more for all the fashion-forward people on your list. ($18 $60).
  2. Confetti Collection: Making mealtimes fun and colorful is the easy part. Zak! Designs maintain a strong commitment to the environment with its Confetti collection—a line of dinnerware, dining accessories, and kitchen prep products made with recycled melamine. ($12 $35)
  3. John Muir botanist collection: Admire the plants that inspired a pioneer in this stunning collection of 12 keepsake prints featuring specimens collected by preservationist John Muir, a "founding father" of America's national parks. The delicate forms of stems, petals, leaves, and seeds were Muir's great passion—and can be yours as well. This elegant collection includes journals, note cards, a print folio, calendars, and gift enclosures. ($5.95 $18.95)
  4. Alcatraz Inmate Apron: Establish stringent kitchen rules in your own house with this apron featuring Regulation #33 Dining Room Rules—"Meals are served three times a day in the dining room. Do not exceed the ration. Do not waste food." Made of denim, the apron will hold up in tough conditions. ($15.95)
  5. Slainte Bags: Combining aesthetics and ethics is not always easy but these locally sourced, handmade bags ($68 $88) from San Francisco manage to do just that. All materials are recycled (yes, the bags used to be soda bottles), and use eco-cottons. And let's not forget they look fabulous!

All items mentioned above are available at The Warming Hut, a park store located in a sustainably designed building at the west end of Crissy Field in The Presidio of San Francisco and online. Visit or park stores on Alcatraz Island for more gift ideas. For directions to the Warming Hut, click here.

Another simple—but fun—idea is to pick a couple of park themed stocking stuffers. Options include:

  • Marble coasters ($9.95) featuring artwork by Bay Area local artist Paul Madonna. Available in classic sepia and vibrant color, these coasters will bring cheer to any table.
  • Ballpoint Alcatraz Regulation #41 Pen ($12.95)—Inscribed in metal on our unique pen: "Inmates may correspond only with approved correspondents. You will refrain from discussing other inmates or institutional affairs. Violent or abusive letters will not be mailed." Since the pen is mightier than the sword, this comes in its own gift box!
  • Wildflowers of Alcatraz seeds ($15.95), including Nasturium, Poppy, and Sweet Pea flowers—guaranteed to grow in most climates around the world. After all, these hearty plants flourished through four decades of neglect after the prison closed. Supporting the Garden Conservancy's award-winning work to bring back the gardens that once graced the Island during its prison years.

All your purchases directly support the Parks Conservancy's work in the Golden Gate National Parks—80,400 acres of parklands north and south of the Golden Gate, including Alcatraz, Muir Woods National Monument, The Presidio of San Francisco, and 30 other sites renowned for their natural beauty and historic value. By holiday shopping with the Parks Conservancy online and in our stores, you give back to one of the most visited and cherished national parks. Since 1981 the Parks Conservancy leads programs and projects that preserve the parks at the Golden Gate, enhance the experiences of visitors, and build a community dedicated to conserving the national parks for the future.

Media Contact:
Veda Banerjee
Associate Director of Communications
Golden Gate National Parks
(415) 561 3082