Real Leaders

5 Year-End Gifts That Are Good for the Planet

Glass Straws: Now It’s Cool to Suck

This set of four colorful glass straws with angled heads elevates your drinking experience while helping put an end to single-use plastic. It includes a companion tool that is custom designed for cleaning straws, and the sleek case has air holes, which means your straws will dry even while tucked neatly away. Made from Borosilicate glass, the straws have a very low coefficient of thermal expansion, making them more resistant to thermal shock than any other standard glass. Over 663 million people lack access to clean drinking water. With every purchase of a Soma product, a donation is made to charity: water projects. These contributions go directly to sustainable, community-owned water projects in developing countries. To date, charity: water has funded over 22,000 projects and given access to clean water to over 7 million people in 24 countries.

Light Up Your Life: An Intelligent Table Lamp that Senses You’re There

The Dyson Lightcycle is the last desk lamp you will ever need. It automatically simulates the properties of natural daylight and adjusts its glow to the room around it and noting whether or not anyone is present, ensuring that it’s not wasting energy. The light tracks the color temperature and brightness of the daylight where you live and adjusts the light accordingly to avoid eye strain. Special technology keeps six high-power LEDs cool enough to protect light quality for 60 years, and motion sensors switch the light on when you’re near and off when you’re away for more than 5 minutes. “Our bodies can be influenced by daylight’s changing spectrum of color and brightness. So our new light adjusts with the daylight where you live,” says designer Jake Dyson, son of legendary designer James Dyson. Connect the lamp to a smartphone app through Bluetooth, and when the light is connected, it will sync the color temp to the ideal setting to match your location anywhere on Earth. It’s a clever function and is said to have a host of mental and physical benefits.

Sparkling Life: Put the Fun Back in Your (Re-usable) Bottle

By the time you finish reading this Gifts for Good page, another 5 million single-use plastic bottles will have been sold around the world. One SodaStream carbonating bottle can save up to thousands of single-use plastic bottles and cans. While Sodastream has been around for decades, the brand has changed from the novelty idea of creating your own carbonated water at home to one focused on conserving resources. The company also makes a conscious effort to recycle its CO2 carbonating cylinders. Each exchanged cylinder shipped back to its facility is cleaned, inspected, and refilled with fresh CO2.

Go Natural: Seaweed You Can Wear

Pangaia’s mission is simple: to save our environment, one colorful hoody, tracksuit, and sweatshirt at a time. Its labels list everything from eucalyptus pulp and seaweed powder to wildflowers and non-toxic dyes, each one designed to reduce its impact on the planet. Science, purpose, and design are three things the company keeps in mind when designing innovative new materials. Two such innovations are FLWRDWN, A down-fill material made using a combination of wildflowers, a biopolymer, an aerogel, and C-FIBER, which combines eucalyptus pulp and seaweed powder — harvested every four years from Iceland — to create soft and silky styles you can wear, support the ecosystems used to make it, and give back to the planet whatever they take. The resulting fabric is water-saving, biobased, and 100% biodegradable. Around one-quarter of the chemical substances manufactured in the world are used to make textiles. Traces of these chemicals can end up in our waterways, from lakes and oceans to the water that comes out of our faucets.

Engage the Wild: Quieter, Cleaner Snowmobiles

Canadian company Taiga has launched its first all-electric snowmobile, the Nomad. It allows outdoor enthusiasts to consciously explore winter terrains without compromising performance while silently gliding through nature without noise or CO2 emissions. The 90 HP Nomad has a range of 65 miles and seamlessly integrates with existing electric vehicle charging networks. “The delivery of our Nomad snowmobile is the realization of a seven-year vision to provide riders an electric snowmobile that does not compromise performance while preserving the environment,” says CEO Sam Bruneau.

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