In the words of Rev. Billy, mock evangelist and star of the newly released documentary What Would Jesus Buy?, the dreaded "shopocalypse" is upon us. If he and his Choir of Stop Shopping had their way, we would all be blissfully exchanging simple gestures of peace and love for the holidays rather than heaps of overly packaged plastic stuff.
But if you already know deep in your gut that peace and love just aren't going to cut it for your demanding sweetheart, whining child, or needy pet, procuring green gifts from local Bay Area shops is the next best thing. Consult this well-edited list to help you navigate the buying frenzy, thrill your giftees, and sidestep some of the residual guilt. For extra points, pass on the parking pandemonium and try riding your bike or taking public transit to your shopping destinations.
- Treat your pals or paramour to a rejuvenating treatment at Evo Spa (216 Strawberry Village, Mill Valley; 415-383-3223, www.evo-spa.com), a green, holistic beauty and wellness haven in Mill Valley. Evo also carries paraben-free and organic skin care products.
- Keep everyone on your list well hydrated with SIGG nontoxic, ecofriendly water bottles (Lombardi Sports, 1600 Jackson, SF; 415-771-0600, www.lombardisports.com). They’re crack-resistant, reusable, and recyclable, and their lining is 100 percent leach free, ensuring all your giftee will taste is their favorite libation.
- Help those busy parents in your life clean up their act with a visit from Greenway Maid (415-674-3266, www.greewaymaid.com), a local, worker-owned green cleaning service that uses only ecofriendly cleaning products.
- Get your honeybunch a Gremlin clutch (Eco Citizen, 1488 Vallejo, SF; 415-614-0100, www.ecocitizenonline.com) to help her tackle those San Francisco hills in style. Made from recycled car upholstery fabric from 1975 AMC Gremlins, this hot-rod handbag will sizzle on your lady's arm.
- Invite your family and friends to hop on the localvore bandwagon with a subscription to Farm Fresh to You (1-800-796-6009, www.farmfreshtoyou.com). Each box contains seasonal organic produce — grown at small, local, sustainable farms and delivered right to your door.
- Wrap your darling in a Flow Scarf (Branch Home, 245 S. Van Ness, SF; 415-341-1824, www.branchhome.com) by Hiroko Kurihara, handcrafted in the East Bay from European Union–ecologically certified virgin wool. For each scarf sold, one is donated to help those who are homeless or in transition.
- The Recycled Plastic Radio Flyer Earth Wagon (Green Home, 850 24th Ave., SF; 877-282-6400, www.greenhome.com) is the ultimate gift for that budding environmentalist in your life. The body of the wagon is made from 100 percent recycled postconsumer high-density polyethylene.