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Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

Local Guide to Conscious Giving

Oct 31, 2013 03:12PM ● By Daralyn Chase

We know it as the most wonderful time of the year, yet too often the holiday season pushes wellness to the back burner and heightened consumption trumps efforts to go green. For this year’s gift-giving season, Natural Awakenings has gathered meaningful and practical gift ideas from local businesses to ease the stress of holiday shopping.

To make gifting even simpler, pair our findings with creative themes that initiate new traditions. Try the four-gift rule with kids: one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear and one thing to read. Consider shopping throughout the year when inspiration strikes, and then store items in a gift closet; it cuts down on holiday to-dos. Or, turn from packaged products altogether to gift certificates, prepaid memberships and healthier treats.

Accessories with a Conscience
If jewelry is on a loved one’s wish list, look for pieces that are made of sustainable or recycled materials or that raise funds for a worthy cause.

Rock Hard Designs, (, located at Monet Monet, Grayton Beach and Downtown Pensacola, is an award-winning designer passionate about the deeper meaning of jewelry produced by most ancient cultures versus the generic, meaningless styles mass-produced today under sweatshop conditions in Third-World countries.

Presents that Pamper
With busy calendars and long to-do lists, everyone can use a little pampering this time of year. For a gift that keeps on giving, give a year’s membership for monthly massages or facials.

Massage Envy Spa, (Massage, in Destin, offers a variety of massages and facials for different needs and desires at an affordable price.

Pets can be pampered, too. Esther’s Garden of Healing ( is expanding their Holistic Pet Care section. After more than 10 years of treating their own animals holistically, owners Esther Terns and Diana Pereira are helping animals to get healthy or stay healthy through the use of homeopathics, nutrition, and herbal care.

Gift certificates for organic hair coloring, hair products, and skin care. Salon Vedat, ( a full-service salon, provides hair coloring and smoothing processes with Organic Salon Systems and KeraGreen products. No toxin, chemicals, or unpleasant odors. Products are environment friendly and use no animal products or byproducts, with no animal testing.

Healthy Holiday Eats
Indulge your guest and feel good by sharing organic, vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free side dishes, holiday treats and libations.

Ever’man Natural Foods ( and Golden Almond Health Food Store, (Golden showcase some of the finest organic libations this time of year, as well as healthier choices for baking and cooking items to have on hand during the holidays.

Off The Vine ( brings in organic produce from local regional farmers. Find seasonal holiday favorites, order weekly and pick up at convenient locations throughout Northwest Florida.

Pensacola Natural Foods (, among other conscious eating products, sells organic free-range turkeys available by advance order during the holiday season.

At Synergy Organic Juice Bar and Café (, treat your holiday guest and family to a delicious meal where all is prepared for you and someone else does the dishes. Learn to create your own organic vegan and vegetarian delights from home by attending one of many classes and workshops offered.

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