I am very excited to share with all of you ‘The Ultimate Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Guide’ – all items can be purchased from The Spotted Door. This online retail website houses an incredible treasure trove of eco-friendly items perfect for any occasion and use all year long. The Spotted Door is dedicated to supporting artisans who utilize recycled and reclaimed materials to create beautiful products. Every item is guaranteed to contain over 50% recycled material. Awesome!
Meet Jason Utgaard!
Jason is an inspiration to others. He shares his passion for helping protect the environment by encouraging others to think differently about trash. In his TEDx Talk, Jason discusses how trash can be both reclaimed and recycled- ultimately being transformed into amazing items for everyday use.
The Inspiration Behind The Spotted Door
Jason grew up working in retail at his father’s single sporting goods store. He worked at their massive distribution center and later at the corporate office. His experience allowed him to see first hand that there was a “significant one-way material flow” thus, “what we sold, we never saw again” says Jason. This one-way material flow became problematic in terms of its environmental impact, leading Jason to question “Where is this all coming from?” and “Where is it ending up?” His concerns about the production of the products sold in their stores and where they all ended up sparked him to research recycled materials. While researching recycled materials Jason says he found, “AMAZING everyday products made from recycled materials.” However, they seemed to “get lost in green stories and the marketplace.” Overall, Jason’s main takeaway from his research was “this feeling that they were not getting nearly the attention or appreciation they should for their designs.” Thus, The Spotted Door was created.
The Spotted Door serves as an online retail website showcasing incredible eco-friendly handcrafted products made by artisans across America. For Jason, his main goal for The Spotted Door is: “for people to see what can be made from recycled materials so that the next time they have something they don’t know how to recycle, they won’t put it in the trash because they’ll recall seeing something made on The Spotted Door and think, I know someone uses this – I just have to get it to them.”
The Meaning Behind The Name
Curious to know the significance behind the name? I sure was. When Jason began building his company, he wanted the name to reflect the nature of the products he offers for retail on his website. Jason describes the products available on his website as, “they are not from new materials, there’s a history-of-sorts to them.” He goes on to draw attention to the most fascinating aspect of the items featured on his website, that being, “these are not per se secondhand items, but all of the materials once existed as something else.” Thus, ever item in its own right is one-of-a-kind, with a cool tale to tell. Since the inception of The Spotted Door its name has held significant meaning, as Jason eloquently describes the significance behind the name, “ ‘Spotted’ then came as a word to describe the nature of the materials. ‘Door’ of course conveys that opportunity mixed with mystery of what lies on the other side, and mainly acts to convey the choice consumers have in selecting the products they purchase. Originally, ‘The Spotted Door’ was meant to have the feel of a speakeasy bar, somewhat off-the-beaten-path yet familiar to everyone.” I am sure you will all agree that the meaning behind ‘The Spotted Door’ perfectly reflects both the vision of The Spotted Door and everything which it stands for.
Spotlight! The Incredible Items That Made The List
In collaboration with Jason Utgaard, founder of The Spotted Door, together we have curated an eco-friendly holiday gift guide compiled of both his and my favorite items. Be sure to click on the link of each item to find out the cool backstory of each featured item.
What does one get the “hostess with the mostess”? Here are some fantastic eco-friendly items that will be the talk of the party.
Jason’s Pick– Recycled Magazine Wine Charms: These are “perfect for labeling drinks at parties.”
Laura’s Pick- Reclaimed Wood Serving Tray: A beautiful versatile tray. This is definitely a must for any hostess.
Reclaimed Wood Serving Board: A unique centerpiece for serving hors d’oeuvres or desserts. I can already see the cupcakes lined up in a row.
When shopping for “the foodie” the first thing that comes to mind is something yummy and delicious. However, consider the joy you will bring them with these fantastic cookware items. After getting any one of these items for Christmas, chances are they will be cooking up a storm!
Jason’s Pick– Reclaimed Wood Serving Sets “Stylish and functional for everyday use.”
Laura’s Pick: Odds N Ends Reclaimed Wood Jar These nifty jars are great for storing spices and nuts.
The Animal Lover
At Christmas time don’t forget to fill your cat or dog’s stocking with these fun gifts.
Jason’s Pick– MooTug Dog Toy Jason’s dog absolutely loves this toy!
Dog Sweaters Jason’s dog can be found rocking this sweater all winter long.
Laura’s Pick– Mouse Eco Cat Toy I’m thinking Sparta and Kiwi would love to get their paws on this toy.
Gentlemen prefer awesome eco-friendly items made just for them.
Jason’s Pick– Turbo Wallets These trendy wallets are a best seller!
Laura’s Pick- Recycled Treadmill Belt Black IPad Sleeve For the man who loves his iPad.
What does a lady love most? Elegance.
Jason’s Pick– Recycled Glass Necklace Made in California and comes in a variety of styles and colors.
Laura’s Pick- Sophie Recycled Rubber Bag with Natural Jute Gorgeous bag!
Elephant Branded Recycled Clutch Purse Just couldn’t resist sharing this one. How cute is the elephant on it?
Round Green Upcycled Circuit Board Earrings I am in love with these earrings!
What better time of year than Christmas to give a gift of gratitude to the homemaker in your family.
Jason’s Pick– Throw Blankets Splurge on these lovely blankets.
Laura’s Pick– Recycled Bombay Sapphire Blue Vase or Pitcher Versatile and unique in design, making it the perfect gift.
The Kids at Heart
Toys for kids and those of us who are still kids at heart.
Jason’s Pick– Handlebar Cooler Bag How neat is this? This handlebar cooler bag made from discarded bicycle inner tubes, has turned into an item that is both fun and functional. It can double as a can-holder for any party you are heading too, or as a lunch bag. A great gift for commuters.
Laura’s Pick– IKOS Builder Pieces Creator Pack This awesome toy was designed by a group of high school students! An innovative gift for kids 6 years old and up. You can bet that there are adults out there who would have a blast with this toy! This item is super cool, as it was created “with the intention to spread the knowledge that spheres are an amazing solution to water storage and affordable housing, the team at IKOS crafted a design that everyone can understand.”
For all you globetrotters and jet-setters out there, these items are must haves!
Laura’s Pick– Recycled Duffle Bag- White Elephant While the passport holder is on my Christmas wish list, this duffle bag also makes the cut. I have tried to travel light many times, and I was successful with this endeavor once, so adding a new a piece of luggage to my collection is well worth it.
I hope you have enjoyed browsing through the eco-friendly holiday gift guide.
Please be sure to visit The Spotted Door, and checkout the wonderful stories behind the products showcased in this eco-friendly holiday gift guide, as well as other amazing items!
Happy Eco-Friendly Shopping!
With love, xo