Sustainable Holiday Gifts In Charlotte

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Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

The holiday season is right around the corner, and if you are looking to give more environmental friendly gifts, look no further for innovative, sustainable gift ideas in the Charlotte area.

U.S. Whitewater Center Pass
U.S. Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28214
(704) 391-3900

A pass to explore the amenities at the U.S. National Whitewater Center is a great gift idea for an outdoor, active and nature person. Different types of passes can be bought ranging from an AllSport Season Pass that allows users unlimited access to rafting, flat water, canopy ropes and land activity to a CoolSports pass that provides day accessibility to flat water and land activities. Built in 2006 as the official training facility for the Olympic whitewater slalom racing team, the U.S. National Whitewater Center hosts the largest artificial whitewater river in the world as well as 400 acres of trails and waterways along the Catawba River to bike, hike, canoe, kayak and engage in the outdoors.

Computer Case
1401 W. Morehead St, Suite 125
Charlotte, NC 28208

This 13″ x 17″ computer case is hand-made and hand-sewn in Charlotte from donated billboard materials otherwise destined for the landfill. Every case is uniquely designed to fit a 15” laptop, but processing orders can be individually customized. Fully embracing the “upcycle” concept, UpcycleLife uses reclaimed materials, and with minimal energy transforms the discarded billboards into an array of bags, computer cases, grocery totes and other accessories. In the redistribution and manufacturing process, the recycled materials are cleaned with water and non-toxic chemicals to ensure product safety. Operating as a nonprofit, UpcycleLife employees locally and gives back 10 percent of earnings to designated Charlotte community organizations.

Key Chain By Local Artist Jackie Walker
1912 Commonwealth Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 266-1443

Crafted from disassembled Tibetan pray necklaces, used key chain rings and vintage necklace pieces, Jackie Walker’s repurposed key chains make an excellent stocking surprise for the holiday season. Initially inspired by rummaging through abandoned houses and collecting washed-up sea glass to clean up the shores of Eleuthra, Bahamas, Walker creates and designs jewelry from repurposed and recycled materials. She consistently accepts material donations from friends and family members and browses local thrift stores and flea markets to expand her jewelry collection. In addition, Walker offers design consultation services, where she works closely with clients to redesign their old, unworn jewelry into statement pieces that they once again can enjoy wearing.

Cutting/Cheese Board From SixteenAcreWood
(803) 372 1381

These beautiful, natural cutting and cheese boards made from reclaimed trees from forests near Charlotte and are an excellent multipurpose holiday gift. Diverting landfill waste, craftsman Stephen Owen embodies permaculture design by using fallen and gathered tree waste from forestry companies and homeowners as the medium for his work. The boards only have an oil olive finish with no artificial stains or finishes.

Gift Membership
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation
421 Minuet Land, Suite 205
Charlotte, NC 28217
(704) 679-9494

Becoming a member and donating to Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation helps promote programming and support watershed health of the Catawba River. The Catawba Riverkeep Foundation is a successful, environmental nonprofit that engages with the community to restore and maintain waterways of the Catawba River in terms of recreational use, aquatic life and water quality.

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Isabel Sepkowitz is a freelance writer. She is an environmentalist who values sustainability, education, and innovation for the emerging green economy. Her work can be found on

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