Gifts for Sustainable Sallies

What to get for the person who knows the world is burning and wants to reduce their impacts

Your environmentally minded friend or loved one might find the United Nations' recent emissions gap reports to be nightmare fuel, or merely light bedtime reading. Either way, they're almost certainly focused on shopping local, shopping less for "things," and supporting fair practices and sustainability when they do buy baubles. Inland Northwest shops offer a variety of local foods, sustainable goods and fair trade items for which you can even recycle this very newspaper to wrap up.


There are many benefits to keeping house plants, including cleaner indoor air and a calming aesthetic, but many of the most popular plants require meticulous care. However, there's a sustainable option that saves time and water: a terrarium. Housed inside a glass container, the plants need very little watering because the jar allows evaporated water to condense and return to the soil in a cyclical fashion. In fact, Fern Plant Shop notes that their terrariums only need to be watered every three to four months. Fern offers terrariums to fit virtually any budget, ranging from small jars that are perfect for desk decorations to much larger self-contained ecosystems. $12-$170+ • Fern Plant Shop • 1526 W. Riverside Ave., Spokane and other locations


One of the better ways to reduce your impact is to eat locally produced food. With less travel and packaging required to get from the farm to your kitchen table, local foods are a great tasting way to live more sustainably. LINC Foods offers an easy way to connect with local and regional small farms for everything from fresh meat and cheese to mushrooms, condiments, a plethora of fruits and veggies and more. The market offers online ordering and delivery to different pickup spots from Cheney to Coeur d'Alene on different days of the week based on location. Prices vary • LINC Market •


Speaking of food, your sustainable shopper probably had a collection of reusable bags on hand even before the plastic bag ban took effect in Washington state. But to really up their grocery shopping game, a set of four Lotus Trolley Bags can help, as they feature removable support rods that can hold the bags open inside a standard shopping cart. The machine-washable set features an insulated bag and multiple pockets for things like wine bottles and other goods. $54 • Spokane Refillery • 7413 E. Trent Ave., Spokane Valley


With a focus on empowering vulnerable people around the world, Sandpoint's Zwazo Nich (meaning "bird nest" in Haitian Creole) offers a wide variety of fair trade goods that aim to help artisans build a sustainable life. Among their collection, find handcrafted jewelry from Vi Bella, a company that employs at-risk people in Haiti and Mexico. The Winnie Necklace is a pretty way to treat your loved one to a gift that can help fight poverty. $32 • Zwazo Nich • 334 N. First Ave., Sandpoint

The Spokane Loppet @ Selkirk Lodge

Sun., March 3, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
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Samantha Wohlfeil

Samantha Wohlfeil covers the environment, rural communities and cultural issues for the Inlander. Since joining the paper in 2017, she's reported how the weeks after getting out of prison can be deadly, how some terminally ill Eastern Washington patients have struggled to access lethal medication, and other sensitive...