Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Man Way: Conscious Holiday Gifts

Even Damon doesn't look good
in a holiday sweater
Women like to say it's hard to shop for men, but men shopping for men don't have that problem. So women can use some help with tips on what to get men. It can be even harder if you are socially conscious and want to get him gifts that align with your beliefs. We previously told men how to shop for the holidays, a more of where than what to buy, but here are some gifts for men that also have some side benefits whether environmental, charitable, or otherwise. These are a few examples, you can use them as a kickstarter to other ideas and check back for more ideas as we see or think of them.

Pro-tip - clothes in general are way too much about personal taste to buy as a gift, even if you think you really know them.

Reusable Cup Sleeve

sbucks_leather_sleeveWe all drink a lot of coffee - men included, even especially - and we usually get it in a paper cup. The steaming hot coffee is too hot just in the standard paper cup so then we have to use a sleeve to protect our grip, but that means even more paper used (and likely trees with it). Sure we could use a reusable cup but who wants to carry that around? An easier way to save some paper is to use a reusable sleeve which is small enough to stow in a briefcase, messenger bag, even your coat pocket. Unfortunately like most 'green' products, most are designed with a - shall we say - more feminine style. But there are some man-approved options out there like this one from Starbucks that features brown leather and rivets without an obnoxious logo (there are small ones on the rivet heads) so the man in your life won't feel weird using it on cups from another cafe. Get it in cafes or here online.

T-Shirts That Give Back

CROSSHEART13_556It's a pretty easy bet that a guy will like a cool t-shirt. You can up the ante on the meaningfulness of the gist by buying him a T where a portion of the proceeds goes to a charity. I recently did a post on a local hero, Todd Spurrier, who is raising awareness and funds for various issues. One way to help him out is to buy t-shirts he has had designed to promote the awareness. As a motorcyclist his designs center on that and thus are man-approved - check them out here. You can probably find an interest he has such as Movember, LiveStrong, and more. Another option is Sevenly, a site that makes unique, original Ts and gives $7 form the sales of the shirts to a different charity each week. Wears My Shirt is a similar site with the addition of a sort of social network for its chosen charities.

Local, Green Beer

esb1No I don't mean green in color like St. Patrick's day beer, but environmentally conscious beer. Two local breweries are dedicated to sustainable efforts. Lakefront Brewery is a Travel Green Wisconsin partner and has two beers that are especially Well-Met. Organic ESB is one of the few beers brewed in the world using 100% certified organic ingredients  including the hops and Local Acre is the first beer since prohibition that has been made with 100% ingredients that have been grown and processed in the state of Wisconsin. Milwaukee Brewing Company aka MKE Brewing has announced it will install a solar hot water system at its Walker’s Point brewery. The 28-panel system will pre-heat water before it is used for brewing. The brewery expects to install the system in early 2013. It will save the company about 27 percent in energy costs during the brewing process.