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Well-Spent: The Sustainable Edition


Ash and Anchor’s single-loop infinity Anodyne scarf ($59).
  • Ash and Anchor’s single-loop infinity Anodyne scarf ($59).

April 22 is Earth Day. But every day is a new chance to celebrate all things good in the Hudson Valley. We've got sustainable shopping in spades.

Good Looking

Catskill-based Ash and Anchor makes colorful, ornate accessories and home goods with charming, boho themes. Celebrate spring with a single-loop infinity Anodyne scarf, where birds, snakes, and flowers frolic in a grassy utopia. Water-based pigment inks are printed on 100 percent organic cotton knit. The scarf is 14" wide x 34" around. Available on the website, along with a whole garden of others. $59. Shop.ashandanchor.com

After studying fair trade and sustainability practices, a group of high school students in rural Sullivan County, many the children of undocumented migrant workers, decided to start a business that would create jobs and opportunities. They created Basement Bags, named for the Liberty-based church basement where they got started. Sourcing cotton canvas totes sewn by a women's collective in Mexico, the students hand-dye and silkscreen them here, printing slogans like "Justice for Farmworkers." $35 each. Ruralmigrantministry.org

Good for the Home

The Blackline serving boards by Blackcreek Mercantile and Trading Co. in Kingston are fashioned from sustainable, local Northeastern white oak. Light and strong, functional and sleek, these boards represent Hudson Valley minimalism at its best. The darkening process hails from an old traditional method involving a bath of iron nails and vinegar, making them food safe and pigment free. Available directly from the website. Sizes from 5" x 16" to 8" x 24" starting at $175. Blackcreekmt.com

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills is dedicated to changing the way America eats and farms. In addition to the myriad classes and workshops, there's a well-curated shop (also online) filled with ingenious, green-thinking designs. The Shaker-inspired Little Big Trivet is a simple assemblage of wood and cord that fits under pots small to large. $26. Stonebarnscenter.org

Good for Kids

If it makes you wince to have your tyke teethe on plastic, Illuminated Baby in Woodstock has locally made wooden teething rings with happy-colored yarn grips by Playful Crochet, and all-natural cherry wood teethers by Camden Rose. Or have them wear a traditional healing method: A Baltic Amber bead necklace has therapeutically soothing ingredients that are absorbed through the skin. Ring teether, $15.96; Cherry wood teether, $8; necklace, $16. Illuminatedbaby.com

Even the smallest tykes can go organic without losing an ounce of style: The Bee's Knees in Hudson stocks organic clothing by Brooklyn-based Winter Water Factory that are colorfully fun and supercomfortable—and so popular they fly off the shelves. Spring's collection includes everything from rompers to jumpsuits to hoodies, all in 100 percent certified organic cotton, printed in bright and colorful aquatic, floral, and transportation themes. Available in sizes 0 months through kids size 6. $35.95 and up. Thebeeskneeshudson.com

Next time the kids complain about turning out the light, pick up a set of the Why Should I book series. Its four titles (...Save Water, ...Save Energy, ...Protect Nature, and ...Recycle) teach young readers to think about their role in improving and sustaining the environment. Buy them from the online shop of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater (with its spirit captain Pete Seeger at the helm) and you're also supporting our mighty river. The books are $7 each or $25 for the set, for readers ages 4 to 7. Clearwater.org

Not that kids generally need much encouragement, but each Re-Wild Your Heart T-shirt directly benefits the programs of the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem. The 19-acre private nonprofit is a fascinating place for kids (and adults) to learn about wolves and their vital place in our world. It's also home to some of the rarest wolves in North America (and a howlingly good visit—by appointment). Kids size S, M, L. $20. Nywolf.org

Good Natured

The bees need us! And while it may be too late in the year to set up a beehive, it's the perfect time to throw the bees a picnic. Just plant a garden filled with bee-friendly flowers from the Hudson Valley Seed Library. Its Eastern Pollinator Mix includes seeds for 19 varieties of annuals and perennials, such as Spotted Bee Balm, Butterfly Milkweed, Black-Eyed Susans, and White Asters. $2.95 for a packet of 1,000 seeds. Hudsonvalleybeesupply.com

April is the perfect month to go to bat for bats. As they return from their winter sites, welcome them into your backyard with an Audubon Bat House from Mac's Farm and Garden World or New Paltz Agway. Providing a safe home for a small colony of bats is a big step toward saving this remarkable mammal, and they'll thank you by eating all your mosquitoes. The house holds up to 20 bats. $39.99. Newpaltzagway.com

Now that spring's part of the conversation, get the dirt from McEnroe Organic Farm. The farm has been making compost and soils for more than 20 years, including the Organic Materials Review Institute-listed Premium Lite Growing Mix and Premium Organic Potting Soil. Fill your car up with 22-quart or 1/20-cubic-yard bags (40 to 50 lbs) from the McEnroe Farm Market (on Route 22 between Millerton and Amenia), or go to the office in Millerton to order a truckload. Bags are $6.99 and up. Mcenroeorganicfarm.com

Sustainable Sustenance

These local and organic elixirs are good to the last drop.

Tay Tea in Andes is a veritable paradise for tea lovers. Among its organic offerings is Twiggy, a fragrant blend of organic oolong and chrysanthemum that's great for your brain. Earthy-sweet Coffee Lover's Tea has converted many a java junkie: The Organic Mix of Pu-erh tea from China, caramel, vanilla, and almonds has detoxing qualities, says Tay Tea founder Nini Ordoubadi. Four ounce tins are $16. Available online or in the shop, which reopens in May. Taytea.com

Open for just months, the 2 Way Brewing Company in Beacon sells out of its remarkable beers as fast as it can brew them. The amber-gold Confusion uses a local yeast strain along with barley and hops. Heart of Darkness is a hearty stout with a rich sweetness, and its peppier counterpart, Darkness Squared, is pumped up with coffee. Available at the brewery, or at nearby Bank Square Coffeehouse. $6 a glass. 2waybrewingcompany.com

Toast Mother Earth with gin, vodka, or bourbon from Prohibition Distillery, which creates their award-winning Bootlegger 21 New York liquors right in Roscoe. The gin is filled with sustainable botanicals like juniper and lemon verbena; the ultrapure vodka is filtered through 800 pounds of charcoal; and the bourbon is a small-batch wonder, made with 100 percent corn and aged in five-gallon barrels for over a year. Available throughout the Hudson Valley, or at the distillery's own tasting room: $27.99 a bottle. Prohibitiondistillery.com

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