The Urban Hippie
A country hippie invited his college roommate, a city hippie, to visit. The city hippie cried out with dismay when the country hippie laid dinner on the table. "Poor roommate, your chocolate is not free trade, and your linens are synthetic!" The country hippie explained that his location necessitated a weekly drive to the big-box store an hour away, where supplies depended on what was delivered that week. The city hippie answered, "Please come stay with me where I live, and I will serve you humanely gathered exotic foods on a tablecloth woven from organic hemp." The city hippie explained that though its concrete surface appeared to belie it, urban living made counterculturalism convenient. So, the country hippie set off to meet the city hippie, who lived a short bicycle trip away from his local CSA pickup at the cooperative market. The two attended a skillshare, where they explored reiki healing for pets, kombucha brewing, and landfill-salvage arts and crafts. And the following holiday season, the country hippie sent the city hippie these presents:
BIKE CHAIN KEYCHAIN | $6 | Resource Revival, a Portland, Oregon–based company, was founded when its owner's bike tire went flat on the way to his recycling job. By those powers combined, Graham Bergh invented his line of what he calls "rebicycled" gifts made from recovered bike parts. He now wraps lengths of repurposed, previously discarded bike chain into bowls, picture frames, jewelry, and this here bottle-opener-keychain combo. The chains retain their flexibility while sparing you the greasy souvenirs of a chain in use.
Magpie | 416 Highland Avenue, Somerville | 617.623.3330 | magpie-store.com.
ALPACA HAT | $36 | You've nested and moved out to a distant suburb, like Roslindale, and now you find yourself wondering: what will your four-month-old wear to the Jamaica Plain Lantern Festival? Look no further for the answer than Hatched, JP's self-anointed "eco-baby boutique." Beside the mother's-milk-fortifying organic loose tea and hypoallergenic muslins, you'll find this free-trade Bolivian alpaca knitted wool hat. With ears. You don't need a kid or even a ticking biological clock to know that putting hats with ears on little kids is basically a public service.
Hatched | 5 Green Street, Jamaica Plain | 617.524.5402 | hatchedboston.com.DELUXE
ALL SEASONS INDOOR COMPOSTER KIT | $55 | "BOKASHI" PROBIOTIC COMPOSTING MEDIUM | $11.50
| Composting slashes a household's garbage output, reducing greenhouse gases and producing useful, nutrient-rich fertilizer. For an apartment-dweller with limited space, the All Seasons Indoor Composter Kit can fit in the cabinet under the sink. By mixing in "Bokashi," a blend of sawdust and probiotics, kitchen waste undergoes rapid anaerobic fermentation; you bury the pickled food scraps, while the tea-like runoff can be poured into plants or used as drain cleaner. The bin itself is 70 percent recycled plastic. (Many cities also offer subsidized backyard composters, known by names like "Earth Machine" or "Soil Saver" — worth checking into depending on your residency.)
Greenward | 1764 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 617.395.1338 | greenwardshop.com.
RECLAIMED BARN-WOOD TABLE | $995 | Country living is great, if you like 4 am wake-up calls, the word "muck" used as a verb, and terrible dusty-hued stencil art. Acquire, a fun North End boutique that pairs mid-century modern with Sherlock Holmes, has just the thing to tickle your rural fantasies from a safe distance. This table is made from the salvaged wood of actual barn doors. Fifty years in the sun imparted a natural, weathered patina to the wood, atop casters also of vintage origin.
Acquire | 61 Salem Street, Boston | 857.362.7380 | acquireboutique.com.
— Lindsay Crudele