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.
WARMLINGS KNIT HATS | $34 | This gift is transparent: country hippie needs a partner for deep-winter nature-appreciation activities like yurting, smelting, snowshoeing, and maple-sugaring, and she doesn’t want you complaining about the cold while she revels in the snowy landscape. Still, her transparency is appreciated. The Warmlings knit hat, sold at Waterlily Imports on Milk Street, is colorful and cozy, as well as Maine-made and eco-friendly. The hats are made from 100-percent recycled-cotton jersey T-shirts, and come in vibrant stripes — teal! orange! purple! — that laugh in the face of winter’s gray chill.
Waterlily Imports | 26 Milk St, Portland | 207.775.5459 |waterlilyimports.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.)
FW Horch Sustainable Goods and Supplies | 56 Maine St, Brunswick | 207.729.4050 |fwhorch.net.
RECLAIMED STALL BOARD TABLE | $2695 | Country living is great, if you like traveling 15 miles for a six-pack, the word “muck” used as a verb, and terrible dusty-hued stencil art. Portland Architectural Salvage, a 12,000-square-foot showroom of salvaged and restored antiques, industrial relics, and architectural accessories, has just the thing to tickle your rural fantasies from a safe distance. The 8-foot-by-40-inch hemlock-top table is made from the reclaimed wood of barn stalls. It’s an original by Vintage Perkins, the Brunswick-based company that specializes in vintage woods that retain the texture and weatherization of their previous lives.
Portland Architectural Salvage | 131 Preble St, Portland | 207.780.0634 |portlandsalvage.com
— Lindsay Crudele