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May 292009
 

By Melissa Segrest
Green Right Now

Those pretty knick-knacks and decorative items around your home likely have a history. There’s the crystal bowl that was an anniversary gift from a dear friend, or the candleholder your mom gave you before she died — they all hold great significance.

We’ve found 20 lovely decorative items with their own stories. Our picks come from far-flung nations or close to home, made by fair-trade artisans or creative artists using recycled, natural materials. Take a moment to shop our selections. (Most of the websites selling these goodies have lots of other green items to check out.)

1. A colorful swirl basket from Uganda: This handmade basket, above, is made with coils of natural banana fiber by women in rural Uganda. It’s 15″ wide and 3″ deep, with a loop for hanging. The money you pay goes to employment and training for disadvantaged women, children, the disabled and those with HIV/AIDS. It’s very wallet-friendly, too, at $4.95 from World of Good at eBay.

2. A detailed retabolo photo frame: Artist Alejandro Chavez of Peru hand-makes these Andean life folk art dioramas (above) reflective of life in his country. The lower panel of this one, for example, re-creates a colorful Andean feast. It’s $34, also from World of Good.