Draft Guard devices save energy all year long by blocking air flow - hot or cold - at windows and doors.

The guards look like thin bolsters with a channel up the middle.  They slip onto the bottom of doors and windows (no tools required) and while they are not invisible, their small size (2" x 36") makes them fairly unnoticeable.  In addition to cold air, they also block the entry of driven snow.

Draft guards can be cut to fit lengthwise and have a removable and washable cover available in navy and brown.  The guard itself is made of a material commonly used to insulate pipes.

Draft guards are sold online at two for $9.95 at http://www.winddraftguard.com/ and are apparently also sold on television.

Wood stoves are controversial in the green world, an issue we will explore shortly, but if someone on your list already uses one, here are a couple of helpful gifts.


L. L. Bean offers the best log carrier I have every seen.  Unlike the earlier sling models which serve nicely to drop a trail of leaves and bark from the woodpile to the hearth, Bean's standing log carrier is a polyester box with handles, enclosed on both ends to corral the mess.  They are extremely durable (mine is in its fourth year and looks like new), washable with a hose, and will carry a ton of logs and kindling.  They are available in Navy, Burgundy, and Green for $29.50.

Speaking of kindling, fatwood is a perfect gift for the inept fire builder on your list.  These short sticks of wood are naturally high in resins and produced from lumbering waste with no additional chemicals or additives and most people should be able to ignite a roaring fire with a little paper and two or three sticks of firewood even if firewood is wet.  Fatwood is available in boxes, burlap bags, and hearthside baskets in 5 to 35 lb weights at prices ranging from $14.95 to $39.95.  Various weights and packaging styles are offered at www.plowhearth.com and www.llbean.com.

NorthlineExpress.com offers an astonishing line of metal fatwood caddies for the hearth.  These range from a scallop-edge copper scupper ($29.80 to various unusual and attractive wrought iron designs (up to $59.80.)   Each comes with a supply of the wood.

Moist air feels warmer and is much healthier than dry air.  Stovetop steamers humidify the air while the woodstove cooks away.  They are available in a plain pot design with a lattice top and several animal designs (bear, pheasant) in several colors and sizes.  They are carried by the three on-line stores listed immediately above from $34.50 to $59 and elsewhere (search on "steamers.")

Up the ante by accompanying the steamer with an order of Stovescents.  A few drops in the water will add a subtle aroma to the room.  Spice and holiday varieties are available at Plow and Hearth and Northline Express in a variety of fragrances from $6.95.