Monday, November 17, 2008

gift the planet this holiday season

Over on the blog paw luxury, there's this great article on how you can be more environmentally friendly this holiday season!

"Its that time of year again!! Tis the season to give gifts, lots of gifts. But while you are decking the halls with bells of holly, basting the turkey, humming to the tune of Jingle Bells, scouring the aisle, browsing the web for the latest gift must haves, and nestling your children in bed as they anxiously await the pitter-patter of footsteps of Ol' Saint Nick & Rudolph . Since Christmas is the season of gathering, giving and spreading the Christmas cheer we can't forget to give back to the planet. Here are a few simple ways for you to be kinder to the planet over the holidays.

+ Conserve Energy Use LED Christmas lights and say so long to that costly light bill. Consider that low light bill a Christmas gift from Mother Earth!

+ Something Old, Now Something New Some of the best gifts given are made from the heart, by using recycled or salvaged materials instead of buying something brand new keeps materials out of landfills and collecting dust. But if you are still on the look out for high quality goods try flea markets, vintage and second hand shops for affordable and quality gifts from books, accessories, art, and bone china to everything in between. With a little magic, zero VOC paint, time, creativity, personal touch beautiful reused ribbon, and recycled gift-wrap. Whoa-lah the perfect gift and a great way to spread some Christmas cheer for the receiver and the planet.

+ Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Instead of purchasing commercial gift wrap you can wrap gifts in reusable gift wrap store in that attic chest in your attic, scrap cloth, reuse newspaper (the Sunday Funnies), scarf, magazines reuse, gift bags or purchase reusable shopping bags that the receiver can use all year round.

Click here to watch Danny Seo, author of "Simply Green: Giving," shares some gift wrapping ideas that are less wasteful and thrifty with Julie Chen.

+ Purchase Consumables Give the gift of a bouquet or seeds to be planted in the spring, dried fruit & nuts, fair trade coffee, organic tea, a plate of organic hand made cookies that won't leave a trace. While the food and drink will be eaten, the flowers can be composted. These are gifts you won't find lurching in the dark corners of your friends closet when you come visit. Also, you want have to worry about having the gift re-gifted back to you.

+ Buy Local For the person who has everything buy local and unique gifts that tell a story. Buying locally shipping is not required thereby reducing CO2 emissions. Just with what ever you purchase make sure you know the recipient and that they will use it.

+ Creative Gift Tags & More Create gift tags made from last years Christmas cards that are beautiful, artistic & creative instead of purchasing gift tags. Also use ribbons like raffia or things from nature to add that special touch from pinecones, to twigs, to berries instead of synthetic ribbon. This could be great for family bonding. This sounds like the start of a wonderful holiday reef to adorn your door & fireplace. Also using the same materials you and the kids can build memories and create handmade ornaments to dress the tree. So get crafting DIYers (Do It Yourselfers or Martha Stewart fans)

+ Dine by candle light Turn off lights during Christmas and dine by candlelight. Use soy, vegetable wax or beeswax candles, which are made of sustainable ingredients. Not only does candlelight create a soothing, beautiful, elegant mood. You conserve energy and help the planet. The perfect mood can be complete with out a little Bing Crosby & Sinatra Christmas serenade.

Paper or Plastic Better yet neither, Skip the disposable tableware for dinner and parties. Instead opt for bamboo tableware or grandmas china. But if you are hesitant about tending to a pile of dishes either enlist the help of Fido or use disposable recycled paper dinnerware.

+ Eco-friendly & Energy Savings Gift Consider giving the gift of carbon offsets for that commuting co-worker or a Zipcar membership for friends and family who use taxi's to get around the city. Check out Carbon Fund and Terra Pass.

+ Local & Organic Festive Feast Prepare a local, organic Christmas feast using the best locally grown, all natural seasonal, and free-range ingredients minus the chemicals and pesticides. So dig in and gobble gobble!

+ Decorate then Plant the Tree Buy a potted or balled Christmas tree (roots still attached) so you can replant it in the backyard or donate it to the parks department. Choose a real one that's grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers—ask local merchants if they have an organic farm supplier—or order from, a grower that ships to 46 states and uses sustainable methods. Then recycle: many municipalities collect trees to mulch.


Great ideas! How many of you have already started your Christmas shopping? Yeah, I haven't even thought about it yet. I'm so last minute. Or lazy, not sure which. No wait, I'm totally sure of which. But I'm gonna plead the fifth on that one, ok? Try a few of these ideas out this holiday season! (And don't forget to get friends and family method for the holidays, this year! You KNOW they'll lust it!)

1 comment:

Jen Hawse said...

Great ideas! I especially love the "purchase consumables", yum! and the carbon offset gifts. makes it easy to fight global warming and do your holiday shopping, all in one swoop! Starting Friday our site will offer gift cards from 1 ton, the equivalent of 114 gallons of gas, to 100 tons, the equivalent of 233 barrels of oil!

Keep winter cold, give a tax deductible gift and fight global warming with carbon offsets from

p.s. - one more great green gift idea, bake (vegan) cookies!

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