Sunday, November 22, 2009

Green Tips for the Holidays

With the holidays quickly approaching, (I can hardly believe it myself), now is not the time to just forget about the planet.  We still need to be conscious of what we're throwing away, what's going into our water supply and just because it's a lax time of year doesn't mean that the Earth stops loving us!  So we shouldn't stop loving her! 

Here are some ideas to keep your carbon footprint at it's leanest this year...

Try wrapping your presents in fabric!  I know. Sounds crazy and expensive, but in reality it's really not!  It's an ancient Japanese method of wrapping called "Furochic".  It's really amazing and EASY to do - no special skills required!  You can find SUPER cheap fabric at Wal-Mart ALL the time for $1/yard.  Think about it - you'll be spending less on tape and wrapping paper and your presents will be UBER stylish and cool!  Here's a video on how to do it.  Woah.  Watch it a couple of times to perfect it!  Do a search on YouTube for Furochic and find other size boxes and odd shaped items to do!!  Be a trendsetter this year!

Shop online.  You may ask, how does this reduce waste and help the earth?  Well, have you ever driven from store to store and then back to store just to find something that someone really wanted?  Raise your hand if you have.  My hand is firmly raised.  But by shopping online, you're reducing emissions from your car.  Well, isn't it replaced by the emissions by the UPS driver or the USPS man?  No.  Because those guys are already out there delivering packages while you're in your pajamas sipping cocoa shopping online!  So YOU aren't out there.  Nice!  Oh, and lots of retailers offer FREE shipping.  Just do a search online for the retailer and the word Coupons.  So it would be Coupons.  Just like that a coupon for free shipping should pop up!  Excellent!

Try putting small gifts into EcoStuffers. The EcoStuffer is not just for lunch items. You can put a BUNCH of small stuff in here and give as a gift! Fully wrapped! Save on paper, tape, etc and your gift receiver can use that bag for years to come. YEARS! Check out the designs in the etsy shop! Click to the right!!! ----------->>>>

Give services as gifts. Get your mind out of the gutter!  Good grief!  I'm talking lawn mowing service coupons, or a donation in their name to their favorite charity.  Do something that requires NO waste to be had (like packaging, wrapping, etc). 

Try regifting. I know... so taboo!! But were you really going to use that iced tea maker from Aunt Clara? No, but your Sister In Law may love it!

Get rechargeable batteries. So many things make noise today.  Toys.  Gadgets. Gizmos.  The list can go on for an eternity - from kids to adults - it seems that EVERYTHING needs batteries.  Cut down on costs and environmentally harmful batteries by getting rechargeables.  So you'll have to plug them into the wall once in a while and be without your Wii remote, but c'mon, like you needed to play ANOTHER game of MarioKart RIGHT NOW??

Purchase a LIVE tree as a Christmas Tree. I checked this out and there are NO laws in the US about using a tree other than the traditional Fir tree.  Seriously!  Google it!  So buy a tree that is potted and use it as a Christmas Tree.  It can be anything - get creative!  It can be a pine if  you'd like.  Then, after Christmas, plant it in your yard!  OOOOLALA.  New foliage!

Reuse your Christmas Cards. Ok, what?!  Well, typically people don't write on the side with the picture on it, right?  So cut neatly along the fold and use that as a neat postcard the next year.  You can have the kids make up postcards to send on their own.  It's really a cool idea! 

Christmas has become so commercialized that it's almost humorous.  Until you realize that the waste and excess we feel we need to do comes as a blow to the belly.  Do kids seriously need $1000 worth of gifts?  What is Christmas about anyway?  Fattening the wallets of marketers and CEO's?  MMMMMM... nope.  It's about the day of Christmas and the joy of spending it with family.  And not to mention, do your kids remember who got them what every year for Christmas?  Mine don't.  I asked my 12 year old stepdaughter last year where she got the pink monopoly game and she answered "I have no idea.  It was just in my room!"  *blink blink*  *Blank stare*  Seriously? 

Kids don't remember the gifts.  Those gifts are there for a month or a year, but they don't remember where they got them.  Do you know what my stepdaughter did remember?  That we all got up in our jammies and I tripped on a stupid ornament that had falled off the tree and nearly broke my face open on the floor.  Now THAT is a memory! 

I'm not saying that we shouldn't give gifts.  I LOVE to give and receive gifts.  But let's just not go insanely crazy (like we did last year) and put out too much and regret it until MARCH!

Till next time....



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