Seasons Greetings – the holidays are here!
From Spinach HQ, we hope you had a great Thanksgiving (and by that I mean a play by play of turkey-nap-pie-nap-football-turkey). We were so busy celebrating around the Northeast last week that we didn’t get you a turkey message, but oh boy do I have some good resources for you now.
First I want to tell you about an article I read last week because I think it’s useful. The NY Times discussed how turkey grease contributes to sewer overflows and water pollution. I hope you didn’t put your turkey grease, aka FOG (that’s fat, oil, and grease) down the drain (if you did that’s only strike one). Nowadays there are grease recyclers, most of them in major cities, that pick up FOG and turn it into biodiesel! Now that’s cool. Here’s what the NY Times blog said.
Now that Thanksgiving is over – its Mariah Carey Christmas album season (seriously how is that album still popular?). Or in my case, time for my daily rotation of Christmas sweaters.
Below I have an early holiday treat for you. Your guide to holiday gift ideas and practices that have little impact and benefit the environment. Please share this with your friends and family.
- Make edible treats for gifts
- For the people on your list, make donations to a local animal shelter or other non-profit in their name
- If you’re not sure which charity to donate to in their name, you can give a TisBest gift card that lets them choose
- If a donation doesn’t sound quite right for the people on your list, you can loan money in their name to those who need it most thru Kiva
- Greenpeace rates Nokia and Sony at the top of their electronic manufacturers’ Green list
- HealtyToys helps you choose toys that aren’t toxic
- The Daily Green offers Green gift ideas for your pet
- Buy gifts online- did you know it takes more energy to run a mall than to run a warehouse and ship packages
- Uncommon Goods sells a lot of recycled, repurposed, and natural gifts that are unique and creative
- Green Coupon Codes offer coupons for Green gifts
- Buy local gifts to help support the community you live in
- If you purchase electronics, clothing, or jewelry, try to make sure you choose the Energy Star, organic materials, or Fair Trade/Conflict Free options (respectively)
- Plant a city tree in someone’s name from TreePeople
- Give a Volunteer Vacation- go to Volunteer Guide for more information
- Adopt a sea creature from Oceana or feed an Elephant at the Elephant Sanctuary for someone on your list
- Give clean water to someone who needs it at Charity Water
Decoration and Wrapping Tips:
- Reuse the front of old Christmas cards as gift tags on your presents
- Make a wrapping paper collage using pictures from old magazines
- Use kitchen towels, scarves or the comics from your Sunday paper to wrap gifts
- Of the Earth makes natural wrapping paper and it’s strong enough to be used over and over (they even have a Holiday Line of paper that’s embedded with wildflower seeds so you can plant them after you use them!)
- You can send all your loved ones (and the others on your card list) a Christmas card that they can grow flowers or herbs from Botanical Paperworks
- Decorate your outdoor trees with natural decorations (i.e., birdseed ornaments- they recycle themselves!)
- If you don’t know whether to get a real or fake tree this year, The Daily Green gives some insight
- When choosing lights for decorating your home, choose LED lights- they use 90% less energy than normal lights and it will save you money on your electric bill!
- Make recycled ornaments- it’s a great project to do with your kids!
- Instead of a large real or fake tree, get a small 3’ living tree that you can plant in your yard after the holidays
After the Holiday Tips:
- If you receive a present you aren’t in love with, donate it to a local charity instead of hiding it in your closet or throwing it away!
- Recycle your Christmas Tree- if you’re not sure how, go to Earth911 to find out
- If you received a cell phone for Christmas, be sure to recycle your old one at a Staples store near you (or another cell phone recycle place you’re aware of)
- Donate your unused winter clothes to a local Good Will or Salvation Army
“20+ Ways to Give Without Giving ‘Stuff.’” The Daily Green.
“Great Green Gifts for Pets.” The Daily Green.
“9 Tips to Keep Holiday Shopping Sane (and Green).” The Daily Green.
“Green Holiday Tips.” Sierra Club.
“Recycled Paper and 4 Other Alternative Gift Wrapping Ideas.” The Daily Green.
“Which is Greener, a Real or Fake Christmas Tree?” The Daily Green.
“How to Have a ‘Green’ Christmas.” Eartheasy.
“10 Last-Minute Green Holiday Ideas from Our Facebook Fans.” The Nature Conservancy- Green News.
Stay tuned for news on the newest members of the Spinach Team.
Have a great week.