We are headed to a "Green" Christmas Party tonight with a gift exchange. My first thoughts when I was invited were: is this a spin on a white elephant but I bring something green, and that's a cute incorporation of the Christmas seasons use of the color green. It was good that I asked about the whole "white elephant" thing, because I was sooo wrong! It is to be an environmentally friendly gift. We have to be creative and the gift must be an,"interesting and fun gift that is either made from sustainable materials or will help in some way, by it's very use, to reduce energy consumption to put under the tree for a gift exchange." This struck me as a fun challenge. I mean it's easy to find eco-friendly things, but to find something "fun" and "creative" that seemed to pose more of a obstacle. So I have spent the past week racking my brain and scouring web sites. Last week I read a great article in our local paper that helped me on my journey.
According to the newspaper, "going green" for Christmas is the thing to do. So much so that the accounting company of Deloitte & Touche surveyed on the subject. They found that 12% of people in my state plan to buy more eco- friendly gifts this year. while 20% will use less plastic bags when they make their purchases. 19% of people, state wide, were planing on not wrapping their gifts with traditional wrapping paper. (It doesn't recycle, so it just sits and landfills.) It was good to see I was in good company this holiday season, but this didn't help with where I could find cool, green, gifts pronto! Further in the article I had my answer! It would seem that Home Depot, Target, Yahoo! and Walmart (?!) all have environmentally friendly products on their websites! How great is that?! So I perused Target, Home Depots, and Yahoo!. Great sites all. Great selections. Now I didn't end up buying anything from the site, though I may in the future. (I didn't have enough time for the shipping) But I did do something that I know to be easy on the planet and that is: I shopped local. There is a Wild Birds Unlimited not too far from me. On top of selling bird seed and bird things, they have a good selection of eco-friendly soaps, jewelry made from natural materials,and natural jewelry by women in Africa. So I chose from that and am putting my gift in a reusable tote. I think that meets all the requirements. We'll see. I am off to have a good time and I can't wait to see what everyone else came up with!
More Tips For a Planet Friendly Holiday:
- Buy a potted Christmas Tree. Replant it in the spring or donate it to your local parks department.
- Use LED lights on the tree. They use 90% less power that traditional lights, but they do cost more to purchase.
- Make your own gift. Who doesn't like something so thought full as something made by hand? From candy, to soaps, to scarves, all ways a way to make it creative and personal.
- Make your own wrapping paper. You can use the comics, maps, brown bags, ect. I did this one year using brown bags and paint. I painted the bags free hand and I used potato and rubber stamps. It was alot of fun!
Links to Websites listed above:
Home Depot http://www6.homedepot.com/ecooptions/
Yahoo! Green http://green.yahoo.com/