Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas….

Halloween is over. This can mean only one thing….Christmas.

Christmas everywhere…in the malls, store fronts, advertisements. Christmas carols. And those Whos in Whoville with their tromblomboppers and clacktrapslappers and their….

Well you get the picture. Buy I’m no Grinch…despite being green.

TO Think About This Week

Back by popular demand, well by Vanessa in my office, I am devoting this installment to ideas on greening your Christmas.

What’s the Big Deal? – Buying someone a book on flags of the world, a CD on the greatest pipe flute hits or a three-piece toilet scrub kit, destined to fill some remote corner of their closet, is a waste or your money and energy. Let’s face it. Besides, it promotes a whole industry dedicated to producing unwanted products for panicked gift buyers.

All products have a greenhouse gas price tag due to the energy produced to create them. This of course includes wrapping paper. How many trees equal the amount of wrapping paper used? According to a 1996 UK statement by Friends of the Earth, 50,000 trees are required every Christmas to wrap gifts in the UK alone. That’s a ten year old estimate. I wonder what it’s like now?

Green Gift Ideas

Rather than a product why not give an experience? Can’t afford some of the following? Chip in with others.

  1. Gift certificates to your favourite restaurant, museum, art gallery, science centre or book store.
  2. Tickets to a play, concert, opera or dance. Tickets to the sing-along Messiah.
  3. Tickets to a sporting event.
  4. Passes to go skating or skiing.
  5. Gift certificate for a massage or spa (like Body Blitz in Toronto).
  6. Weekend getaway to a bed & breakfast.

How about green products?

  1. Fluorescent light bulbs for the stockings.
  2. Slippers, scarves, mitts, etc. made from organic cotton.
  3. Organic wine, cheese, tea, etc. Fair Trade chocolate and coffee.
  4. A friend, Elizabeth McCallum, is selling natural candles. If you don’t know her and want to learn more, contact me for details.
  5. Visit your local eco-friendly store. Sometimes practical gifts really are the best.
    Make your own tasty goodies (Vegan fair-trade organic is about as eco-friendly as you are going to get).
  6. Put together your own CDs – far more personal.
  7. If you knit or sew, this is your time to shine! – home made gifts really are the best. Well, maybe. If someone genuinely raves about your craftsmanship, you know what to do.
  8. For other green gift ideas visit Ideal Bite.

Gift Wrap alternatives:

  1. Save and reuse wrapping paper and ribbons. Yes, just like Grandma. But just think, painstakingly pulling off the tape slows down the gift receiving process making it all the more enjoyable (for you anyway. For your family, not so much).
  2. Buy the gift bags if you’re a Speedy Gonzales – people are more likely to reuse them, anyway.
  3. Buy recycled paper. Although, this is very hard to find.
  4. Buy hemp paper, usually found in your local eco-store.
  5. Use the colourful funny papers for your wrapping.
  6. Fabric bags – you can buy them at eco-stores or make your own.
  7. Don’t wrap all your presents. Leave some from Santa.

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In the News
CBC – “Blair calls for 'bold' action after stark climate change warning”
You know it’s serious when economists get in the action

Net Zero Energy Healthy Housing - The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is preparing to launch a new initiative which will provide housing options that contribute to individual health and comfort, conserve resources, minimize environmental impact, and are less expensive to operate and maintain. These homes will be designed to produce as much energy annually as they consume. You are invited to take this survey.

Other News
Green Bloggers


Grist Magazine

Tree Hugger

Alternative Energy Blog

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