And the winner goes to Jess! Thanks for all who participated – new contest coming up tomorrow!
Jess- email me (theliefoflulubelle(at)gmail.com) your address and email so Elk River Naturals can send you the prize!
Today’s post comes from Jamie Quin, the owner of Elk River Naturals. I am pleased to have her stop by my blog AND offer a great giveaway!
If you are anything like me, the holiday season brings a confusing mix of feelings somewhere between pure joy and self loathing guilt. This is surely a time when one should reflect on family, life and love and whatever this season means to you personally, but is it wrong that I can’t help but feel a little bit guilty about the waste that comes along with this season? During the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 25% more waste is produced than at any other time of the year. Millions of pounds of wrapping paper, bows, cards, boxes, junk mail and other items ultimately end up in landfills. Christmas can not only take a toll on a person – with gift buying pressure, money worries, navigating through traffic and crowding looking for that perfect gift – but it also takes a toll on the environment. In order to make yourself and those on your Christmas list happy this season, look over these creative examples of how to gift, decorate and dispose green!
- Give the gift of membership! Surely someone on your list would love a gym or book club membership, tickets to a football game, the theatre or ballet. Do you know anyone who might like free babysitting or a car wash? These gifts require essentially no wrapping or driving (ie: no fossil fuel emissions) and will be sure to impress the giftee with your thoughtfulness. For a more environmentally aware giftee, try a donation in their name to the Sierra Club or another environmental justice group.
- Get creative with wrapping! Re-use newspaper, tins or boxes, sheet music, magazine ads, scarves, brown paper bags or comics as wrapping. Try replacing packing peanuts with popcorn for a creative twist. This is a great family activity as well as being financially and environmentally friendly.
- Send an E-card! Instead of sending mounds of cards and envelopes and spending a small fortune on postage stamps, send an E-card. They can be playfully personalized in so many ways. Those who receive this E-card will be proud of your eco-conscious ways. For a more personal and touching way to send holiday greetings, use an old fashioned method – the telephone!
- Get busy with crafting! Everyone loves a handmade gift, and most people would even prefer one to a store bought gift. This is an especially good idea for those on your list who are harder to buy for. Search the internet for ideas on handmade Christmas ornaments, baked goodies and many other ideas.
- Buy locally! For those who just can’t resist the urge to shop, do it in your own community. You will be sustaining
and growing your local community and reducing emissions be cutting your commute shorter.
- Buy green! Try a reusable water bottle, organic clothing, or make a gift basket of your favorite organic items like chocolate, all natural soaps or lotions, and teas or coffee.
- Don’t buy a plastic tree! Don’t buy trees made from environmentally harmful plastics, there are other environmentally friendly ways to make the season bright. Buy from a local tree farm which sustains local business, cuts down on emissions, and you can feel good knowing that another tree will be planted in its place the next season. Another option is to buy a potted plant/tree, decorate it for the holiday, and then plant it outside when you’re done.
- Use LED lights! While they may cost a little more initially, they are a great investment. They can use up to 90% less energy than conventional lights and stay lit longer. It’s easy to get caught up in competing for the ‘best lit’ house, but remember – less is more!
- Get crafty or buy second hand! If you are feeling crafty, use the internet to find a plethora of articles and videos that show you how to make handmade Christmas decorations. If you’re not into crafts, check out your local consignment or second hand shops – you’d be surprised what decorating treasures you may find!
- Recycle old electronics! If you get a new cell phone, TV, computer or other electronic device, make sure you recycle the old one properly.
- Recycle your tree! Many areas have a tree recycling program after the holidays.
- Re-gift, give or sell! After the holidays, many of us find ourselves trying to make room for our new goodies. Find a Goodwill, Salvation Army, a needy neighbor or a consignment shop to take your old clothes, toys and furniture. Some places will even pay you small amounts for your old things – who can argue with making an honest, good for the environment dollar at Christmas?
Jamie Quinn is a mother, wife, graduate student of Environmental Science, and the owner of Elk River Naturals – providing all natural and organic home, health and body products (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ElkRiverNaturals. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Now on to the giveaway!
Jamie is giving away a great winter gift set!
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Contest open to those who live in the US.