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Monday, November 24, 2008

The Ultimate Non-Material Green Gift Guide: Part 3

Nothing says "I love you" like a pile of fresh baked cookies. Any gift you make yourself, like food or crafts for instance, is probably the nicest gift you can give.

List 5: Homemade Gifts:

-baked cookies, cakes, muffins
-roasted mixed nut
-chocolate covered nuts and dried fruit
-home brewed beer
-a favorite dish
-candy/ fudge

List 6: Handmade/DIY Gifts:

-make a swing out of a piece of wood and rope, hang it from a safe branch for your favorite kid
-refurbish a piece of furniture
-put a new picture in an old frame
-make a quilt from old favorite textiles like tees, jeans and prom dresses
-fix a favorite thing that's broken
-make crazy crayons out of broken crayon pieces
-ornaments and decorations
-make gift tags out of last years holiday cards
-a wreath from a cut from a tree branch in your yard
-put loose photos in an album
-write a poem or a story

Check out the Non-Material Gift Guide Part 4

The Ultimate Non-Material Green Gift Guide: Part 2

Lessons, classes, tickets, seasons passes and memberships are great gifts that keep on giving well passed the new year. This might be a great opportunity for your grandma to finally take that pottery class she's been talking about. Tickets to a play or concert are a great treat that they'll always remember. And season's passes to a museum or zoo is a great gift that they can enjoy all year long.

List 2: Lessons and Classes

-dance lessons
-music lessons
-singing lessons
-martial arts
-yoga class
-art class
-pottery class
-scuba diving lessons
-cooking classes
-tennis lessons
-golf lessons
-swimming lessons
-horseback riding lessons
-skiing lessons
-ice skating lessons

List 3: Tickets for Two

-tickets to sporting event
-season's tickets to any of the above

List 4: Seasons Passes and Memberships

-the zoo or aquarium
-state park
-their favorite organization like the Audubon Society

Check out the Non-Material Gift Guide Part 3

The Ultimate Non-Material Green Gift Guide

I know, I know, it's not even Thanksgiving yet! Every year we are bombarded with the message that we need to shop till we drop for the holidays. That's why I am presenting The Ultimate Non-Material Green Gift Guide good and early, so that you know that there are many options for great gifts that are good for the Earth and for all the people on your list. If you watched The Story of Stuff video below, you're probably convinced as I am, that we need to stop consuming so much stuff. As Annie Leonard points out, 99% of the goods we purchase end up in the trash within 6 months! And to make the matters worse, much worse in fact, for every one can of garbage we throw out, 70 cans of garbage were created just to make all the stuff in that one can we're throwing out.

The holidays don't have to be a time of waste and pressure to buy, buy, buy. Over the next week I will post a growing list of over 60 ideas for non-material gifts. You'll save money, stress and the environment while giving people gifts that are personal and meaningful. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please share!

List 1: Gift Certificates

-the movies
-a massage
-a spa/salon
-a batting cage
-a golf course/ driving range
-a favorite restaurant
-an eco-friendly dry cleaning gift certificate
-an ice cream cone at their favorite ice cream shop
-a gym membership/ personal training session
-Local Harvest, where they can get local grown food delivered to them right at home.

Check out the Non-Material Gift Guide Part 2

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tiki the Penguin

Tiki the Penguin is a really fun and informative website for kids all about the environment. It's filled with funny illustrations and even reader-submitted jokes that make learning about the planet fun. But Tiki's site has a serious message, and doesn't back down from being honest about how people are hurting the planet and how we must be part of the solution.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Story of Stuff

"The Story of Stuff" is a must-see video about where all of our "stuff" comes from, how it's made and where is ends up. Not only that, but the effect that the manufacturing, selling and disposing of all our "stuff" has on our planet, our bodies, and even our happiness. Going to the store will never be the same again!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Volunteering...The New Patrotism

There has been quite a lot of buzz in this election season about volunteering and serving our communities. People all over the country are getting excited to be apart of one movement or another to make the world a better place. Protecting the environment is one area where we can use all the help we can get.

To find out how you can get involved and volunteer in your area, visit the website Service Nation and join the movement. Once you sign up, you can do a search for volunteer opportunities in your community in a variety of areas. I did a search for environmental and animal opportunities and found 300 different places where I could volunteer!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Together Green

Together Green is a fun website to put your enthusiasm for protecting the planet into action. This website, an alliance of the Audubon Society and Toyota, is a place where you can learn about actions that you can take to protect the environment. You can find out how and where to volunteer in your community. You can also share green project ideas or get inspired by the many cool green projects that other have shared. I think I could spend all day on this site getting ideas!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Candidates and the Environment...You Decide

As the exciting election season comes to a close, it sure would be nice if young people had a say in who will be running the country. Well guess what? You do. Your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, even older siblings will listen to you if you tell them how important issues like global warming are to you. You can help them decide who to vote for by educating them with the facts.

You can start off by pointing them in the direction of the candidate's websites to hear what they have to say about their stance on environmental issues. Click here to read John McCain's plan to fight global warming. Click here to read Barack Obama's plan.

Next, point them in the direction of The League of Conservation Voters, or the LCV. The LCV is an organization that aims to educate the voting public on environmental issues and where the candidates stand. They have investigated both candidate's plans as well as their past voting record and given them a report card. That's right, even politicians get report cards! Click here to see how John McCain scores and here to see how Barack Obama scores.

How the next president handles the global warming crisis will make all the difference in your life and the planet's future. So don't be afraid to speak up!