Posted by Trevor Smith on December 8th, 2010
Well, it’s that time of year where everyone’s focus turns to finding that perfect gift. Whether it be for a loved one, co-worker or child in your life, the desire to go green has picked up enormous momentum, and this has spilled over into everything we do, including shopping! With so many options and so many claims of green labels, it can be a bit overwhelming as you head to the stores. However, here are a few suggestions to help you in your search:
1 - The gift of time. Ever thought about offering to be someone’s babysitter so parents can enjoy a night out? How about helping with other chores - dog walking, snow shoveling or even visiting!
2 - Personal basket of home-cooked meals. Why not make some of your specialties and package them up in a reusable box or basket? Everyone loves a homemade lasagna, baked pie or jams and jellies!
3 - Gently used gift exchange. Pre-establish with friends and family a theme (ie. books) and have each person select an item from their own collection that they’d be willing to part with.
4 - Rain barrel for the avid gardener. Not only saves the water, but saves the home owner money as well – it’s a win win situation!
5 - Books promoting outdoor activities and/or sustainable living. Could include hiking on local trails, camping, bird watching or greening a garden with water efficient plants.
6 - Organic personal products. Because so much of what we use becomes a part of us via our skin, introduce someone to the benefits and pleasures of natural ingredients.
7 - Solar or “people” powered gadgets - whether it’s a phone charger or crank flashlight, the impact made by reducing energy use is worth the gesture!
8 - Charitable gift in someone’s honour. Whether it be to a local charity that supports environmental initiatives or an international organization that encourages sustainable living on a global scale, this is an ideal option for the person who has everything.
9 - Fair trade, organically grown coffee for that coffee lover on the list!
10 - Basket of environmentally friendly (and appropriately certified!) household products. This is a great way to introduce friends and family to the benefits of unbleached, recycled paper towels or the idea of beeswax candles!
Finding the right green gift for someone can be a challenge, but by doing even a small amount of research, you not only do your part for the planet, but your thoughtfully selected gift might just be the most unique thing they receive all season!
a) Buy local. This minimizes the need for items to be shipped, thus reducing emissions.
b) Reduce packaging. Consider wrapping items in reused material, cloth gift bags or even sections of the comics from the newspaper!
c) Offer your services rather than a material gift.
d) Shop online as much as you can to reduce the need to travel to stores and shopping malls. Be sure to research, however, where the items are shipped from.
Happy shopping and have yourself a green Christmas! ……….From all the Green Cricket Staff
[written by Guest Blogger: Katrina Dudar]
Bio for Katrina:
As an avid environmentalist, Katrina is honoured to be contributing to
this wonderful space as a guest! Currently working at an environmental
education charity for children, Katrina spends her days trying to find
fun and innovative ways to inspire children to care about our planet and
to do small things everyday to make a positive difference. Some might
think this sounds challenging, but when you take the time to think about
just how impressionable young children are, her job instantly becomes
easier! As a mom to a youngster who has had his fair share of health
issues, she is happily forced to invest a significant amount of time
staying informed about emerging environmental issues and searching for
ways to minimize her own footprint while encouraging others around her
to do the same.