Archive for Holidays

Eco-Friendly Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Here are 10 great environmentally friendly gift ideas I found on Ideal Bite, great for the upcoming father’s day:

1.  Does your dad love music?…Get him an iTunes online first certificate ($10-$50)

” Dad can pick his own tracks (or take playlist suggestions, ahem), and you can take all the waste from wrapping, packaging, and plastic CD cases outta the mix. Give it.

2. Take him to the river.

“Has Pa worn out his VHS cassette of A River Runs Through It? Fish for some gift-giving compliments from your fave angler with Bottle Cap Lures ($40/6), lures made from soda and beer bottle caps – that really work. Keeps the caps out of landfills, new materials out of production, and Dad out on the water reeling ’em in. Give it.

3. Charge it w/ a SOLIO HYBRID CHARGER…..THIS MY FAVORITE!!

“Give your gadget-gizmo daddio a slim little Solio Hybrid Charger($80-$170, depending on battery capacity) to recharge his cell phone, MP3 player, digital camera, and all the other electronic stuff he manages to cram into his pockets – all with stored-up power from the sun (free power – woo-hoo!) or the socket. Give it.

4. Eco Friendly ORGANIC grooming kit

“Does your pop like to keep it clean (aside from the language he used when you dented the car)? Pamper him with an Every Man gift basket ($45) from Lula Organics. Includes skin-soothing, paraben-free Every Man Jack shave gel, body wash, and face wash; soap from Pangea Organics; a recycled, reusable razor; and a wooden body brush. Give it.

5. Eco Golf Balls?…no way!!…YES WAY

“Maybe Dad won’t be beating Tiger Woods anytime soon (or ever), but he likes to hit the links. Get your golfer dad some Eco Golf Balls ($10/12) – water-soluble golf balls that dissolve in water after 96 hours, so he won’t be leaving plastic evidence of his birdies and bogies for millennia. Give it.

6. New Daddy?

“Free him from pastel-flowered diaper bag hell with the Diaper Dude Messenger II ($100). Designed by a dad, these manlier messenger bags are made from recycled water bottles (instead of sending them to landfills) and come with lots of pockets, a changing pad, and a quick-release shoulder strap. Plus, a portion of proceeds goes to Global Green USA. Give it. ” That’s Double goodness

7. Writing’s on the wall(et).

Take the necktie to another level with a Recycled Necktie & Suit Wallet ($30) from Uncommon Goods. With a pocket for cash and two side pockets for cards, the billfolds are handmade from used silk ties and suits – saving fabric from the dump and keeping new materials out of production. Give it.

8. To a T.

“Know a young hipster dad that dons jeans and T-shirts more than suits and ties? Give him a fashionable, eco edge with a Perv Teaseorganic cotton tee ($40), with scribbly drawings and snarky sayings like “My guru went to the fifth dimension and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” (goes really well with an ironic mustache). Nonorganic cotton uses more pesticides than any other crop – it takes 1/3 pound of chems to make one shirt. Give it. ”

9. Ham(mock) it up.

“Wanna give Dad some R&R but can’t quite afford that Hawaiian vacation? Give him a getaway in his own backyard with Gaiam’s Ultimate Hammock ($190), made of recycled soda bottles. Waterproof and UV-resistant, this long-lasting lounger is as comfy as its cotton and nylon counterparts, minus the new material. Give it. ”

10. Let’s all go to the movies.

“For the film buff father who’s always spouting quotes from his favorite flicks: Opt for email-able movie ticket gift certificates in the form of Fandango Bucks. Just pick your amount ($10-$100) and the design – perhaps the Give Green one? – and send away, skipping out on any transport emissions or packaging waste. Give it. ”

Also…there are TONS of father’s day cards made from recycled paper…just check the back , you’d be surprised on how many are eco-friendly!!

Happy Father’s Day!

Stay Informed! Go Green!

– Erica

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Have a Green Memorial Day!

Here’s some useful Green tips I got from Grist.org on green grilling:

Charcoal or Gas??….

“Gas. Burning charcoal gives off more nasty particulates and chemicals. And if you’re carnivorous, you’re doubly culpable: cooking beef can be worse for air quality than the charcoal itself. Burnt cow gives off that particulate matter we’ve talked about so often — the stuff that causes respiratory problems, and may have some carcinogenic properties as well. Choose gas if you can, and minimize smoke and heat if you can’t”- Umbra

Check out http://www.grist.org/article/greenguide-grilling for more earth sensitive—and yummy BBQ Facts

For more on buying organic produce and eco-friendly bug repellent for those outdoor cookouts visit: http://www.grist.org/article/2009-05-22-happy-green-memorial-day/

Happy Memorial Day!

Stay Informed! Go Green!

-Erica

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Eco-Friendly Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

If you’re already shopping for a Mother’s Day gift…why not be eco-friendly?

Here are some great websites to find eco-friendly gifts:

http://www.1happycorner.com/mothers-day-eco-friendly-beauty-gifts/

http://www.findgift.com/Categories/Eco-Friendly/

http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/mothers-day-gifts-460421

Here’s some gift ideas from Grist!

Green-cleaning gift certificate
Let Mom save her elbow grease for lifting that organic mimosa you made her, and let the pros freshen her abode with non-toxic cleaning supplies. Maid Brigade recently went green, and Zen Home Cleaningin New York City boasts “hotel-style luxury services.” Or put yo’ back into it and DIY.

Organic desserts
Theo Chocolate offers a wine-pairing kit, with five chocolate bars picked for their compatibility with red wine (not included) and instructions for orchestrating a “tasting party.” Liz Lovely has Mom-inspired collections of organic, fair trade, vegan cookies and chocolaty bakery treats, and their commitment to recycled packaging is simply sweet. Dagoba and Green and Black’s organic chocolate are Grist staff faves, too.

Reusable tote bag
Who’s not a plastic bag hag? Your mom! Before she hits up the farmers market, arm her with a cute pink tote or slightly crunchier woven hemp bag, both supporting artisans in Bangladesh; or check out the ChicoBag that one Grist staffer’s mom can’t stop raving about. Ecobags also has a variety of woven, string, and canvas bags made from organic cotton.

Organic or local flowers
Skip pesticide-soaked conventionally grown flowers in favor of some from Organic Bouquet or those certified as sustainably grown by VeriFlora. Plucking some from your neighbor’s yard is always an option, too. Not that we would endorse such a thing.

Donation to a women-friendly cause
The Women’s Environment & Development Organization points out that women are especially vulnerable to the effects of global warming. Do Mom proud by giving to organizations with an eye on the situations of women worldwide. Support female survivors of war, women-led organizations across the globe, and human rights for women and families. Or go local and find a women’s organization in your state here — you can also give some time if your pockets are thin.

If you have any other ideas, feel free to comment!

Happy Green Shopping!

– Erica

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How to Have an Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day!

NEVER FEAR: Eco-friendly options smell good, taste good (well, maybe not the flowers), and just might land you a date.

Flowers
” In 2001, Americans spent an estimated $50 per capita on flowers, garden plants, and nursery crops, and floricultural grower receipts topped $13 billion. But some industry costs remained hidden. The floral industry uses the highest level of pesticides of all agricultural sectors. And since most of the flowers we buy originate abroad, these pesticides can include some that are banned in the U.S., such as DDT. These chemicals may even remain on bouquets long enough to rub off on skin or be inhaled by your beloved. When the Environmental Working Group tested a small sample of roses in 1997, they found residues of several pesticides at up to 50 times the amounts permitted in food.”- The Green Guide

But the trouble starts long before the flowers reach your sweetheart. Pesticide runoff from flower farms pollutes waterways, and recent research has found that nearly two-thirds of Colombia’s flower workers report maladies associated with pesticide exposure. To add insult to injury, workers on most flower farms still earn poverty wages.

What you can do:

  • Buy fresh or dried blooms at your local farmer’s market.
  • Send an organic bouquet from Organic Bouquet online or from Whole Foods and Wild Oats stores. (Roses are $34.99 for a dozen and $49.99 for two dozen online, or $16.99 retail.)

What you shouldn’t do:

  • Buy flowers through Defenders of Wildlife’s Valentine’s Day campaign. The organization says you can “give flowers and save wildlife at the same time” by shopping at 1-800-flowers.com, which gives 10 percent of every purchase to DOW. Trouble is, 1-800-flowers.com sells conventional blooms, and the pesticides used to grow them threaten wildlife. Shame on Defenders of Wildlife: If it used an organic florist, the organization and the environment would benefit.

Chocolate

A traditional, shade-grown cacao farm can be the next best thing to wild rainforest for species diversity. These days, however, most cacao is grown on conventional farms characterized by environmentally damaging pesticides, child labor, and poor working conditions. The truly compassionate Valentine cares not just for her or his sweetie, but also for the health and welfare of the people who cultivate chocolate — not to mention for the local forests and wildlife, including migratory songbirds. All do better without pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and when crops are grown beneath the shade of indigenous trees.

Organically grown chocolate may be a touch more pricey, but so are Godiva and other premium chocolates that don’t help support sustainable agriculture and healthy communities. Plus, sharp-eyed shoppers can often find big bars of eco-chocolate on sale at natural-food markets around Valentine’s Day. If you really want to be one step ahead of the game, think about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and stock up!

What You Can Do:

Thank you to The Green Guide for this valuable information on how to be Green for V-DAY

..Stay Informed! Go Green!

– Erica

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