Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Eco-friendly Holidays

-- Quote of the Day --

Re: helping impoverished or traumatized communities (from war, drought, deforestation, etc).

We look at what the assets and talents the community has and help them prioritize their needs. …Women’s empowerment is a big part of this and a financial incentive. …Giving people the economic freedom so that they no longer have to sell firewood for a living and they can put some of their energies instead into reforestation… attending meetings and learn [biodynamic gardening], sustainable agriculture, etc. …The poor become agents in their country… they have planted something like 5 million trees to date. …They are taking the leadership in environmental renewal.” 

 ~ Scott Sabin, of Plant with Purpose Organization

Today's quote of the day originated from a Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show interview that aired back on Sept 23 titled: Plant With Purpose Org
Click on the hyper-linked show title to listen to the interview, or look to the side bars on this blog for recently aired Conscious Discussions Talk Radio episodes.

-- Eco-Friendly Xmas Ideas --

Looking for alternative ecologically friendly gifts this year? Consider purchasing a set of large, sturdy square bottomed reusable bags. There are a lot of varieties to choose from, but may I suggest those that are created from recycled plastic bottles – these are fantastic, very strong and a great way to support the waste-to-resource system that feeds a sustainable planet. Plastic litter is a huge concern.

Consider this stat quoted from an article by the San Diego region’s Marine Debris Campaign Manager, Danielle Miller: 

In 2007, 9,316 plastic bags …were removed, (however) countless others made their way to our ocean contaminating our water, degrading our precious marine ecosystems and harming marine animals. An estimated 60–80% of all marine debris and 90% of floating debris is in the form of plastic, which is highly toxic and does not biodegrade in the environment. …It takes more than 12 million barrels of oil to produce the plastic bags consumed in the United States each year.” 
(*Resource: Zero Waste San Diego Group)

Just how many bags per recipient? Well, personally we own a dozen different kinds of reusable bags and this takes us through most of our shopping, but we could probably do with a few more. I certainly prefer the square bottomed ones created from recycled plastic bottle materials, recycled coffee bags or heavy canvas. You can find these at nearly every retailer these days – grocery stores are especially becoming more supportive of this movement towards sustainability. 12 bags will likely cover most of the shopping activities for a family of 3. 6-8 bags may be appropriate for an individual.

Alternatively consider gifts that encourage activities such as renting bikes for an outing or giving dance and music lesson gift certificates. These gifts support your local community by encouraging sustainable service-oriented businesses that do not create much waste. A gift within this genre is really a gift of an experience, rather than a tangible item that may never be appreciated. In addition, a gift certificate is usually printed on recyclable paper; whereas gift cards consume plastics that are not readily recyclable.

-- Unique Gifts that Give Back --

Happy Tails Books publishes books full of stories from rescue volunteers, fosters, and adopters that raise awareness and funding for rescue organizations. Visit their website to pick up great books, stationary, and ornaments for animal lovers or to submit your own stories about adopted pets. They offer a premium selection of dog and cat books, stationary, and ornaments, and from every sale through their website, they donate no less than 25% of net profits back to rescue organizations. They also have hand-crafted holiday ornaments can be customized to include any name or pet image - a perfect way to honor or memorialize a favorite pet. Check out Happy Tails Books gift guide at

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio program, newsletter, blogs, and more at: 
** Support the Brummets by telling your friends, or purchasing a book - each book sold raises funds for charity as well!

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