Divide and Conquer – Cleaning after Christmas

522620_35507155An easy way to start your holiday clean up is to divide your holiday debris into three piles; reusables, recyclables and trash.

Reusables – Bows, ribbon, wrapping paper, boxes, gift bags, tissue paper, Christmas cards, all can be reused in its former state or repurposed into an ornament or new Christmas card. There are so many possibilities.

Recyclables – Wrapping paper, gift bags, Christmas cards and boxes that are ripped or crumpled can be recycled with your regular household recyclables. You dont have to remove the tape from the paper either. Cardboard boxes, styrofoam, tins are all recyclable. Also your holiday food scraps can be put in a composter for your garden.

Trash -Ribbons, bows and tissue paper, if not reusable, go into the trash bin. Foil wrapping paper, cardboard contaminated with food, paint or glitter, plastic toys all go in the trash bin.

Last Minute Quick Christmas Gifts to Make

christmas_candles

I don’t know how you are doing with getting your Christmas shopping done, but I still have a fair amount to get done. I would love to make some more gifts but time is running out. Below is a list of great do-it-yourself, quick, Green Christmas gifts.

  1. Bath and Body Treatments from Planet Green and Martha Stewart. Click here for the recipe.
  2. Make some Caramel-Corn Clusters for Christmas gifts from Planet Green. Click here for the recipe.
  3. Make a pine cone bird feeder. Click here for instructions.
  4. DIY Natural Christmas Candles. Click here for the instructions.
  5. Do-it-yourself Organic Chocolate. Click here for the recipe.

Eco-Friendly Gifts for Her

Looking for some green, earth friendly gifts for the women in your life, check out these great ideas.

Sterling Silver Stackable Rings: The artisans who hand make these sterling silver rings are paid fairly in the local context and are pre-paid 50% up front so they don’t need to use their own resources to purchase raw materials.

3stackablerngs-actual

Organica’s Weekend Scarf: Hand-woven and made by women artisans using 100% non-violent, natural silk. The purchase of beautiful Tasar silk (indigenous to India) has far reaching impact on the environment and on livelihoods of the rural poor.

149

Bamboo 5 Piece Brush Set: This earth-friendly brush set is packed with the 4 high-quality brushes and, it shows respect for the planet. Bamboo handles, Synthetic taklon bristles that are 100% cruelty free, Sleek ferrule made from recycled aluminum and the cosmetic case is made from natural cotton and hemp.

ET1213-2T

Eco-Friendly Gifts for Guys

Its not always easy to find gifts for guys, especially those guys that have it all and don’t need a thing.

Below is a list of great green gifts for that hard-to-buy-for guy in your life.

THAS1004-3

Tree Hugger Tee’s – Free shipping on orders over $50. Each 100% organic cotton tee costs $25. and they have a bunch of fun ones to choose from.

17902_lgRecycled Necktie & Suit Wallets from Uncommon Goods – Recycled neckties and suits turn into wallets for the eco-friendly man.

9Y5KHKShake and Shine Flashlight – Handy little no-battery emergency flashlight is extremely bright and reliable. It never needs batteries and generates power by converting mechanical energy (shaking) into electrical energy to power the light.

XYZMSDCMN6QAMDJRE7QL_LBike Chain Bottle OpenerUncap your favorite beverage with this bottle opener made of recycled bike chain.


Green Kids’ Gifts on a Budget

I was at a birthday party last night and one of the gifts given to the birthday boy was a Green Art set. I thought how great that was, the consuming part of it maybe not so great but the fact that the art supplies were non-toxic, kid safe and environmentally friendly makes it a great gift for children.

129
Adorable Sock Monkey from Maggie's Functional Organics

Well over at Eco Child’s Play they have a long list of Eco-friendly presents and stocking stuffers for under $30. Which is such a huge help in these economically hard times.

natural_paint_overview
Natural Paint from Clementine Art

From Art Supplies to Stuffed Animals and Blocks. You can find a plethora of Eco-friendly children’s gifts in this list, they haven’t missed a think. Check it out for yourself and you are sure to find what you need.

Green Christmas Gifts for the Chef on your List

1118565_94066269If you have a chef in your family, someone who loves food and loves to cook, check out the list below of 6 wonderful, green, Eco-friendly Christmas gifts for the food lover in your life.

  1. Duo Pressure Cooker from Fagor – This contemporary update on the classic pressure cooker recycles stainless steel in streamlined modern design with high-functioning performance.
  2. The Organic Wine Company Monthly Wine ClubEach month, they will send you a selection of 3 wines from our collection. New vintages or interesting, but rare wines will be offered in priority to expand your horizons!
  3. Cast Iron Skillet from Lodge LogicIts legendary cooking performance keeps it on the list of kitchen essentials for great chefs and home kitchens alike. And check out their Eco-responsibility practices.
  4. Organic Spice Collection – Each spice can contains 12 one-teaspoon packets. These flavorful organic herbs complement the global cuisines of today’s kitchen. Includes, Basil, Dill Weed, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon and Thyme.
  5. Green Your Kitchen – Includes everything you need to green your kitchen and replace those non green items that you have been keeping around.
  6. Bamboo Salad Bowls – 100% organically-grown bamboo, non-toxic adhesive, natural food-safe wood oil. These bowls are made from vertical-grain bamboo, which makes them not only beautiful, but also extremely durable. They do not impart or absorb flavors.

The Greenest Christmas Tree

10373_1715

In the 20th century, around 98 percent of Christmas trees came from the forest. Today, most Christmas trees are grown on tree farms, which can benefit and harm the environment.

In an article from care2 I found what the Eco-benefits of tree recycling is, why buying a live Christmas tree is best for the environment and how Christmas tree farms benefit the environment.

Christmas trees

If you do go out and cut down your tree or buy from the lot, remember to recycle your tree. This will help reduce waste and avoid consuming much needed space in landfills.

  • Christmas trees can be ground up and used as mulch in gardens.
  • They can be used as sand and erosion barriers on beaches or lakes.
  • They can be sunk in lakes and ponds to provide refuge for fish.

Living Christmas trees

How awesome to be able to plant your Christmas tree in your yard year after year. A reminder of Christmases past.

  • Trees clean the air and provide oxygen- planting 30 trees can offset your home and car’s annual contribution to global warming.
  • Tree root systems hold in place soil that, if washed away by heavy rains, flow into streams and rivers, making them shallower and causing flooding.
  • The EPA claims that planting trees is the best way to reverse the global warming effect.

Christmas Tree farms

  • While trees grow they replenish the air with oxygen; just one acre of Christmas trees produces enough oxygen to support eighteen people.
  • Tree farms provide habitat for birds and other wildlife.
  • Christmas trees can be planted where few other plants grow, increasing soil stability.
  • For each tree cut on tree farms, 2 or 3 new seedlings are planted.

For the complete article click here.

Smart Travel for the Holidays

downloadedfile(suitecase)Holidays are the most traveled days of the year. Families going home to see loved ones, traveling distances they wouldn’t normally travel so they can be home for the holidays with the ones they love. But before you travel there are some things you need to consider.

Consider your carbon footprint – You can calculate your air and vehicle travels CO2 emissions and find out ways to reduce them by clicking here.

Travel by Car – If you don’t already own a hybrid, rent one if you have to drive. They will be more expensive to rent than a standard car but they save on fuel and have decreased emissions.

Air Travel – Airplanes are major contributors to the global carbon emissions equation, so its greenest to try and reduce your air travel. But if you must travel by air try these three tips. 1. Bring your own stuff, instead of using the disposables offered by the airlines, 2. Travel in a new plane, 3. Buy carbon credits to offset your air travel.

Train Travel – Train travel is much faster, more comfortable and gives off fewer emissions than airplanes and buses, making train travel the preferred way to travel when thinking green.

Green Thanksgiving Decorations

Its November again and its crazy how fast it snuck up on us. Before we know it Thanksgiving will be upon us and we will be eating our way through a turkey.

To keep with the green theme we have going here on greenglancy, why dont you check out these environmentally friendly and festive ways to decorate your table and house for Thanksgiving.

For a great fall centerpiece check out these fall leaves turned into roses. Courtesy of haha.nu.

art-origami-rose-from-mapple-leaf-15

When setting the table make sure you have cloth napkins and use silver ware, dishes and glasses – stay away from any throw away, non recyclable items. Courtesy of apartment therapy.

tablesetting_7

If you look around you will see you can use an array of items from around the house to make your table and home more festive and inviting. Help the environment by reusing the items you have and if your crafty turn those things into new creations. For more ideas check out:

Gifts That go a Long Way

1169782_99644957With the holidays drawing near we start making lists and checking them twice to see what we need. The internet seems to be the hottest place to find all your Christmas gear, but before you got shopping on the internet, why not take a walk around your neighborhood stores and locally owned businesses. Supporting and giving back to your community is the best way to help the economy and your community.

In this article from Sew Green, Gift for Good, Hayley mentions all the ways you can give back. Below are little snippets from the article.

  • Donations – I put this first, because the absolute best gift you can give is to your community. It is also a huge relief for people who might stress over finding the perfect gift, plus they can give one gift donation as a family gift* and feel good about themselves in the process.
  • Memberships – Museums, zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums, public radio, etc. These are donations with benefits.
  • Gifts with a purpose – Many organizations have great online shops with merchandise that supports the cause.
  • Museum Shops – Not only will you be supporting art in your community, but you can find great gifts by local artists, fair trade goods, collectable books, and eclectic knick knacks.
  • Locally owned businesses – By shopping at local businesses, you not only support the store, but the community benefits.
  • Gifts of service – Print up a coupon or certificate and you might change someone’s life, or at least give them a much needed break.
  • Buying Handmade – You directly support the artist who loves doing what they do and you show, with your dollars, how important art and crafts are to you.
  • DIY – With so much commercialization and cheap production, a hand knitted hat carries that much more meaning.

To read the complete article – click here.