Friday, December 11, 2009

Our Favorite Green Gifts

Whether you’re trying to keep your holiday gift shopping green, or trying to please a hardcore greenie on your list, these “best green gift” testimonials from the people of Toxic Free NC are sure to help! Readers, please leave your favorite green gifts in the comments - thank you!

Billie (staff): CSA-friendly cookbook. “My mom got me Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone a few years ago. It’s been super helpful to me as a CSA farm member and farmers’ market shopper because it’s got recipes organized by vegetable. So, when I get something weird from my CSA, like a rutabaga, I can just flip to the section in this cookbook about rutabagas and learn all about them - different varieties, flavor pairings that work well with rutabagas, basic cooking instructions, as well as full-fledged recipes. The cookbook does the same thing with different beans and grains, like quinoa and stuff. Doesn’t actually matter that much if you’re a vegetarian!”

Fawn (staff): Angel tree gifts. “My favorite green gift is the Angel Tree. My mom chose a child’s name from one of those Angel Trees at the mall, bought the child a new coat and then gave me a little box with a note telling me that my gift was the child’s new coat. I couldn’t have asked for anything nicer!”

Ana (staff): Used books. “Some would say that the greenest product is one that has already been used by someone else before. That said, I think the stack of thoughtfully chosen used books I get from my husband every Christmas is a pretty great (and green and thrifty) present!”

Renée (staff): A bicycle for green vacationing. “A few years ago my husband bought me a bicycle for the holidays. Since then, we always take our bikes on vacations up and down the East coast. It’s such a wonderful way for us to spend quality time together, and to see the beautiful scenery along the Coast, on the Appalachian Trail, or wherever we may wander!”

Kathy (Board member): Donations to charity. “I like and give donations. I’m well past needing “stuff” of any description. It’s catching on in our family, so now our tree has bunches of envelopes under it instead of boxes. Cool! At Christmas we use Church World Service as our vehicle, others use Heifer in the family.” PS from Billie: I’d be remiss if I did not also mention that you can make a contribution to Toxic Free NC in honor of a loved one for the holidays, or anytime. If you get your gift contribution in on or before 12/14/09, we’ll get your honoree a handmade card in the mail before Christmas.

Annie (Board member): Recycled wrapping. “We have a friend whose family not only wraps presents in recycled newspaper and comics, but they put the presents in cereal boxes! You can have real fun with that one.” PS from Billie: Here’s the instructions for a recycled gift bow, as pictured above! I wonder what a “metal brad” is, and where to acquire one?

Allen (Board member): Clyde Jones recycled wood sculpture critter. “My family surprised me (completely) with a Clyde Jones “critter” years ago. They made me sit with my eyes closed while they dragged it out from under a blanket in Dan’s closet. There was quite a racket and much scuffling while I waited. Opening my eyes I was completely surprised and pleased. It is made from firewood nailed together. He still guards our garden years later and I smile every time I see the deer-like ‘Clyde’.”

Christopher (volunteer): Planet Earth DVDs. “A gift from my mom a couple years ago. For one, the footage is beautiful. As for why such a green gift? Easy. Imagine having a super up-close view of the most pristine, magical places on earth; viewing animals in their natural habitats; exploring the bottom of the ocean…without leaving your house. Having the experience of all the sites and sounds without flying thousands of miles and expending all that energy is way green. Also, it opens up that soft and tender spot in your soul. The part that says, ‘wow, this is amazing. I want to protect it.’ “

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