Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Greening up the holidays

Every year I pout around like scrooge and eschew the holidays grumbling about rampant commercialism. However, my daughter and I always love making gifts for friends and family, like soap, decorations, or baked goods. This year as I begin thinking about how I can do something inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and fun for the family I have come up with two good ideas on my own, and borrowed one from someone else. Here we are:

1. Homemade wrapping paper and gift bags

This year I plan to use clothes that have been handed down, and I will search the thrift stores for holiday prints to make gift bags. They are fun, reusable, and a gift in themselves. Next, I plan to use boxes and paper grocery bags to make wrapping supplies. I'll be purchasing a cool Christmas themed rubber stamp to do the decorations and jazz it up a bit.

2. I learned of Global Goods Partners, an online retailer of sorts, who is "Dedicated to alleviating poverty and promoting social justice by strenghtening women-led development initiatives and creating access to the US market for marginalized communities in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. If you are going to buy a gift, get something cute and include the story about where the gift came from in your packaging.

My pick from the website:

7 Turns Bracelet
Available in brown or green, this coiled bracelet from southern India combines a rich combination of glass, bone, metal, and wood beads in a creative swirling design. The vibrant colors derive from a unique and age-old technique of using natural vegetable dyes. Look beautiful while knowing that your purchase supports the Shambhal and Amroha communities, and is vital to preserving traditional Indian artistry.
Fully adjustable. Fits all Wrists.1 ¾" high

3. Recycle Christmas cards from last year by cutting out the pictures and making gift bag tags, or making a collage on recycled paper for a new card. This is such a cute way to personalize your gifts and its inexpensive!
So, enjoy the holidays and feel good about the gifts that you give, without getting yourself into hock.

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Chronicling my adventures in proving that less is more. I'll learn to refashion/recycle clothes, prepare gourmet meals using as many natural/basic/raw ingredients as possible. I'll learn to spend less, live more, and reclaim those things that are truly valuable in my life.


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