Valentine's Day is around the corner, and although I am not a big fan of greeting cards in general since they usually just get tossed out, the childhood tradition of giving Valentines to your friends is very sweet. Stubby Pencil Studio offers do-it-yourself, 100% recycled, chlorine-free, made with renewable energy Valentine's Day cards.
Eco-friendly cards for kids to color, trace the letters, and create their own greetings. Printed on heavy, 100% post consumer waste stock, our recycled cards feature crisp, black and white illustrations to encourage do-it-yourself card making for young children. Interactive, educational, and green!
Stubby Pencil Studio also offers earth-friendly art supplies, such as soybean crayons and eco-friendly colored pencils. Did you know that some crayons contain asbestos? Most companies have voluntarily phased out the use of asbestos containing talc from their crayon production, but there are no government regulations requiring crayons to be asbestos-free.
An LED flashlight. Everybody needs one -- for emergencies, camping, your car. Shake for 60 seconds and get 30 minutes of light.
For Her Maine Warmers heating or cooling animals. Like a hot water bottle you can snuggle. All natural, filled with corn. Microwave for three minutes and your toes (or back, or bed) will be nice and snuggly warm for hours.
We've switched our clocks for Daylight Savings Time. And what better use is there for that extra daylight than....solar powered LED holiday lights?
Sportsman's Guide is stocking these lights, available in strings of 50 or 100 bulbs, and in white or colored lights. Place these lights anywhere outside - cover your house, string them on a tree, deck the front bumper of your hybrid SUV - and the sunlight will recharge the battery. When the sun goes down, the lights turn on automatically. Voila! Twinkle, twinkle, without the high electric bills or eco-guilt.
You need something cheap that is easily available in bulk, and that is acceptable to children. What do kids want, if not silly toys and tasty candy? Pens and pencils, and tiny boxes of crayons, are a traditional, sort of academically focused item. You could also buy several boxes of fat markers and strew them about in baskets; if you combined all these drawing utensils, children of varying ages will be able to choose one they like. Small musical instruments like kazoos, mouth harps, and whistles could be fun, if they aren't made of toxic Chinese plastic. Stickers, temporary tattoos, and trading cards are small and cheap. You could look up a variety of knock-knock jokes at the library, pick 10, and print each one on 30 business card-sized papers. There, that's my big idea -- knock-knock jokes.
(M)ake a collection of things that you own and are ready to get rid of, like CDs, books, jewelry, trophies, trinkets, and the like. Put them in a treasure chest of your own devising and let the children choose one item each. Ooh, sparkly.
NatureMoms' article includes a list of eco-friendly Halloween candies, trick or treat bags, party treats, decorations, and Halloween costumes. Read more at NatureMoms.
Here's something for folks who'd rather make their gifts than head to the store for a last minute shopping frenzy. Or who think spending quality time with the family is more important than material things - and if you can end up with something tasty to give away at the end of it, so much the better. Think of this as my gift to you.
2/3 cup frozen concentrated apple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two cookie sheets (with sides) with parchment paper, or grease them.
Place frozen juice concentrate, maple syrup, brown sugar and oil in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and turn off heat. Stir in cinnamon and salt.
Mix oats, almonds, sunflower seeds and wheat germ in a large mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and stir to incorporate.
Distribute mixture evenly on two cookie sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once. Reverse sheets and rotate top sheet to bottom oven rack and vice versa. Bake for another 15 minutes, untiil granola is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets.
Mix in the cranberries and transfer to mason jars. I like to tie a raffia bow around the top to make them more festive. Granola will keep for two months stored in the mason jars.
Treehugger published its 2006 Green Gift Guide, which includes some great tips for making your gift-giving a little greener this year. Among them:
1. Be sure your material gift will get used
It may be the thought that counts, but a gift that the receiver does not use is simply wasted: not a very nice thought. Give material possessions only if you know the recipient well enough to pick out something they were on the cusp of getting for themselves, or which they really need and will certainly enjoy using.
2. Give a consumable gift
Your friend will love your consumable gift twice: once while enjoying the organic teas, fair trade coffee, fresh flowers, fresh or dried fruits and nuts, or other consumable gift; and again when they appreciate that your gift leaves them with no guilty conscience about a gift left unused in the corner of their closet.
3. Share a piece of yourself
Avoid material consumption altogether. Instead, offer your services to baby-sit while your friend enjoys a cozy date with their partner, give a gift certificate for a relaxing massage, or a winter’s-worth of driveway shoveling (in which case you just save that massage for yourself).
4. Make a gift of a green service
If your time is prioritized elsewhere, you can buy a green service. Consider a gift of carbon offsets for a commuting colleague or a Zipcar membership for a friend who more frequently must turn to taxis to supplement their public transport lifestyle.
My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends - it gives a lovely light! - Edna St. Vincent Millay
I'm a huge fan of candlelight around the holidays. Heck, at any time of year. But I hate dealing with melted wax on my dinner table. And don't get me started about the time one of our dinner guests (who shall remain nameless!) set himself, and nearly the whole house on fire.
That's why I was excited to learn about the Aurelle Rechargeable Candles from Philips. They're kind of like our old reliable Candelas, only they come in pretty frosted glass vases and flicker like real candles. Plus, they're wind and water resistant, won't catch fire, and last for 10 hours on a single charge. Great for worry-free instant ambience - for your holiday decorating or as a gift.