Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Annual Green Gift Guide

Bing Crosby may have been dreaming of a White Christmas, but here at Mountains of the Moon, we're dreaming of a Green Holiday Season from start to finish. Our annual Green Gift Guide features tips for an eco-friendly holiday season, as well as our top picks for (affordable!) gifts for your loved ones that are also gifts to the earth and its inhabitants.

You can check out the Green Gift Guide in full at the link above (with a simply eco-fabulous list of conscious gifts - with prices - for everyone on your list), but for now, here are some of our favorite tips on how to celebrate the holiday season, the sustainable way:

1. Wrap Creatively: Americans throw away a million extra tons of garbage each week between Thanksgiving and New Years, much of which is gift wrap. This year, be creative "wrap" your gift in a reusable tote bag, fabric that the receiver can reuse, or recycled newspaper.

2. Dim the Lights: A U.S. Department of Energy study determined that if everyone replaced their conventional holiday lights low-energy LED holiday light, at least two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved over the holiday season.

3. Lower Carbon Emissions: Rather than driving your car to do your holiday shopping, take public transportation, or if you must drive, car pool. Even better, avoid the cold and crowds and shop online. Look for companies who avoid excess packaging and use recycled shipping supplies.

4. Make Meals Mindful: Choose healthy, organic alternatives to traditional holiday foods, and you'll be helping out your body and the earth. Opt for soy-turkeys, free range turkeys, and organic veggies. Use regular dishes and silverware when hosting parties rather than wasteful disposables.

5. Shop with Care: Avoid those big box stores full of cheap gifts made via sweatshop-labor. Now more than ever, there are eco-friendly and fair trade products available everywhere you turn. Rather than stocking up on lots of disposable goods, buy your loved ones well made eco-friendly gifts that will last for many seasons, rather than ending up in landfills. Look for goods made locally/domestically and that use sustainable materials. Or give your friends and family donations to charities in their names. Not sure what to get? Purchase gift certificates to eco-friendly companies and have them e-mailed rather than shipped.

Check our the full Green Gift Guide right here, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


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