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Ca Giving Green Gifts. 11.29.09


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Commercial Appeal 11.29.09

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Ca Giving Green Gifts. 11.29.09

  1. 1. 10 GOING GREEN | Sunday, November 29, 2009 Green gifts maximize fun of giving By Suzanne Thompson Special to Going Green This holiday season, there are plenty of ways to give gifts that will minimize the effects on the planet and maximize the fun of giving. Remember, though, Some of the best gifts can’t al- ways be purchased. season’s There’s nothing like receiving a best cheerfully decorated container full of offerings freshly baked home- made treats. This is not one of the most basic eco-friendly gifts, found in and one that is pos- sibly the most appre- stores ciated, as it shows the recipient you cared enough to take the time and effort to give them a gift from the heart. The Commercial Appeal files Any kind of consumable gifts — coffee, tea, nuts or fruit — make ex- Homemade gifts such as fudge and cellent gifts and can be enjoyed jellies show family and friends you care throughout the holiday season and enough to take the time and effort to beyond. Gift baskets are available in give them a gift from the heart. many local stores and there are plen-
  2. 2. The Commercial Appeal Sunday, November 29, 2009 | GOING GREEN 11 Great Christmas gifts can be found tucked into the racks of clothes and toys at Goodwill, Salvation Army and Disabled Veterans stores. Thomas Busler ty of options, even for the most discern- ways appreciated. A membership to a ing epicureans. museum or the Memphis Zoo is a gift Consider giving a coupon book you’ve that keeps giving all year. made up of chores you are willing to do People love getting flowers, no matter and events and dates to do them. Any what time of the year it is, and giving mother of young children would relish a live plants has the benefit of contribut- coupon book for a night or two of free ing oxygen to the atmosphere as they baby-sitting. adorn the environment. Handcrafted soaps and lotions make The Nature Store carries a line of nice gifts and soapstone items are also organic toys for kids and pets, too. popular, such as a soapstone wine cooler. They have a motivational mug, called The Hunger Site Store, a charity that the Global Warming Mug, and when hot is U.S. owned and operates the Greater water is poured into it, the coastlines Good Network Stores, is a network of disappear, as a reminder of the impor- sites offering products offered from the tance of green living. For information, sites of a variety of causes. Go to go to for information. has a variety of hol- Something people haven’t typically iday gifts available from handbags wo- done in the past is shop at thrift stores for ven from recycled plastic fruit juice gifts, but the quality of items and value, packs, to art deco style ornaments fash- make this a very attractive way to recycle. ioned from vintage 45 rpm records. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Disabled Vet- This merchant has carried the idea even erans and even the Junior League, which further, offering vinyl bowls also fash- operates a store called “The Repeat Bou- ioned from the antique records. tique,” are packed with items that are The Bambu Company makes a line of suitable for gift-giving. contemporary kitchenware made from Gifts that can be experienced are al- bamboo, including serving trays, cutting
  3. 3. 12 GOING GREEN | Sunday, November 29, 2009 bulk mail they want to receive, catalogs for instance, and they guarantee a 95 percent reduction in junk mail. As a bonus, they plant five trees in the name of the person who received the gift. Go to Another company, the name of which was inspired by the weight of junk mail the average person receives each year,, offers a 5-year subscription to its service for $41. This company con- tacts 20 to 30 direct mail organizations with instruction to stop sending junk mail to a given address. It also contributes one- third of the cost of the subscription to one a reforestation organization. Students may like getting a new back- pack, but how cool is getting a backpack that is is the hottest on earth? Solar backpacks harness the energy of the sun to recharge MP3 players, cameras, even laptops while on the go. Voltaic Systems makes the pack, which is available in Karen Pulfer Focht/The Commercial Appeal files three colors. There also are many gift options for A membership to the Memphis Zoo is smaller kids. Remember the Radio Flyer one gift that keeps on giving all year. red wagons many of us enjoyed as chil- Memberships to museums and season dren? The company now makes a model tickets are other great options. made completely out of recycled plastic, the Radio Flyer Earth Wagon, which is boards and utensils. Bamboo, which is a available through’s toy sec- type of grass, is a fast-growing plant tion. An Earth Wagon can even provide that releases 35 percent more oxygen a good opportunity for parents to teach than trees. children how their plastic drinking bot- Purchasing carbon offset credits in a tles can be turned into other things. person’s name, or making a donation to The Center for a New American charity in their name is another Dream conducted a poll and that 82 thoughtful and environmentally friendly percent more people would rather re- way to give. ceive a photo album of family and Several companies offer an unusual, friends than a gift bought in a store. In but ingenious gift that involves getting these digital days, that’s not surprising. less. For $20, Green Dimes will stop the A beautiful wooden bird feeder is a recipient from receiving junk mail. Sub- gift that not only lasts, but brings with mit the recipient’s name, along with it an array of colorful visitors.