greenish girl

“Whatever it is, I fear Greeks even when they bring gifts.” — Virgil (70 BC – 19 BC), Aeneid
December 27, 2009, 6:32 pm
Filed under: Book | Tags: , , ,

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the prolonged absence…it’s been a busy few weeks.  There were a few days with little to no free time at all, besides when I was sleeping, and then I was sick, and then I procrastinated about blogging because I had been planning on finally writing my greenish gift guide and at this point that might not be so useful.  So I’m pretty bummed about that; I had some pretty cool products I wanted to recommend to y’all. But maybe I still can…

Here’s my idea.  Clearly, trying to blog every day didn’t quite work out.  But I’m okay with that!  So how about I promise to try my best to write at least an entry every weekend about some kind of fun, greenish product out there – we can call it “Shopping Sunday (or Saturday, depending when I write the entry)” and then any other entries that I write are just extra gravy*.  Sound good?

*Vegetarian gravy, of course.

Before I get into today’s Shopping Sunday feature, though, I want to get some information from you guys.  For any non-product entries, what do you want to hear about? (Feel free to comment, also). 

Shopping Sunday!

I received this book as a Christmas present (Merry Christmas, by the way, or happy holidays!) and I just love it.  I’m a pretty big fan of Jamie Oliver’s TV show, Jamie at Home, and this book goes right along with it.  Jamie (why, yes, we are on first name terms…) basically lives off of his garden, and the book is separated by season, discussing what’s ripe at that time and even gives you growing tips for different plants.  Basically, if you have any interest in growing your own food, any type of gardening, being like Jamie Oliver, cooking interesting dishes, or all of the above, you should own this book.


“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.” — Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865)
December 11, 2009, 8:41 pm
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Just a quick post to pass on a great idea that a friend of mine passed on to me.  So, without further ado, here’s your Greenish Christmas Tip #13: When you’re enjoying your winter cups of tea, you usually have two options: use loose tea leaves and try to strain them out or use wasteful paper tea bags.  But what if you could make your own tea bag (just one necessary) out of fabric and just re-use it whenever you wanted?  Heck, this would even make a nifty greenish Christmas gift with some nice loose tea and maybe a small teapot or nice mug!  Enjoy!

“Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer… Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?” — Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes*
December 9, 2009, 8:57 pm
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Greenish Christmas Tip #9, 10, and 11: This may be a bit of a cheat, combining three tips into one, but these are all related to wrapping presents, and none of them are exciting enough to post as its own separate entry, so they’re all here together.  Here goes nothing.

So, let’s face it.  Wrapping presents is a pretty common occurence this time of year, but not a greenish tradition at all.  And while, sure, not wrapping presents at all is definitely the greenest way to go, that might not always be an option.  Hopefully my suggestions can inspire you to re-think traditional wrapping methods and be creative!  The most uniquely wrapped presents are always more fun.

  • Re-use wrapping paper!  This may seem either obvious or completely radical to you, depending on your personal preferences, but it’s a really easy way to save paper but not compromise having pretty presents under the tree.
  • Re-use bows, ribbons, etc.  And while we’re talking about decorations, try using fabric ribbon you can buy at a craft store – it’s probably cheaper, you can save on packaging (plastic bags around plastic-y bows? No thank you!), and your gifts will look very professional.  Plus it’s so easy to re-use.
  • Make your own cards/tags.  Save old Christmas cards to cut up and collage (is that a verb?) into your own unique holiday tag.
  • Use pre-wrapped boxes.  Take your time and nicely wrap the cover of a box and then tie a ribbon around the whole box.  After you give the present, that person can re-use the box on another present, saving paper and time!
  • Think outside of the box – literally.  Try fabric, felt, old newspapers (the comics section looks particularly festive, and make sure not to use the obituaries or any depressing headlines), or whatever else you can think of to wrap presents creatively.  (Don’t forget to save and re-use materials afterwards, though.)

*This really has nothing to do with the entry; I just liked the quote.

“Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.” — Albert Camus (1913 – 1960)
December 6, 2009, 10:12 pm
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Greenish Christmas Tip #8: For that hard-to-buy-for person (or even for that easy-to-buy-for person!), consider a gift in their name to a non-profit.  There are so many deserving organizations out there, but here are a few of my personal favorites.

  • Heifer International, a great choice for a holiday gift.  Heifer gives animals and/or trees to families around the world and teaches them how to breed and make money from them, leading the families to self-sufficiency.  And once the animals breed, the family must literally pass the gift on, giving one of the offspring to another needy family in the area.  It’s an amazing cycle.  The really great part about giving a gift to Heifer is that you can choose what type of animal you want to give, so you can actually pick out a “gift” that your recipient would appreciate.  For example, there’s the lovely Earth Basket, which contains tree seedlings and bees, or the Flock of Chicks, which look adorable.  (I know that’s not the best reason to pick a charitable gift, but they are really adorable.)
  • One Laptop Per Child, the $100 laptop project, OLPC, etc., an inspiring organization trying to, well, hmmm. I don’t have the heart to paraphrase their lovely mission statement, so here it is: Mission Statement: To create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. When children have access to this type of tool they get engaged in their own education. They learn, share, create, and collaborate. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future.
  • Okay, this isn’t really the same thing, but I love it enough that we’re going to pretend it fits right in: Free Rice. It’s an incredibly addicting online game that (wait for it) donates grains of rice to feed people all over the world. I know it sounds like a scam, but it’s not.  The money from ads on the site all (100%) goes to buying rice to help reduce world hunger.  You can play and answer questions about vocab (the standard) or choose from a variety of different subjects.  So, you help yourself by increasing your brain power, and you help the world by donating rice.  Need I say “win/win?”  Enjoy!

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” — Carl Reiner*
December 2, 2009, 9:09 pm
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I actually had some trouble deciding on what to write about today for the next installment of Greenish Christmas.  It’s a pretty big responsibility, you know.  What if I accidentally write about something stupid and you listen to me and realize it’s really stupid and then don’t ever take my advice again?  What if I continue writing about straws and you decide to stop reading my blog?  This is serious stuff, people.  Trust me.  So, anyway, I couldn’t decide for a while.  I almost recommended a really cool product but I think I’ll wait until I have more time and give you an extra-special, Greenish Christmas Gift Guide!  But, oops, I couldn’t resist linking to the item.  Oh, well, you can just look at it twice.  It’s really cool.  Moving on.

Greenish Christmas Tip #4:

Re-usable shopping bags!  Sure, lots of people use ’em for grocery shopping, but let’s take it a step farther- I’m talking mall shopping, Christmas shopping, where people you actually know might possibly see you.  I know, some shopping bags are not attractive.  At all.  So, look for some cute ones!  They’re pretty cheap and easy to find, and while I know it seems pretty ironic that I’m encouraging you to go out and buy more plastic, it’s so much greener in the long run.  Here, go enjoy these fun bags.

This one is wicked cute and it folds into its own pouch so you can keep it in your purse and always be prepared:

These seem a little flimsier, but they’re a lot cheaper (5 for $40) and they’re still fun.

Picnic & Totes - Envirosax Botanica Reusable Shopping Bags (set of 5)

Baggu has a ton of different colors of bags, also $8 apiece.

Here’s a great site with suggestions on how to make your own bags- reduce, reuse, recycle!

And, finally, what could be more perfect than this bag, from Ecobags?  Enjoy!

* Look!  It’s snowing on my blog!  I love snow.  (I won’t be saying this in February, but right now, when I’m still waiting for that first snowstorm, I love it.)

“The last straw breaks the camel’s back.” — English Proverb*
December 1, 2009, 10:44 pm
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Greenish Christmas Tip #3: (note the color-coordinated straws…very snazzy, if I do say so myself…)

acid green bendy straws by Rakka. / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This may seem pretty fluffy and ridiculous, but I think it’s actually a good idea.  The other day (Black Friday, in fact), I went out to lunch with some friends, and I ordered a lemonade.  The lemonade was in a disposable plastic cup with a lid (I know!  I know, this is  ridiculously awful for the environment.  But you can’t do everything perfectly.)  I was reaching for a straw when I realized that I really didn’t need one at all.  Why take a plastic straw in a plastic wrapper to simply drink a beverage?  I’m perfectly capable of managing without one, especially if I’m eating at the restaraunt, sitting down, not driving or even walking around.  So, long story short, try not using a plastic straw!  It may not seem like much, but over time, you can save a lot of plastic and therefore trash from entering landfills.  On that note, happy Christmas.

*No, this was not spoken by a person named “English Proverb.”  It’s just a proverb that happens to be English.  I have no idea where it came from.  Although, come to think of it, that would be an interesting name.  But I’m pretty sure it’s not the name of the person who originally said/wrote it.  Almost definitely sure.  If it was those, well, that’s pretty cool…

“Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.” — Dave Barry
November 30, 2009, 8:45 pm
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Just a quick blog today to keep you updated on the

Greenish Christmas Tip of the Day #2:

Shop online!

Our computers by aranarth.

I know, I know, this is far from an original suggestion, but, hey – it’s just a simple reminder of an easy green way to do your holiday shopping.  You can compare prices, search for opinions on different items, and find great deals – all without even leaving your house or even changing out of your pj’s.  You save on fuel by not driving to the store, and you can save even more fuel by having an item shipped (and gift-wrapped, if you prefer) directly to the recipient.  It might not have quite the charm of wrapping the present yourself, but it’s a good option to consider.  Until tomorrow, shop carefully and stay greenish!