Last-minute tips for a low-stress, greener Christmas

Still scrambling for gifts?  Me too, in spite of my annual promise to self that it won’t happen again.

Here are a few ideas to help you cross those last names off your list – and tread more lightly on the planet in the process!

  • For the foodie, a share in a local community supported agriculture operation that will provide a weekly box of fresh, local food
  • Coupons for hair care, gym membership, home cleaning, snow removal, massages, theatre or dinner at a local restaurant
  • Homemade items like knitted goods, baking, preserves, soap and crafts

And:

  • Shop secondhand stores for nearly-new clothing, books, music, electronics, furniture and more at a fraction of their original prices
  • Make commemorative donations to organizations that share your values: a homeless shelter, food bank, nature trust or animal shelter
  • Purchase carbon offsets for your friends. Learn more at tinyurl.com/COffsetInfo.

Even more ideas here.  So don’t stress out, and Happy Green Holidays!

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Be light on the planet this vacation

Want the best vacation with the least impact on the planet?  Here are five tips:

If flying:

  • Travel as lightly as you can; every ounce that doesn’t travel with you saves fuel (and notice how baggage charges are starting to reflect that reality?)
  • Consider offsetting your air travel with carbon offsets; not perfect, but the best in the here-and-now

And whether you’re flying or not:

  • Walk, bike, paddle or use public transit as much as possible at your destination
  • If possible, choose a hotel that has a sustainability certification like Green Key, Green Seal or Green Globe (there are others too)
  • Choose local food and bevies (often much better tasting too!)

Thanks to Bullfrog Power for these tips; read more here.

Bullfrog Power, a green energy supplier, asked that question of its customers last month, and they answered in droves: from individuals to huge companies like Walmart; from non-profits to large municipalities; and more.

And what kinds of things are they pledging?

  • “To reduce household trash to one bag per person per year”
  • “To join a co-operative, to buy used goods and to ‘free-cycle’ what I don’t need”
  • “To buy carbon offsets for all our air travel” (from a musical group)
  • “To eliminate single-use boxes on most orders and save 76,000 boxes”
  • “To be 100% supplied by renewable energy, and a zero-waste company” (from Walmart!!)

That’s just the start.  Read more – and be inspired, as I was – at Bullfrog’s website.  Then plan your 2012 environmental story!