All this month NBC’s Green is Universal is hosting its annual campaign to support the Arbor Day Foundation. Make and share an NBC Green is Universal gift a tree 2015animated GIF here to help us all have a greener holiday season.

Here’s how:

  • Go to greenisuniversal.com and create and share a holiday GIF. It’s simple and fun!
  • Use hashtag #GIFtATree on social media and for every GIF shared and hashtag #GIFtATREE generated on social media by the end of December 2015, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant one real tree in a state park or national forest up to a maximum of 25,000 trees!

Instagram a photo of your GIF and connect with @greenisuniversal and @arbordayfoundation using #GIFtATree hashtag in your share. While you’re there you can connect with me too @mygreenside.

Tweet to @GreenisUni & @arborday using hashtag #GIFtATree if you’re on Twitter. You can follow me too @mygreenside.

Share your GIF on Facebook using #GIFtATree. Yep, I’m on Facebook too! You can find me at https://www.facebook.com/MyGreenSide/.

Please take a couple of moments out of the busyness of the season to help make a real difference: GIF’t a Tree! Thank you and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas Tree Lane 2015

About Green is Universal:

Launched in May 2007, “Green is Universal” is NBCUniversal’s ongoing green initiative dedicated to raising Greenawareness, effecting positive change to the environment, and making its own operations more sustainable. Throughout the year, NBCUniversal uses it numerous media and entertainment platforms to educate the public on the environment, with green-themed content airing across over 50 NBCUniversal brands.

 

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Wreaths are a great way to improve your home’s curb appeal and make a wonderful first impression when people come to your front door. You can make wreaths for any occasion, holiday and season. You can also use almost any material to make your wreath from recycled clothing to items you find in nature.

The Base of the Wreath

Metal bases are great for durability and sustainability. I have a metal wreath frame that I bought at a craft store and have used it over and over again.

squarewreathtube.jpg

I have also seen flat wooden base forms, or you could make your form from paperboard tubes that you can liberate from your recycling bin.

Here are four wreaths you can make from items you may find in your recycling bin, local thrift store or yard:

Tie Wreath

Take a trip to the thrift store (or your husband’s closet) to gather some ties to turn into a fun wreath. I embellished mine with a bow tie.

tiewreath.jpg

The amount of ties that you need will depend on the size of your wreath. Cut your ties into 15-inch-long sections. Position the narrow end of first cut tie, front side up, on a section of the wreath. Secure with glue from your hot glue gun. Wrap tie around form until pointed end is positioned as shown, hiding the rolled tie; secure with glue. Repeat, overlapping ties slightly. Flip wreath over; glue down any spot that may need it. Pin or glue on your bow tie or use a whole tie made into a bow and secure with a pin.

Recycled Greeting Card Wreath

Recycled greeting card wreaths are a great idea if you are like me and can’t throw away the cards you receive. Decide on a shape, like holly leaves, make a template (or find one online) and then start cutting. Cut out enough of your shape to completely cover your wreath base. I find going clockwise with your first layer and then filling in where you need it works great.

Check out Ruffles & Stuff for a bunch of great ways to recycle greeting cards.

Cork Wreath

If you enjoy your wine, and have already made multiple trivet and coasters with your leftover corks, this is your next project. A wreath made of wine corks would look adorable in a dining room or hanging above your wine storage.

For this wreath, you will need around 20-25 corks, two pieces of long green floral wire, 20-25 small red jingle bells and a ribbon to hang your wreath. You will need to drill a small hole in both the top and the bottom (1/4 inch from the top and bottom) of each cork. The hole needs to be big enough to fit the floral wire. Connect your corks by pushing your wire through the bottom hole first (save enough wire at the end to twist together). Then connect the tops by pushing your wire through the top holes; alternating between the corks then jingle bells. Twist wire to close on top and bottom, shape your wreath and hang your beautiful creation with a length of ribbon.

winewreath.jpg

Here are the instructions for another adorable cork wreath.

Nature Wreath

A natural wreath is beautiful and fun to create. I trimmed my rosemary bush to use for this wreath, but you could also use evergreen branches, pine cones or whatever happens to be handy. Wrap your branches around your base, securing them with twine or glue. What is an added bonus of rosemary, lavender or an evergreen wreath is the lovely scent.

rosemarywreath.jpg

The fun part about creating a wreath for your home is you can make it uniquely your own. Once you have a base, you can recycle almost anything from magazine or book pages to old t-shirts or sweaters to make your wreath.

- This was originally published at  http://recyclenation.com/ on October 09, 2015.

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As part of my partnership with Ecocentric Mom, I receive one of their monthly subscription boxes for review. Ecocentric Mom Box for October 2015

This is how it works: 

Ecocentric Mom is a natural/green health/home/beauty product discovery subscription service that gives you three different box options: Mom-to-be, Baby Box, or Mom Box. Boxes ship monthly. Ecocentric Mom works hard to pack the very best of the best in each and every box… and they deliver (pun intended)!

The October Mom Discovery Box is full of products I would never have discovered on my own. It’s a great service to learn about healthier products that can reduce the amount of toxins in your household.

Here’s a look at the great products I received this month and I’ve included some discount codes that you can use also:

EccoBella Cocoa Soft Eyeliner Pencil (full size $17.95) I love this company’s philosophy – as an “activist” company, they source ingredients from ethical suppliers of organic materials and stay away from ingredients that may cause harm to people or the environment. They speak out on behalf of animals and the environment at every opportunity. Just my kind of company AND they have a plethora of amazing products. Check them all out at http://www.eccobella.com/

Silk Therapeutics Silk Therapeutics Nourishing Moisturizer / Silk Therapeutics Intensive C Serum (moisturizer $45, serum $60) Silk Therapeutics is dedicated to providing skincare products that deliver immediate benefits and are free of harsh preservatives and harmful chemicals. The Silk products are ideal for all skin types, including those with the most sensitive skin. “Silk protein surrounds, protects and delivers the full benefits of our active ingredients.”

Go to http://silktherapeutics.com/ to take a look at the wonderful Silk products and use promo code “ECOMOM” to save 20% on your order.

Birtsy’s Brainfood Smart Cookies (5 oz. resealable bag $4.99) OH MY GOODNESS! These cookies Bitsy's Brainfood Smart Cookieswere delicious! At Bitsy’s, they’re on a mission to make great food that starts with a simple belief – healthy bodies and healthy minds are connected, and learning to eat smart should be fun. Every day, they work to make mega-delicious, ultra-nutritious foods for your kids and their own, to nurture their bodies, minds and imaginations and to inspire them to learn and grow. Check out their website at http://www.bitsysbrainfood.com/, it’s adorable.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts (8 oz. $8.99) Manitoba Harvest is the largest hemp food manufacturer to sell, make and grow their own line of hemp food (including Hemp Hearts, hemp protein powder and their brand new Hemp Heart Bites). As a B-Corp certified company, they are also passionate about promoting health and wellness and fostering positive change for the community and the environment. I have been using the Hemp Hearts in salads to give my family the healthy Omega 3s and 6s and a ton of protein.

Take a look at their products at http://manitobaharvest.com/ and get 20% off Hemp Hearts with promo code “ecochhh1115.”

Lasting Smiles Organic Lip Balm (.15 oz. $4.99) I am LOVING this product! It smells amazing, it really work and the company is incredible! Lasting Smiles lip balms are organic and Fair Trade Certified (yay!) with pure and moisturizing ingredients sourced from small scale global farming cooperatives. Not only will your Organic Lip Balm keep your lips feeling great but it will help to fund a cleft lip surgery – transforming a child’s life forever! Visit http://lastingsmilescare.com/ to find out more.

Ellovi ButterEllovi Mint Chocolate Butter Minis (3.5 oz. $26) Every Ellovi product is made with six wildly harvested ingredients so pure you can eat them which is good because my 8 year old is in love with this product. She slathers it all over and keeps telling me it smells good enough to eat. Ellovi promises that the butter will soak in deep and keep your skin intensely hydrated and nourished for days. 

Go to http://www.ellovi.com/ to get some of your own and use promo code “Ecocentricmom” for a 15% discount, maybe I’ll see you there.

People Towels Logo a Go Go Towel ($3.99) People Towels are an on-the-go, sustainable alternative to paper towels. It comes with a convenient hangtag so I can clip it to a backpack, picnic basket or purse. AND it’s made of 100% organic Fair Trade Cotton! I will be getting more of these, they are a perfect addition to my girls’ lunch boxes.

Go to http://peopletowels.com/ to see their adorable designs which are printed with earth friendly dyes. Use promo code “ecomom15″for a 10% discount.

Disclosure: I am a part of the Ecocentric Mom Blogger Team and receive monthly subscription boxes for review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own. Affiliate links appear in this post.

Ecocentric Mom Box

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I was extremely honored to be asked recently to be a part of Sheaffer Pen’s #LifeStories campaign. Sheaffer Pen’s and I go way back. In middle school, I really became interested in calligraphy and hand lettering. My uncle, an amazing artist, gave me a Sheaffer Calligraphy Set to get me started. He was such an inspiration and I miss him dearly (he died when he was only 38 years old). So Sheaffer Pen has since been a reminder to me of him and his talent.

Sheaffer Pen #lifestories

Christopher was also asked to be a feature in the campaign. I’m so proud of him and the way he has completely immersed himself into talk radio for all the right reasons. He opens his heart and mind to his listeners every day and he does it with humor, intelligence and respect.

Sheaffer Pen #lifestories

This was another one of my favorite Sheaffer Pen #LifeStories, Mindy Lockard, The Gracious Girl. Mindy is an amazing woman who lives and breathes gracious living at it’s most authentic.

Sheaffer Pen, #lifestories

For more of Sheaffer Pen’s #LifeStores, check out their site at http://sheaffer.com/, Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/Sheaffer_Page and Instagram at https://instagram.com/sheafferpen/.

 

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I’m coming up on my 5 year Write-aversary (I’m sure that’s a thing) for Recycle Nation so click on over to http://recyclenation.com/author/wendy-gabriel to see what I have been writing about.

Some recent articles include, What Can You Recycle – A Pictorial Tutorial.

Recycle

 

And, Preserving the Harvest, or Saving the Season.

Cadence harvesting strawberries

This photo makes me smile for so many reasons… wonderful memories, Cadence’s adorable smile and those yummy strawberries.

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.  ~Og Mandino

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It’s been waaay too long since my last post! My life has been turned upside down and I’m still trying to catch my breath.

So here’s a quick update:

Right before Christmas 2014, Christopher (husband of My Green Side) was flown to California for a job interview with a radio station in a market significantly higher than the Fargo radio market. They loved him and, while we were in Wisconsin at my family’s farm for Christmas, the negotiations began.

One of my favorite ornaments. Made by Missy

Christmas 2014

It became very clear, very quickly that the Gabriel Family was going to be making a move. Soon the contract was signed, family and friends were told and arrangements were made. If I missed sending a personal note to anyone, I apologize! In my defense, it was a whirlwind trying to get everything done and moved. I wanted to make sure the girls saw everyone they wanted to see before we left so I am beyond thankful that we were able to spend time with a lot of our extended family during Christmas. And, frankly, I’m still getting used to the idea that we’re actually living in California!

CG studio shot

Christopher’s last day on the air at WDAY AM 970 and the girls last day of school in Fargo was January 9th. We then commenced saying goodbyes to dear friends, neighbors, our favorite babysitter, classmates, teachers, doctors… I have tears in my eyes now as I remember all the people I love and miss in that part of the world.

The Hotel Donaldson, Fargo

The moving truck arrived and, on January 16th, we were on our way from Fargo to Fresno. We drove the 2,000 miles to give the girls a chance to see parts of our beautiful country that they had never seen before. The weather was incredible and our mini-vacation was so much fun. Seeing sights like the Rocky Mountains through their eyes is an experience I will always treasure.

Fargo to Fresno mug

Fargo to Fresno mug in NebraskaA frozen waterfall in the Rocky Mountains

 

 

 

On January 22nd, Christopher was on air for the first broadcast of The Christopher Gabriel Program in Fresno, California. On the following Monday the girls started at their new school. The people at their school are lovely and as an added bonus, we are close enough to walk.

Since we’ve been in California, we’ve made multiple trips to the Sierra Nevada’s and Shaver Lake, Monterey and Carmel, Yosemite, Disneyland and gorgeous areas within our own community. We feel extremely blessed to be here and hope to be a positive addition to this area.

Carmel-by-the-Sea

Words can’t express how proud I am of Christopher and how he manages to bring his intelligence, sense of humor and humanity to his program each and every day. I hope that talk radio everywhere looks at his model and learns that anyone can scream and yell but it takes a real professional to let everyone be heard with respect and civility. We will never get anything worthwhile done in our homes, in our school or in our government unless we learn to really listen to each other and be respectful no matter which side of an issue you are on. Didn’t we all learn to treat each other the way we want to be treated?

I continue to write for 1800Recycling.com but will not be on Christopher’s program for a Simple Tips for Green Living segment (at least not until we’re all completely settled into our new normal). I am excited to discover what God has in store for this new chapter in my life.

Our neighbor's palm tree

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it ~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. STARTING OCTOBER 13, 2014 A NEW TIME FOR THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM MEANS A NEW TIME FOR THIS SEGMENT… YOU CAN NOW STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 835AM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: As we head towards a New Year it is always a good idea to take a moment to examine if there are any eco-friendly additions you could make in your day-to-day life.  As Oprah so beautifully put it, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Start recycling. To reduce the amount of waste you produce, stop buying disposable products when there are reusable versions available. Reuse everything, donate gently used items to charity and always recycle as much as you can. The energy saved from recycling a single aluminum can will operate a television for three hours.
  • Bring your own bag. Paper or plastic? Neither is the best choice. Twelve million barrels of oil are used to make the 88.5 billion plastic bags consumed in the United States each year. And it takes four times more energy to make paper bags. (Source: The Daily Green) The best choice is to bring your own reusable shopping bags. Put a few in your car so you have them handy on your next shopping trip. And if you happen to forget your reusable bag (as we all do), choose paper if you will recycle it or plastic if you will reuse or recycle it.
  • Clean Green. Instead of buying costly cleaning products that are full of toxic chemicals, use greener cleaning options like white vinegar, baking soda and some lemons. Healthier for your family, your wallet and the environment.
    • Tub and tile cleaner: Use half a lemon with a sprinkle of baking soda on it to scrub your tub and tiles. I also clean my kitchen sink and counter tops using this method.
    • Oven cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda in your oven and spray it with water, making it into a paste. Let it sit, periodically spraying it when it dries. Then wipe off. Your oven will be sparkling clean without the toxic fumes.
    • Window cleaner: Fill a spray bottle with water and ¼ cup white vinegar. Use a soft cloth or newspaper to wipe.
    • All-Purpose Cleaner: Full strength white vinegar will disinfect and clean just as effectively as harsh toxic chemicals without harming your family.
  • Stop Buying Paper Towels. According to MaryJanesFarm, Americans go through about 2.5 million tons ofChristmas time paper towels annually, and even the ones made from recycled materials usually end up in landfills. Use organic cotton cloths instead.
  • Buy Less Stuff. My Nana grew up during the Depression-era and her motto has always been, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”! All of our homes are filled with stuff we don’t need. There are even TV shows that help us get rid of all the stuff. Let’s start not buying the stuff we don’t need in the first place. Before you enter a store make a detailed list. Before you purchase something not on your list ask yourself where you’ll put it when you get it home. Do you really need it?
  • Take Five Minutes Each Day To Breathe: Or meditate, or pray. Anything that will reduce stress and help you to stop and refresh your body and soul.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

The Green Guide
The Green Guide and www.thegreenguide.com are published by The Green Guide Institute (TGGI), an independent research and information organization for consumers. Dubbed the “green living source for today’s conscious consumer”, The Green Guide is an invaluable resource for men and women, from young adults to grandparents, striving for a healthy and “greener” lifestyle. It is TGGI’s vision that one day The Green Guide will be, for millions of consumers, the go-to source of information about practical everyday, environmentally responsible and health-minded product choices and actions. Their goal is to ensure that The Green Guide and www.thegreenguide.com serve as your most practical, reliable, and trustworthy content source for product choices and daily practices that are better for health and the environment.

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As part of my partnership with Ecocentric Mom, I receive one of their bimonthly subscription boxes for review. Ecocentric Mom Box for July/August 2014

This is how it works: 

Ecocentric Mom is a natural/green health/home/beauty product discovery subscription service that gives you three different box options: Mom-to-be, Baby Box, or Mom Box. Boxes ship every-other-month (6 times per year). An every-other-month model makes boxes more affordable for all moms. Ecocentric Mom works hard to pack the very best of the best in each and every box… and they deliver (pun intended)!

The November / December Mom Discovery Box is full of products I would never have discovered on my own. It’s a great service to learn about healthier products that can reduce the amount of toxins in your household.

Here’s a look at the great products I received this month and I’ve included some discount codes that you can use also:

Urban Oreganics Makeup Remover (full size 3 oz bottle $8) Urban Oreganics handcrafts the highest quality “skin food” from natural ingredients. This all-over makeup remover binds to consmetics and gently lifts them off. Safe for eyelashes and skin. This product works really well.Urban Oreganics Makeup Remover

Discount: 20% off orders over $20 with code: ECOMOM20, Expires 12/31/14 http://ecmom.co/UrbanOregancis

eInvite Holiday Cards (5 cards included – $8.80 value, Personalized holiday cards start as low as $.72 each) eInvite is a leading online retailer of invitations, announcements, gifts and personalized stationery. They offer a wide selection of quality products, all customizable through their patented online personalization tool. Their line of Baby products includes shower invitations, birth announcements, nursery decor and much more. Made in the USA. I received an adorable set of Christmas cards. The quality was great, I would definitely order cards from them.

Discount: 20% off sitewide with coupon code: HOLIDAYECO20, Expires 12/31/14 http://ecmom.co/eInviteGifts

Oscillococcinum from BOIRON ($9.99 for 6 ct.) Oscillo works naturally with your body to reduce the duration and severity of flu-like symptoms such as body aches, headaches, fever, chills and fatigue. For ages 2 and up. We use this product every time someone is feeling like they are getting sick and I really believe it has helped us get better quicker. I love that it’s a natural product that doesn’t have any side effects. 

Beanfield Chips ($3.99 full size, $1.49 snack size) Beanfields Nacho Bean and Rice chips have twice the Beanfields Nacho Bean and Rice Chipsprotein, twice the fiber and one-third the fat of most tortilla or potato chips. They are Non-GMO Verified, certified gluten-free and vegan. My whole family enjoys eating these delicious chips.

Flavrz Organic Drink MixesFLAVRZ Organic Drink Mixes (Tropical Peach is $6.99 for a box of 6, $32.99 for a carton of 36 Sport is $6.99 for a box of 5, $32.99 for a case of 30) FLAVRZ is an organic alternative to the usual artificially flavored, colored and sweetened beverages. They start with real organic fruit juice, add the highest quality organic flavorings and add a hint of organic sweetness. I LOVE that they are organic, non-GMO, gluten-free and have a nice variety of flavors. 

Discount: 15% off use code: ecocentric http://ecmom.co/FLAVRZ 

Soothie Suckers Herbal Pops ($9.99 for 8 pops) Herbal supplements that Soothie Suckers Herbal Popsare certified organic with wild-crafted herbal extracts in each ice pop. Also, no artificial flavors, no high fructose corn syrup and no alcohol. For ages 2 and up. My girls enjoyed these a lot and said they would like for me to get some more!

Discount: $2.00 per box discount using coupon code: ECOMOM valid now through 12/24/2014 on our website only http://ecmom.co/SoothieSuckers.

Organic India Tulsi Tea (18 bag box retails for $5.99) The ORGANIC INDIA vision and mission is to be a vehicle of consciousness in the global market by creating a holistic sustainable business model, which inspires, promotes and supports True Wellness and respect for all Beings and for Mother Nature. The tea is certified organic and delicious!

Lovely Candy CoLovely Candy Company Caramels ($1.49 per 2 oz bag) These all natural, soft, buttery caramels use real butter and sweetened condensed milk to create an indulgent, sweet treat. All candies are certified gluten free, non-GMO, certified kosher and contain no high fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients. YUM!

Disclosure: I am a part of the Ecocentric Mom Blogger Team and receive bimonthly subscription boxes for review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own. Affiliate links appear in this post.

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Green is Universal and the Arbor Day Foundation have teamed up once again for their annual Share a Tree The farm November 2014campaign. This year, for every digital tree shared before the end of December, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree and for every 25,000 shared, Green is Universal will donate $5,000. They’ve created a virtual forest and people can visit the site, decorate a tree and easily share it on social media. Included in the forest are about 40 trees that were drawn by celebrities like Al Roker, Dolvett Quince and Meredith Vieira and if you don’t feel like decorating a tree of your own, you can share a “Celebratree” instead. Watch the #ShareATree hashtag, too, because if you RT or share someone else’s tree, that counts, too!!

Click here to decorate and Share a Tree!

The Share a Tree Program will help the Arbor Day Foundation plant trees all across the United States in our national forests, state forests, and state parks. Two places in which trees will be planted is in Michigan’s Mackinaw and Ausable State Forests.

Jack pine trees will be planted to improve the habitat of the endangered Kirtland’s warbler. This neotropical migratory songbird’s breeding habitat is almost exclusively confined to young, dense Jack pine stands in the area. Today, Kirtland’s warblers are found in only ten counties on Michigan’s northern lower peninsula and four counties in the upper peninsula. Efforts by the Arbor Day Foundation’s replanting partners have increased the number of singing males from less than 200 to more than 1,900, bringing the species back from the brink of extinction.

Christmas Tree in the Crystal Court

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. STARTING OCTOBER 13, 2014 A NEW TIME FOR THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM MEANS A NEW TIME FOR THIS SEGMENT… YOU CAN NOW STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 835AM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!”~from How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess

GREEN TIP: Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of year. This extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra ton of garbage per week. Give the planet a gift, take control of your waste this year.

The Use Less Stuff Report offers a checklist of simple things you can do to reduce waste while you eat, drink, and make merry this holiday season. Here are a few:

  • Turn down the heat before your holiday guests arrive. You’ll save energy while the extra body heat of your guests will warm up the room.
  • After your holiday parties, don’t throw away the leftovers. Put them in containers and send them home with guests.

At least 28 billion pounds of edible food are wasted each year – or over 100 pounds per person. Putting one less cookie on Santa’s plate will reduce his snacking by about 2 million pounds.

  • During the nation’s busiest shopping season, bring your own shopping bags.Christmas time
  • Consolidate your purchases into one bag rather than getting a new bag at each store on your shopping rounds.

If each household canceled 10 mail-order catalogues it would reduce trash by 3.5 pounds per year. If everybody did this, the stack of canceled catalogues would be 2,000 miles high.

  • Plan your shopping in advance. Consolidating your shopping trips saves fuel.
  • Rather than piling up “stuff” under the tree, think about what friends and family really want or need. Try giving gift certificates if you don’t know what someone wants, or simply make a donation in his or her name to a favorite charity.
  • Give gifts that encourage others to use less stuff, like a book about making crafts from reusable items, a cookbook for leftovers, a reusable tote bag and so on.
  • For kids, start a savings account or give stocks or bonds. It’s fun to watch money grow and it teaches children the value of financial conservation.
  • Donate unwanted gifts, along with last year’s gifts that the kids have outgrown, to charity.
  • When buying electronic toys and other portable items that are used regularly, remember to buy rechargeable batteries to go with them.
  • Make new tree ornaments out of things you already have around the house, or from materials you might find in the backyard: twigs, bark, flowers and herbs, pine cones and so on.
  • Old clothes and jewelry make a great dress-up box for kids.
  • Tools and gadgets make a great idea box for a young inventor.
  • Give the gift of an experience: tickets to concerts, tickets to a museum, tickets to a sporting event, gift certificates or even gifts of your own time.
  • Tie a bow around oversized gifts like bicycles or CD racks, instead of wrapping them in paper.
  • Wrap gifts in old maps, newspapers, Sunday comics or fancy holiday gift bags. Kids’ art work is a perfect wrapping for presents to proud grandparents.
  • Use brown paper grocery bags to wrap small-to-medium size boxes that have to be mailed.

If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.

  • Compost your food waste. Fruits and vegetables and their peels, pits and seeds are all perfect for composting – a great natural fertilizer.

Source: Use Less Stuff

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

One Green Planet

One Green Planet is an awesome site that aspires people to make conscious choices that are good for people, animals and the planet. One Green Planet is an independent publishing platform focused on sustainable food, animal/environmental protection, and cruelty-free/green living. They are also the biggest vegan/plant-based food and recipe site on the Internet. 

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