Archives for December 2008

5 Unexpectedly Green Holiday Gifts for Baby

1. Garage sale toys

2. Experience gifts

3. Money

 4. Donation to a charity in baby’s name

5. Most shocking of all . . . NOTHING!  Before you discount this idea as completely Scrooge-like, hear me out.  Will a baby really know if you got her a gift or not?  Most pint-sized toys and clothes get relegated to the basement or attic within a few months.
 
You may think “going green” means shelling out extra cash for organic clothes and hand-crafted toys carved from sustainable wood.  All the gifts we mentioned use no raw materials so your bundle of joy can leave a little footprint on the Earth.  Rather than depriving your child, you’re emphasizing the true meaning of the holidays: family togetherness, festive food, good cheer, and of course (adjective) + (abstract noun of choice).

The Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree Dilemma

I live in Oregon where we’re surrounded by evergreens and breathe in pine-scented air on a daily basis.  Every Christmas I’ve had a real tree, some of which we tromped out into the woods to find and others that we’ve picked out at our local tree farms.  It has always seemed like a normal part of the holidays to have a real tree, so I was shocked to hear others touting the eco-benefits of plastic holiday trees.  Say it isn’t so! 

Still, it’s good to consider the plastic vs. real debate and then think beyond it.  There’s certain to be a tree that will fit your budget and your green values.

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Avoid Packaging, Shipping, and Clutter with Gifts of Experience for Adults and Kids Alike

I know that part of the fun is receiving a package, wondering what’s inside, and opening it with abandon.  But here’s a green idea: what about giving the gift of experiences this holiday season?

Experience Gifts for Adults

Gift certificates to favorite local restaurants.  My mother-in-law pays attention to the restaurants we frequent or mention wanting to try when she visits us–then we’re surprised with gift certificates to them months later!

Gift certificates to local grocery stores.  This might not seem like much of a present, considering people spend money at the grocery store all the time.  I personally love to get gift certificates to places like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, and I make sure to buy something special for myself with them, because it’s a present–not a coupon!
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Reusing Baby Food Jars For Holiday Gifts

Like some green moms, I aspired to blend boiled kale into ulta-nutritious meals that my baby would love without the expense and waste of prepared baby food.

After a few months of trying to balance sleep deprivation, dirty diapers, teaching, and my own sanity, I decided to embrace those tiny jars of freedom and relinquish my dreams of green perfection.  Although I did supplement with home blended meals, organic jarred food was a huge gift.   You can read about my baby food adventures here.

All those glass containers were carefully recycled, but now that I’m out of the baby food stage, I wish I would’ve reused them instead. 
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