Its that time of year again where people pull out wads of cash, max out their credit cards and make purchases that aren't really necessary. Instead of buying the same old gifts like body lotions, purfume and clothes for your friends and family, that will just be thrown away or tossed in the basement to collect dust, why not lower your carbon footprint and help make a difference in the world with these unique ideas for this 2010 holiday season.
*Purchase Previously Viewed Movies*
1) Movies are always popular gifts for the holidays especially since the big Hollywood giants pump out their most popular movies this time of the year, however, all these DVD's and Blu-Rays create a lot of plastic waste plus these movies are sometimes only watched once!! Why not head over to Blockbuster and purchase a previously viewed video!? Not only are you saving money but its also a form of reducing and reusing. That one DVD might have already been watched by people many times, however, Blockbuster guarantees that the movies are in perfect condition and you are not contributing to that movie being manufactured, transported and the waste thrown out! Its a win-win situation!! I already have Disney's Oceans, Inception and Grown Ups on my list with a request that they be purchased as previously viewed movies from Blockbuster! :0)
*I'm hoping to have this pair under my tree come December 25th! :0)*
2) This next item is already on my wish list!! What is quickly becoming the hottest brand in North America, TOMS Shoes is changing the way we choose our brands! In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Using the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good is what their all about. The TOMS mission transforms their customers into benefactors, which allows them to grow a truly sustainable business rather than depending on fundraising for support. My best friend Kristina already owns a pair and absolutely LOVES them! Everyday she reminds her co-workers that they too can make a difference by making sustainable and intelligent choices when it comes to making purchases!
*"Ecoholic" by Canadian author Adria Vasil*
3) "Ecoholic" and "Ecoholic Home" by Adria Vasil is my go-to resource when it comes to wanting to learn more about making smart purchases and what I can do everyday in life to make my planet and future a little happier. It's hard being a TreeHugger. As Adria Vasil says in the introduction to her book Ecoholic: "The tough part is that figuring out what's green and what's greenwash, what's eco-friendly and what's ozone destoying can be downright dizzying." Thankfully I have Adria to turn to when I am confused, frustrated or completely lost when it comes to being environmentally friendly. I have purchased and lent out both "Ecoholic" and "Ecoholic Home" to countless friends and family members and each one of them had told me they would also be adding the resource to their home collection. Trust me.......you can't go wrong with these books!!
*My Cousin Michael With His Adoption Scrabook*
4) Animal Adoption certificates are my FAVOURITE gifts to GIVE and GET! Three years ago I made a scrapbook for myself and my three little cousins. Each year I adopt an animal for them which comes in certificate form along with tons of information, magnets and pictures explaining why their adopted animal is endangered. I also purchase stickers, glitter and markers for them to decorate around their certificate. I feel this is a great way to not only support a wonderful organization but it also educates my little cousins the importance of protecting our wildlife and giving back to the planet. In the past I have adopted Sea Turtles for them through the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, Manatees from Florida through Save The Manatees and have planted a tree in Costa Rica in their honour through Kids Saving The Rainforest. This year I have sent out a donation to Save Our SeaTurtles which will adopt and protect three Leatherback nests in their honour. (Shhhhh don't tell) Nothing makes me more happier than to see their faces light up when they realize which animal they have "saved" and can decorate on Christmas Eve! For myself, last year I recieved an adopted Canadian Marmot and this year I have asked for an adopted orangutan through the Orangutan Foundation International
So before you go out and complete you Christmas shopping this year be creative and think of ways you can put a smile on the face of a loved one and our planet at the same time!!