Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hiya everyone! It's been a long time since I have visited the blogosphere. (I guess having a baby is a good excuse?) Though life is crazy at Chez Kimberly, I had to break my silence to bring up an important topic...As we sashay into the holiday season, it is important to remember our green values as we consider gift giving.

First, we should evaluate do we really need more stuff? Gone are the days when you waited all year to get that special item or toy. Today, adults go out and buy what they want when they want it. Children are "treated" on a regular basis. So do we really need to go over the top during the holidays? What message are we sending to our friends, family and children when we go into debt unnecessarily and indulge to excess? Let's follow "less is more" this year and consider these options:
1) Instead of buying gifts, how about making them? Some of my favourite gifts have been from neighbors and family who have put a lot of thought, time and love into handmade/homemade gifts. Bake a loaf of that delicious banana bread or share some 'friendship tea' in nice tea cup. This year, my 3 year old daughter and I will be making soap to pass along to our loved ones.

2) Consider making a charitable donation or support a good cause on behalf of the gift recipient. Does your mother love animals? How about a donation to the local humane society in her honor? Give to those who truly need. Last year, for my birthday (which is on Christmas Eve), my husband bought water jugs and mosquito nets from Oxfam's Unwrapped.

3) After considering the above alternatives, if you still want to purchase physical presents, at least purchase from fair trade sites. Auction site eBay recently partnered with the World of Good Development Organization to establish a green commercial site. World of is a "one-stop shop for environmentally conscious and socially responsible consumers". Unlike eBay's auction style, the items on World of Good have a price tag that isn't negotiable. Visitors can find items from around the world such as food, home decor, and clothing. I like that you can select a gift from a category such as "People Positive" "Animal Friendly" and "Supports a Cause".

Remember, the best gifts we can give are a clean environment and healthy planet to future generations. I hope that you will consider your impact during the holidays. For more ideas, please visit Buy Nothing at Christmas.


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