Ho, ho, ho! The holiday season is in full swing. It’s that time to give and receive. Add a little color to the holidays with my easy Season’s Greenings ideas.
Give Fairly with Fair Trade Gifts: If you’re giving material gifts go with Fair Trade products. Fair Trade, mostly associated with coffee, has expanded to include a variety of products like tea, body care, clothing, jewelry, and household accessories. Fair Trade ensures farmers and workers in developing countries are “justly compensated” for the goods they produce, and assists them in building sustainable businesses. Ten Thousand Villages (with a location in Philadelphia) is one of the oldest fair trade organizations. Novica, in association with National Geographic connects artisans to the global marketplace.
It’s in the Bag: They may not be “glitzy” but reusable shopping bags really are the perfect gift, especially for a host and hostess. Trendy, fashionable reusable bags come in all designs, shapes and sizes. For him and her, young or old. You can get one for a wine lover, beach lover, or shopaholic. Best of all, reusable bags will be used and last all year long. It’s truly a gift that keeps on giving.
Light Up the Holidays: Candles are very popular this time of year, whether you’re burning scented candles for a holiday social, lighting a Hanukkah menorah or Kwanzaa kintara, or giving candles as a holiday gift. But did you know certain candles are toxic and hazardous to your health?
The majority of candles manufactured are made of paraffin, petroleum waste sludge produced when crude oil is refined into gasoline. The paraffin is often bleached. As paraffin candles burn, they emit black soot and harmful toxic fumes.
Beeswax and soywax are the “healthiest” candles to burn. Beeswax is a renewable all natural product made by the female worker bee. Beeswax doesn’t contain additives or fillers. Its non-toxic properties make it perfect for clean burning. They may be hard to find locally, but for certain Beeswax candles and Soywax candles are available online.
Take Charge: About 40% of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. So if you’re giving a gift that requires them consider also giving rechargeable batteries. Yes, it’s true, rechargeable batteries cost more than regular alkalines, but when used properly, rechargeable batteries can be used hundreds if not thousands of times, over and over and over again.
If you’ve ever been in contact with an old alkaline battery than you know they contain corrosive materials. And when put in landfills, most batteries can release harmful metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium into the environment. Rechargeable batteries are better for reducing the number of overall batteries manufactured and disposed of.
Consider this, Americans send nearly 10.5 million tons of textile waste to landfills annually. Clothing and textiles make up nearly six percent of all garbage in New York City. That’s 193,000 tons of trash! And sadly, we donate only about 15% of our clothing. Donating your clothing to a thrift store or for-profit textile recycler is something to rejoice. Do the same for accessories, toys, and other gadgets.