Wednesday, December 5, 2007

With the holidays upon us and in full swing, I keep running into ways to be more conscientious with the types of gifts we give and the ways gift-giving impacts the environment and our lives.

For those who aren't quite ready to celebrate a season-long buy nothing day, this is a cool website that helps you pick a cause and give a gift to someone by making a donation in their name. Treehugger also puts together an annual gift guide for enviros.

One of my favorite subscriptions, Buzzfeed, has some eco-alternatives to Christmas trees. I love this concept, but not for that price tag!

I do think a one-time investment in this tree is worth it for nostalgic reasons.

If you really want the real thing, you can get a living Christmas tree, which you can later plant outside! While you're at it, pick up some LED lights and save on overall energy consumption.

Still want to give a brick and mortar, tangible gift? Reconsider the waste of all that wrapping paper! Reuse the comics, newspapers, pages from catalogs, or old maps. I've always thought gift bags were a nice alternative, since they can easily be reused.

My final $0.02 - I think some of the best gifts are experiences. The gift exists on different levels - from the giving and receiving of it, to the anticipation, to the experience itself.

All that said... I think I'm participating in at least 3 white elephant gift exchanges. And, all my green tips aside, I like the experience of gathering together with friends/co-workers and enjoying the process - the game involved. I'm no scrooge... it's fun.

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