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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Give Responsibly, Give GREEN

landfill destined gift wrapping
Holiday gift giving is a beautiful expression of the Heart yet it has unintended aftershocks for our Earth.  In past seasons, an average of 8,000 tons of wrapping paper and 40,000 miles of ribbon (enough to circle the Earth twice!) found their final home in landfills. This year make a commitment to wrap presents in recyclable material AND be sure to recycle it.

When purchasing gifts be aware of the packaging consequences on the recipient's waste stream. For items packaged in landfill destined material, communicate to the manufacturer your displeasure with their choices - use your consumer demand to create shifts in product manufacturing.

Creative green gift packaging
For more facts on holiday recycling past trends and advice on how to make this Holiday Season a sustainable one, visit the Georgia Recycling Coalition's FB page for recent posts.  

Green Gift Giving goes beyond packaging and is grounded in material and operating practices used in the manufacturing process. Understanding the impact of the product manufacturing on the Earth's resources, including the treatment of labor, is key to giving with integrity.  

Many have taken the time to compile lists of green gifts where integrity is interwoven throughout the entire production, packaging and transportation process. The 2010 Mother Earth News Blog post, Giving Green Gifts: Tips & Ideas, has many practical ideas for sustainable giving.

Thanks to her diligent research Christina Coleman prepared an impressive 2011 Eco-Fabulous Gift Givers Guide on her recently launched The Greenhouse Gratitude Blog. The list starts out with one of the most eco-friendly gifts - an on-line donation to a non-profit on behalf of the loved one.  Christina took considerable care to include items made with integrity and several listings are from Made by Survivors. With categories for babies, the home, gardening and pets, to name a few, the Guide is an excellent resource for gifts of the heart, gifts supporting the Earth.

Blankets ready for distribution
 in New Orleans
While many have the luxury of gift giving during the holidays, there is a population living in the streets who are in pure survival mode and at high risk of freezing to death. This year consider giving clean, unused blankets to homeless shelters or other venues that will distribute them to those sleeping in the cold. For those in the Atlanta area, a new non-profit Every Life Matters coordinates blanket collection and distribution. 


However you choose to express LOVE this holiday season, keep the Earth and Humanity present while giving.  Give Responsibly, Give GREEN, Give from the Heart.

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