Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Great Green Gift

My eco-conscious sister always manages to find some really neat green gifts.  This Christmas she surprised me with a beautiful pair of earrings made from recycled forks.  The designer, Maude Lapierre, creates "unique pieces of jewelry out of discarded stainless steel cutlery, transforming the simple structure and patterns of a fork into something new and elegant."

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Aftermath of Christmas

One garbage bag full of wrapping materials to be recycled
As you know, this year, I did my best to "gift greener", by using  handmade material bags that can be reused, as well as gift bags that get reused.  But, there was still wrapping paper from family members, and some from our family too.

So after all the gifts were opened and everyone sat back to with a cup of tea and cookies, what happened to all that wrapping paper, packaging, etc.? 

All the recycling packaged up to go to the recycle center in NJ.
My mom and I sorted it all out and this is what we ended up with for recycling...pretty amazing if you think of all the households that do not recycle, and the amount of trash one holiday creates.  My hope for the New Year is that more people make an effort, and spend the few minutes to sort and recycle.

Note:  The trash bags filled with paper to be recycled, are dumped out at the recycle center, and then reused!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Greener Gifting isn't Grinchy

So as I wrap presents this year, I've vowed not to buy more wrapping paper...nope, I'm using up what was purchased at the after Christmas sale last year, and vowing not to buy more.  And ohhh, of course as I use up the wrapping paper, I'm recycling those cardboard tubes too!

Actually, I've already started using less wrapping paper.  This year, some family and friends will not receive gifts wrapped in paper, but instead, their wrapping will be more eco-friendly.  Their gift will either be "wrapped" in a reusable cloth bags made by moi, or reusable gift bags that I am recycling, or a fabric type garment that is also a gift in and of itself!  Even the ribbons I'm using to tie up these packages are being reused since I am reusing satin ribbons, wire ribbon, grosgrain, etc.from previous presents :)  Some gifts don't even need to be "wrapped" traditionally, and a pretty ribbon with a tag will suffice.  I think it's fun to be creative, use less paper, less tape, less curling ribbon, etc.

Although I must give credit to my mother who is amazing about recycling ALL the wrapping paper each Christmas, as well recycling bows, gift bags, cardboard boxes for clothing, and cardboard boxes from packaging.  She actually sifts through the "trash bags" of wrap, packaging, etc. to sort it for recycling.  I guess recycling is in my genetic makeup ;) which means I hopefully have passed it down to my children whether they like it or not!  I think that's one of the greenest gifts we can give our families, don't you?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

R is for Reduce, Reuse, Rejoice!

Here's a reason to rejoice :)  Tree-free holiday and greeting cards! 

Take a look at this greeting card company that is working to use 100% tree-free paper by using sustainable resources such as reclaimed sugar cane Sweetpaper(tm), up to 100% post-consumer recycled paper, FSC Certified paper, and soy-based inks.  Tree-free Greetings uses tree-free alternatives such as Kenaf from local North American farmers instead of trees.  Additionally, they sell "Plantable Greetings", cards seeded with wildflower seeds.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Simply Stated...

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How much food does the average American person eat?

Now that Thanksgiving, our favorite food related holiday has come and gone, you might be interested to know how much the average American person eats on a regular basis.  

To calculate a conservative estimate of how much food an average American eats, let’s assume that a person eats 3 meals a day, 365 days/year, and that each meals is about 1 pound of food.  Using these conservative, round numbers, the average American would eat about 1095 pounds of food  a  year not including snacks between the 3 main meals.

Other estimates are not as conservative, and range from about 1,500-1,900 pounds of food per person per year!  The website, states that “the average American is 36.6 years old and eats 1,996.3 lbs. of food per year.”  Is it any wonder that I can hear my parents' voices in my head now..."don't waste food", "there are other starving people in the world", "be grateful for your food". breaks down the food consumed into the categories listed below.  These statistics are interesting and staggering at the same time because certain foods such as meats and dairy are more resource and energy intensive to produce, and result in more green house gases compared to fruits and vegetables.  To see their colorful, informative graphic, check out their site 

  • 85.5 lbs. of fats and oils
  • 110 lbs. of red meat (62.4 lbs. of  beef and 46.5 lbs. of pork)
  • 73.6 lbs. of poultry, (including 60.4 lbs. of chicken
  • 16.1 lbs. of fish and shellfish
  • 32.7 lbs. of eggs
  • 31.4 lbs. of cheese
  • 273.2 lbs. of fruit 
  • 600.5 lbs. of non-cheese dairy products (including181 lbs. of milk)
  • 192.3 lbs. of flour and cereal products (including 134.1 lbs. of wheat flour)
  • 141.6 lbs. of caloric sweeteners (including 42 lbs. of corn syrup)
  • 415.4 lbs. of vegetables (including 56 lbs. of corn)
  • 24 lbs. of coffee, cocoa and nuts
Another interesting perspective on the amount of food we eat, and the human footprint that we leave on the planet can be see on the show, "Human Footprint" on National Geographic, Monday, Dec 6, at 9am  If you don't get a chance to watch it, you can also check out their interactive link, and find out your human footprint, or how much of the world you use in your lifetime. You can calculate how much you will consume and see how that measures up with the rest of the world.

Sources:, December 5, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gifts that Give Back by PB Teen

Very cool, I LOVE these pillow covers from PB Teen!  Not only do my girls think they are awesome (they love the 14 designs), but so do I (I love the eco-messages and that the gifts give back in more ways than one) :)

The pillow covers are 18" square, 100% organic cotton percale, with crewel embroidery.  They reverse to white, have hidden zipper closure, and are machine washable.  When you purchase one of PB Teen's hip, fun, organic pillow covers, they donate $5 to 1 of 7 great organizations including: Trees for the Future, Surfrider Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Special Olympics, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Student Conservation Association, and DO   For every "Branch Out" or "Tree Hug & Planet Love" pillow sold, one tree will be planted by Trees for the Future.  Now those are gifts that keep on giving (oxygen, shade, beauty, and homes for the critters!)...gotta love it!