Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Celebrate Green!

Celebrate Green! ($24.95) by Corey Colwell-Lipson and Lynn Colwell is an easy-to-read guide to making all your celebrations a little more eco-friendly without losing any of the fun. Holidays are wonderful things, but they also produce a lot of garbage. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's, household waste increases by more than 25 percent. Corey Colwell-Lipson and her mom, Lynn Colwell, give suggestions for reducing the impact that the holidays - all sorts of holidays - have on our Earth.

The book is divided into five sections.

  • Spring: Easter, Earth Day, Mothers' Day, St. Patrick's Day, Arbor Day and Cinco de Mayo
  • Summer: Memorial Day, Father's Day, 4th of July and, of course, barbecues
  • Fall: Halloween, Rosh Hashana, Diwali, and, my favorite, Thanksgiving
  • Winter: Christmas,Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's, and Valentine's Day
  • Year Round Celebrations: Baby Showers, Graduations, Weddings, Anniversaries, Birthdays, Family reunions and Business celebrations.
Tips include ideas for decorating, favors, gifts, recipes, party activities, new traditions, avoiding excess waste and ways to give back and make holidays about helping the Earth and others. Not only do the authors give tips, but they also provide plenty of links (even to our good friend A Toy Garden) so you aren't left struggling to figure out how to make your new Green ideas a reality. And, since Green is about reducing consumption, Green saves money as well.

Some Green tips for celebrating birthdays and holidays:

1. Send card that are printed with soy-based inks on recycled paper. Stubby Pencil Studio offers a Holiday Cards 6 pack ($7.95/set) and they are lots of fun for kids to color and send to Grandma.

2. Use reusable decorations like this cloth banner ($29.95). We were planning to use it for all our summer celebrations, but this was the summer of non-stop rain. So, we hung up in the dining room on Arielle's birthday. It is a huge 38 feet long, so it goes along three walls and the bright colors look great. We left it up for weeks because it was so cheery, and I just put it up again because we are celebrating Thanksgiving a bit early this year. It definitely says "party!"

3. Consider Earth-friendly party favors and stocking stuffers. Stubby Pencil now has Holiday Smencils (5 for $5.95). These pencils are made from 100% recycled newspapers in special holiday scents: Cinnamon, Sugar Plum, Candy Cane, Gingerbread and Sugar Cookie. Mmmmm....

And, there's lots more in the book. I often find that books on being green recycle the same information, but this book provides an abundance new ideas and resources. It's not about giving up the traditions that we treasure, it's about tweaking them - just a little - so we can celebrate responsibly.

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