’Tis the Season for Green Gifts

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Holidays are upon us. ’Tis the season to consider green and sustainable gift giving.  Here are some thoughts and, hopefully, solutions.

First off, buy quality.  I am a Certified Green Building Professional.  All that training, and I remember a handful of concepts best, such as: Green is often a loaded, misunderstood term.  So, my instructor suggested I substitute the word quality for green, making a case that they are interchangeable, and quality is something most understand and appreciate.

When you give quality, it is, by design, form and function, built to last.  Provided it does not contain extremes like toxins, or rare animals, does it really matter that it is not bamboo or cork?  Give quality.

Another suggestion to achieve sustainable gift-giving is another lesson I learned, that you must plan.  Plan your trips.  Plan your sources.  Eliminate waste with the thoughtful choices you make and actions you take, or choose not to take.  Think of it like healthy eating, which necessitates good planning.  When there is a time crunch, it is hard to avoid fast food.

Giving sustainably means the things need to last, or have a clear path to ReUse or ReCycle when they’re used up.  So they need to be relevant, and that requires the giver to really understand the recipient.  A proactive approach would be for you to set up your Eco Wishlist, so others do not have to guess at what you will cherish.

A data dump of other directional tips; consider quality, durability, packaging, what is it made of?  Where did it come from?  Take little or no resources from the environment, inflicting little or no harm on the world we live in.  Buy local!  Give a bike.  Download a digital song or movie.  Shop online?  (Maybe for gals, not so sure for guys.)

How do you know what to do, when you don’t know what to do?  Trust the source.  Healthy living says go to Mother’s.  I suggest you free your calendar for Sunday, Nov. 21 for the Inspired Buyer event at the world famous Environmental Nature Center (ENC) on 16th Street, by Newport Harbor High School, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The goal of The Inspired Buyer is to inspire the community to celebrate the holidays more sustainably, while also supporting local businesses and nonprofit organizations. Some of the vendors include Harvest to Home, Krochet Kids, The People’s Shoe, Hemptress, Volcom’s v.eco.logical line, and Nirve bicycles.

“After attending so many ‘green’ expos, fairs, events, etc., both Jesse Baker and I decided we wanted to create something that was different, an event that touched all five senses, that allowed people to actually participate in the fun, and in the end left them feeling inspired to do more for the planet in their everyday lives” inspires Chrissy Gray, co-founder of Ecofficiency and a green event planner.

Key areas of Inspiration are as follows: Don’t expect a craft fair.  The Inspired Buyer will share a wide variety of vendors, including apparel, accessories, bicycles, food products, home goods, artists, and inspiring nonprofit organizations.  There will be free cooking and gift demos throughout the day, showing people quick and simple cooking ideas for the holidays, and how-to’s on making affordable, eco-friendly gifts for people.

Kids will be entertained all day long while parents shop, listen to live music, and connect with the community.  A nature-inspired scavenger hunt will allow kids to experience the outside grounds of the ENC. There will also be eco-friendly art activities that kids can participate in.

Food will be available from the Seabirds gourmet food truck and 118 Degrees. Free water and fresh squeezed juices will be available all day for attendees.  Stick around for Sunset s’mores around the huge fire circle.  It’s completely free to attend and to participate in all of the classes.  See you there.

Shop well, my green friends.  And for those who are not a green friend, sometimes I think of things that are only good as thoughts.  So, this season, to all those who are being naughty eco-boys and girls, I am mentally sending them coal, in a hemp stocking.

Subtle changes, en masse, can make a difference.

Have we inspired you today?

Please send thoughts to [email protected]

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