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Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Secret Santa

Looking for ideas for your secret santa this year? A few years ago someone bought me one of those wind-up torches. It is fantastic! Finding a torch in my house used to be a nightmare. I don't need a torch very frequently and so when I did need one it would invariably have flat batteries. I have found my wind-up torch to be a great Christmas present. It is in its third year now and still going strong.

I'm sure they are widely available on the High Street, but here's a link to one from Amazon: They cost just less than a fiver.

Done that already and need another idea? What about an eco-stapler? That's another thing that's really annoying. Do you ever remember when you are out and about what size staples your stapler takes? I never do, so I frequently run out. An eco stapler clips up to three pages together with a cut and fold action. Again they cost less than £5 from here: but probably available on the High Street. I like these woven juice carton purses - £5 , the Elephant Dung Notecubes -£7.95 and the colouring pencils made from recycled newspaper from 'myecostore'.

Oxfam is a great place for eco-gifts for your secret santa. Take a look when you are passing or have a look at their stocking fillers page online:

Monday, 7 December 2009

Making money from green living

I came across this great post today on saving and even making money from green living.

There are many ways that you can save money, just by spending a little, but this blog is all about the small things that cost nothing but collectively could make a big difference. On BBC Radio 5 in the UK today, this very thing was being discussed and it was suggested that governments are likely to put more effort into the bigger picture when they can see how people are making an effort with the small stuff.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Christmas Shopping

I don't even like to think about Christmas shopping until December. But December is here whether I'm ready or not.

This year I want to make a more conscious effort to ensure that the presents I give don't contribute to the ever increasing landfill problem, so I've been having a good look at the packaging of everything I buy.

Yesterday, I raided the cupboard under the stairs and retrieved all the Christmas gift bags from last year ( or the year before, or the year before that maybe!). I found 15 bags. I have now bought two rolls of wrapping paper from Oxfam, made of 100% recycled paper and which can, of course, be recycled after use.

I've bought a few bottles of wine. I know that won't go to waste and most people that I know these days recycle their glass. Every ton of recycled glass used saves 1.2 tons of raw material.
I also bought some big tins of Quality Street. It tells you on the box that the outer coloured wrapper can be composted, the inner aluminium recycles just like a drinks can and of course the tin can be used again and again until it gets so battered it too needs to be recycled.

Books will certainly be featuring in my Christmas purchases - no packaging and they can be passed on to friends or charity shops when people have finished with them. If you feel bad about writers missing out on royalties when you pass on books to friends, have a look to see if they have websites where you can donate the equivalent sum of money they would have received in royalties if the book had been bought new.

Toys are always the things I'm most wary of, packaging wise and so I've decided to try and get the shopping done this week so I'm not making last minute decisions that tend to stop me from even considering what packaging surrounds the gift. Hopefully that way, too, I won't be responsible for frustrated children and parents spending hours trying to find their way into the toys through the hundred completely useless layers of plastic and cardboard wired and glued together, supposedly to make something look better than it is.

Happy shopping and Merry Christmas!