Friday, December 2, 2011

Going Green This Holiday Season

So, it's officially December and if you haven't started your holiday shopping yet, it's definitely a good time to get started on at least planning! Last week we posted Glittering Conscience's Black Friday Gift Guide, and that will give you plenty of good ideas for green gifts for everyone on your list.

In this post, we also wanted to focus on how you can go green this holiday season, from using recycled wrapping, to shopping local and supporting small businesses, to making homemade gifts for your friends and family. There are so many ways to save your cash along with your planet too!

First off, recycled wrapping is a must when going green for the holidays. Look for wrapping that says "made from recycled paper" on it, or better yet, recycle your own paper if you happen to have any.   If you're not a crazy pack rat who keeps the wrapping and packaging from everything they get, then you can simply use newspaper, old magazines, or an old bag you no longer use. All of R&C's packaging is made from 100% recycled materials.

Making homemade gifts is always extra sweet, and it will likely mean more to the person you give it to since it's much more personal. There are lots of things you could make, such as ornaments, paintings if you're an artist, picture frames, hand-knit scarves, home-baked cookies...the possibilities in this category really are endless!

           The Jasmine Earrings from the Endless Color Collection are hand made from sterling silver and 14k gold wire which is twisted and wrapped around the gem stones by hand!

Saving energy is a simple thing you could do to stay green this season. If you hang lights for decoration or on your tree, turn outdoor lights off during the day and indoor tree lights off at night. As pretty as they are to look at, you will not only save on your electric bill, but also help support energy conservation. We only use Earth-friendly CFL light bulbs in our offices and in Glittering Conscience.

Be sure to recycle your tree after it's finally ready to take it in when the pine needles start to turn brown and cover more of your floor than the branches. If you're like some people, you'll like to keep your tree up well past New Year's, and that's a good way to make it last and get what you paid for- and also help the tree to serve its purpose in this case! Some people choose to get a fake Christmas tree believing it will last much longer and deter the chopping down of trees, but the truth is they are actually much worse for the environment since they are made from toxic chemicals linked to causing cancer such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and when they eventually do get thrown out, they are burned and the chemicals are released into the air. Real trees freshen the air, and you're also supporting local farmers when you buy a living tree, which can be grown organically.

An example of an eco-friendly fake tree from possibiliTrees

Shop smart this year as many are still suffering from the weak economy (despite the crazy news we saw after Black Friday involving pepper-spraying shoppers and police brutality!). Support your local shopping district; support small businesses, like Glittering Conscience and Ruff&Cut; buy eco-friendly items; and most importantly of all, don't give in to over-consumerism- just because it's the holidays, that doesn't mean you have to buy a bunch of useless junk that no one will ever use. Get gifts that will last, or that will really make an impression. Glittering Conscience- as you know! -carries a lot of very unique eco-conscious items, such as R&C's Earth-friendly and conflict-free fine jewelry, Platinum Dirt leather products made from recycled vintage auto upholstery, and Nahui Ollin handbags made from upcycled candy wrapper and magazines.

These are just a few suggestions for shopping green this year and keeping your holidays Earth-friendly. Now we'd like to hear from you! Please share how you're staying green this year in the comments. Earth911 has some great suggestions too! Stay tuned for GC events and R&C holiday sales coming soon!

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