Paint your Valentine’s Day red, pink and GREEN!

Ahh… the holiday of romance!

Valentine’s Day is the day to share your feelings and express your love to the special ones in your life, but if you want to share some love with the environment and add a little bit of “green” to the occasion too, consider these wisest of choices:

  • Cards – did you know that the purchase of Valentine’s Day cards ranks #2 just behind Christmas?!?  One BILLION cards per year, in fact!  So consider buying only cards printed on recycled paper or paper alternatives (hint: the backs of cards reveal their content).
  • Chocolates – always a favorite, make sure those you purchase are organic and fair-trade so you’re assured that there hasn’t been destruction and risky/unfair practices used in order to give your beloved a sweet treat.
  • Flowers – buy locally-grown flowers and those you know haven’t been doused with harsh pesticides and chemicals that are harmful to the environment and growers, or have been flown in from some other region of the globe. When the recipient takes a whiff, you want to be sure the scent is pure sweetness and it isn’t covered in chemicals and preservatives from its long, long trip to your florist.  Also consider live, locally-grown plants as another option.
  • Body products – pick products that are made with organic & natural ingredients and minerals (like Kiss My Face), instead of those containing harsh additives, colorings and chemicals.
  • Jewelry – forget the mass-produced jewelry found in commercial jewelry stores and instead opt for something that is locally-made or a choice that helps others through your purchase (see Hands Up Not Hand Outs to see exactly what I mean!)
  • Soy and beeswax candles – avoid pollutants and toxins expelled by many candle products and choose only soy or beeswax options.
  • Create something – no one ever said you needed to buy a thing to express your love, so make a card, write a poem, create something special and it will often mean more than anything you could buy, and you often need look no further than your own home!
  • Wine – choose organic and/or locally-produced wines.  They do exist, and all you need to do it ask!
  • Organic dinner – dine in and make a completely organic dinner.  When you select the ingredients, you know that there is only “goodness” contained in your meal.

Ahh, yes… Valentine’s Day. The holiday of love… just make sure your expression of “red-hot love” has a little bit of “green” intertwined too… what you do after that, well… you’re all on your own!

 

Consider the extraordinary gift of “Kiva”!

Oh, the ticking clock to the holidays… it’s getting louder and louder!

I have already given you the list of Mom Goes Green holiday recommendations, from gifts to party planning, so I hope you’ve already discovered some great ideas and tips.

I also realized that there is one VERY important organization that I didn’t mention loudly enough: Kiva!

Kiva is really quite extraordinary… through their gift certificate program you can “loan” your gifted money to a “working poor” recipient of your choosing.  Once they are able to repay the loan, you are given back your donated money to grant to another needy recipient… and this wonderful cycle starts all over again!

We’ve personally supported many families. They’ve including a man in Tajikistan who desperately needed money to buy seeds for farming, to a gentleman in Palestine that needed funds to improve his organic chicken farm! It’s rewarding (and admittedly fun!) to go through the list of people, see who you would like to help and check on their progress as time goes on, and until their loan is repaid.

Consider giving a Kiva gift certificate to someone (or make a donation yourself) and just a small amount will allow them (or you!) to give again and again and again…

Isn’t that really much better than that lousy sweater you were considering?…

MGGs last minute guide to keeping your holidays “green”!

The holidays seem to be moving toward us at warp speed! We’re nearing deadlines and, if you’re anything like me, you still have things to do.  (Okay, so maybe I am one of the few dragging dreadfully behind but, humor me for a moment, and let me feel like I’m not alone!)

There are plenty of ways to avoid the excess and waste of the season, as well as making gifts selections that are fabulously green and giving.  So that we (okay, so that I) don’t waste any more time getting to it, let’s just throw it on the table and get it all out of the way!

Here are my four must-read posts that will help you through (click below and read on!):

  • My favorite gifts guide – a list of all the tangible gifts that I enjoy giving, because they happen to be great gifts and they are also fabulously green ideas too.
  • My favorite gifts that “give back”: – a list of gifts that give to a worthwhile cause:  wildlife, nature or the environment.  Sometimes we don’t need to give those tangible gifts that clutter the recipient’s home… giving to a cause in the recipient’s honor may be the biggest present of all!
  • Green party planning – a list of all the ways you can keep your holiday soiree goin’ green.  From decorations, to your menu choices, to your clean-up… there are simple ways to keep from abandoning all of your green principals!
  • Wrap it up in a big “green” bow – a list of all the ways those tangible gifts can be given without creating mountains of trash.

Hopefully, this guide will help you along the way, and gifts that you give will be useful, practical and, sometimes, just simply serve a cause.

The clock may be ticking, but there is always time to make great choices.

Happy green holidays, my friends!

MGG Giveaway Day 5: “Zulugrass” for you… and ‘others’!

zulu logo(This giveaway is now closed for entries… see “comments” for the winner!)

This is the 5th and final giveaway on this little trip we’ve taken through some fantastic eco-products!  Today’s giveaway allows you to GET something for yourself but also GIVE to others.

It’s Zulugrass from The Leakey Collection!  (Now, who doesn’t love jewelry?)  Zulugrass is both unique and beautiful… this jewelry is made of natural grass beads (yes, grass!) dyed in rich colors & hues and combined with glass beads.  Each piece is handmade by the Massai women of Kenya and, with every purchase, you not only support the women’s work but funds are routed back to the local women, their families and communities to support education and health.zulu womn

See, it’s absolutely possible to give the gift of opportunity while you’re getting a little something for yourself.  (And with the holidays fast approaching too, it’s definitely something worth considering for gift-giving!) I have two amazing strands in colors of green (imagine that!). They can become bracelets, necklaces, belts, anything(!) and I think you might love them, so…

…would you like to ‘get the goods’ and ‘do some good’ at the same time?  Then just leave a comment here saying you’d like to win, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. Facebook friends can also leave a comment to be entered. The winner will be randomly selected on November 12! zulu cu(U.S. entries only… sorry.)

Be sure to check out Zulugrass and The Leakey Collection too… their work is beautiful!

I hope you’ve enjoyed Mom Goes Green’s Five Days of Giveaways journey through fantastic eco-goodies! I’ve always believed that with every choice, there is a greener option… “Choose Green”!

For Father’s Day… help him “go green”!

dad super wordSunday is the day to celebrate fantastic fathers! Our Sunday will be spent celebrating my amazing husband…”fab dad” to our kids!!!  As always, he’s literally asked for “nothing” and just wants to spend time with me and the kids… likely fishing, picnicking and enjoying what’s slated to be a wonderful “weather day” (Phew!).  Every year he just wants to enjoy the pleasures of the great outdoors and, of course, his family! 🙂

Hopefully you already have some terrific plans in the works, but if you are pressed for that last minute gift idea, here is my list of “great green ones” that are easy to find (or “do”) and he’s sure to love:

  • Plant a tree – it’s amazing to watch them grow over time, so add a special one to the yard. (We have one in its ninth year… it’s just incredible and we have loved watching it grow and bloom!)
  • Make a gift – recycle, upcycle and reuse!  Your own home is the perfect place to find supplies to create something that says “I cared enough” to make this for you!fshing
  • Electronic solar charger – free power from the sun!  And dads love their electronics.
  • Bamboo knives or grilling set incredible bamboo is sustainable and this is perfect for the grill master!
  • Organic brew – ideal for accompanying him at the grill!
  • Organic coffee – for his morning (or all day) pick-me-up!
  • Reusable water bottle – to keep him hydrated while he’s working hard or working out!
  • iTunes – no more CDs to eventually end up in the trash.
  • Solar powered landscaping lights or a solar flashlight – (are you seeing the trend?) again, free energy!
  • Adopt nature and animals in his name or give a membership to a nature center or arboretum – my list of favorites is in a previous post here.
  • “Give your time” and get outdoors – make him king for the day and hike, bike, picnic, fish… whatever makes him happy, your time will make him the happiest!

Jim kuk picWith that I simply want to wish my amazing husband another wonderful Father’s Day! He is the best husband, the greatest dad ever, a dedicated son, and works so hard so that I can be home with our kids.  He single-handedly supports our family AND he’s a published author (with more on the way!) and I am so very, very proud of him!  Add to that the fact that he tolerates ME, goes along with my green ways and encourages me (always!)… I couldn’t ask for more.  We love you, honey!

Happy Father’s Day to every amazing dad out there!  We celebrate you! And for every dad that is joining this mom in her journey to going green… THANK YOU!